Waking later than usual, we had allowed ourselves the luxury of a lie-in, we set about the tasks for the day. Under the shaded enclaves of Hotal Duta we breakfasted and then whilst the boys amused themselves in the pool, I collected our things together on the bed in what was now a well established routine for the packing. That done, I joined the boys and splashed about in the cool water until it was time for us to finalise the rucksacks and quit the hotel for good. They kindly agreed to look after our bags until we were ready to leave, and so we headed one last time for lunch at Via Via to say our goodbyes.
Grabbing a taxi we arrived at the airport in plenty of time for the hop to Jakarta, scheduled to leave with Lion Air at 17:15. Here we had to go through security before actually entering the airport terminal as it was a domestic flight. We checked in the bags and then went through to the departure lounge. Indonesia is a country where you have to pay for everything, so it seems, and this was no exception. As we passed through, we had to stop at a little booth where we were told that we had to pay a departure tax of 35,000 Rp each. Um?! Is that not included in the taxes on the ticket we’d bought? Apparently not. Decidedly unhappy we paid up and went through security again to arrive in the departure lounge, where we waited for our now delayed flight.
As departure time came and went, frantic texts batted to and fro between myself and Ilka, our friend in Jakarta, about arrival times and modes of transport from the airport to the place where she would pick us up. The DAMRI bus would have stopped running before we would arrive, and so we were reserved on a shuttle bus for 19:30. Eventually the plane was ready and we made the hop to Jakarta without too much more drama – apart from the thunder and lightning that we had to fly through as we approached Jakarta. We missed the shuttle as the plane was late and on enquiring for another bus we were told it would not be before 21:30. So, in the end we took a taxi to the shopping mall that we had arranged to meet Ilka at – probably the most expensive taxi journey ever as it cost 1.2 million Rp!
The boys fell asleep in the cab, and we had to make a bed out of the rucksacks when we arrived at the mall to lay the kids on whilst we waited for Ilka to arrive. It was not long before we were able to join up, make our first hellos and get on our way to Ilka’s parents’ house, conducted along the way by Ilka’s cousin who expertly negotiated the crazy Jakarta traffic where motorbikes outnumber cars by 20:1. As we wound through little streets, we arrived at the end of our journey; and impressive house with large open plan lounge with double staircase at the rear leading to comfortable bedrooms which we mounted with babes in arms before Tania and I could finally flop down and make proper introductions and hellos to our hosts.
Ilka and her mother were warm and welcoming and had kindly prepared some food for us which we ravenously devoured. We talked for a while about ourselves and our journey and then, understandably tired, we made our goodnights and headed up to bed. Tomorrow we would explore Jakarta and see what marvels we could uncover.