Finally it was time to move on to the Mentawais and we were super hungry for waves and so excited to get away from the busy roads and into pristine nature.
The only problem was that the Indonesian President decided to visit Bali exactly this day and we were stuck in a traffic jam for 2 hours on our way from Ulus to the airport. Time was ticking and there was nothing we could do. Our friend Ralph – who is the owner of Vip Surf Tour and he was supposed to meet us at the airport to join us for this trip – was already at the airport, waiting desperately, since his boards were with us… Once arrived at the airport we all got superpowers form the adrenaline and we started a sprint through the security check. I was actually running with two massive board bags, a backpack and a trolley bag. Don’t ask me how. But we still got there just 10 minutes too late. We tried all our tricks and I let a few drops of tears roll down my cheeks, which didn’t get us on the plane, but at least they made Lion Air give us a 100% refund of our tickets. Never seen that happen before, I should consider becoming an actress! Now we had got our money back, but we were still super gutted. It was the busiest day ever and all the flights to Jakarta were completely booked for the next few days. The three of us were desperate. I took care of our stuff while Sylvi and Ralph tried their luck again at some other airline’s counter. No chance. And then – just when we were about to give up – a little Indo dude appeared out of nowhere with 3 tickets to Jakarta in his hands. He wanted a 100 dollars extra added to the regular ticket price and after some heavy bargaining we made a deal… we still don’t know who this dude was and where the hell he got those tickets from, but sometimes you just have to go for it. Good old Indonesia – always good for a surprise!
We had to sleep a night in Jakarta though, which wasn’t a problem actually, as Sylvi had a great contact: a good friend of hers who was a Gold Club Member in some hotels,put us up in the 5-Star Marriott Hotel, about 45 min from the airport. So there we were, sweaty messes with board bags and flip flops, disembarking right at the entrance of the fanciest hotel reception with golden stairs right in the heart of Jakarta, where we were welcome by butlers who treated us like kings and queens… travelling can really spin you out sometimes! We lived the dream for a while but next morning we got really excited about going to the Mentawais… Nature was calling!!!
We got to the airport all good, but just as we were about to go through the security checks I looked over to Sylvi and her face went completely white: “Oh, shit!! I left my bag with cheese in the hotel minibar!” Knowing how much her food means to her and the fact that she had brought this 150USD worth bag of cheese all the way from Bali… well, this was a real catastrophe! Time for action! All it took was a phone call to the hotel and they had already put the cheese in a car with a driver which was going to drive it all the way to the airport… we got a text message “Dear M’am, your cheese is on its way to the airport with a driver”. Time was getting tight… but we were completely committed to this. And as the driver didn’t know us and we didn’t know him, we wrote back: “Thanks, there will be a blonde girl holding a paper with “CHEESE” and a brunette with a yellow T-shirt” and we did as we said. The flight was already boarding when we finally got the bag with the cheese and we hardly made it to the flight… but we had the cheese and Sylvi was happy. 🙂