Welcome to Bali: 12 Nov 08

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Meticulous planning and flawless execution but it was still daylight robbery! We arrived in Bali at about 4pm and were picked up by the hotel mini-bus. About 10 minutes into our journey there was a noise from the real near side of the vehicle which I dismissed as some vegetation caught up in the wheel. Shortly thereafter a passing driver told us we had a flat. We pulled over into a side street to change the tyre.

The driver was good. In 10 minutes we were ready to move on but when we reboarded our vehicle the wife’s handbag and my camera bag were gone. As we’d been watching the driver change the wheel on one side of the vehicle bandits had snuck into it from he other side and made off with our stuff: cameras, phones and passports and the wife’s credit cards and money. Luckily my wallet, together with business credit cards, was in my pocket.

Then it was off to the local police station which was an exercise in the pointless although necessary to have a document to support our insurance claim. Then it was down to cancelling credit cards and mobile phone accounts and worrying about going to the British consulate to get temporary travel documents.

and then … next morning we got a call at the hotel. The bandits had ditched everything of no value to them in a black plastic bag and dumped this in the street. This was found by a local who went through it and rang the only Bali phone number which he could find. This was the hotel number but was not identified as such and there was no other way to link the contents of the bag to us in Bali. He rang us, we visited him and were thankfully able to collect our passports, the wife’s credit cards and her driving licence and my bus pass! Still a bit of a disaster without my camera because I had intended this trip to be a ‘photo-essay’ trip and I’d lost the photos I’d taken in Jakarta and Bandung and en route but at least we ould not have to waste time at the consulate.

Throughout this expereince the hotel management was not unsurprisingly were very supportive and more about the hotel later. But it is absulutely first class and out of this world! Check it out.

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