May 24 Jakarta to Bali,
4 hrs 10 mins flying
Over the past
few months many people have posed the question, "why visit Bali?"
I guess this was in reaction to the bombings that occurred here
19 months ago and concern for the continuing terrorist threat
that exists worldwide. Bali is a beautiful place that has been
deeply affected by those tragic events and yet it still has to
be seen for its beauty, its warmth and its people. For a long
time Ireland was subject to similar views from its potential tourists
and yet they still came to visit and enjoy what Ireland had to
So World Flight
came here to enjoy what Bali is all about. Indonesia is a complex
country of hundreds of islands, housing some 800 million people
all held together by a democratic government. Democracy came to
this country about six years ago and it has adapted well but Indonesians
still maintain that it is not truly democratic and will take another
few years for this to be achieved. The country is finding its
way slowly, holding on to some of its old ways and finding new
ones that suit its culture.
Jakarta is a
busy flowing city, which chokes itself in traffic jams and fumes.
It is always rush hour here and the driving standards are not
very conducive to long living. Yet when you get airborne from
Jakarta Halim airport and climb to 11 000 feet heading for Denpasar
on the island of Bali, you rise above all this. As you head east
you are aware of the current unrest in Ache, which lies only a
few hundred miles from our current position and of the potential
target that Bali is for Islamic extremists and yet up here alone
you experience the beauty of this country. Coastline that is hugged
by clear blue water and to our right rising terrain covered in
green lush vegetation. The volcanic mountains rise above our level
and is breath taking to view from a near level height.
Our flight was
pleasant with amazing views of mountains rising above the clouds
(and above us). Many of these mountains are extinct volcano, some
are still active. We flew from land to water crossing the islands
of Indonesia and then Bali came into view. As the sun was setting
our runway came into view. The runway threshold is right by the
sea with water either side of the runway, this made for an interesting
approach with windsheer.
On arrival at
Denpasar airport it is hard to imagine that the island's tourism
industry is struggling. The tarmac is busy with seven arrivals
and as many departures in the short time we were there. A taxi
driver reveals the true facts to us en route to our hotel. Where
once Qantas operated twenty times a week they now fly in three
times weekly and in spite of the constant stream of arrivals,
the aircraft are near empty. It will take years for the islanders
to regain what was taken from overnight. "I for one will
return to this beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean".
Landed and parked at Bali Airport.