Landing at Denpasar airport, one is treated to a 2-4 hour wait to pass immigration – in line, standing, with little guidance as to if you’re even in the correct spot.
Over 60? There’s a special line for you. Disabled? Special line. Traveling with small kids? Technically there’s no special line but … Yes, there’s a special line.
Not one of those? Enjoy your temporary limbo.
There are two hints as to why the lines are so long: all the flights seem to arrive in the same time window and there are too few agents processing. The agents will get up and walk away with no warning. They do not return.
After clearing immigration there’s the standard baggage claim where your luggage has been siting unattended for hours. I checked nothing so passed on to customs.
Me and everyone else flagged for secondary scanning had light luggage. It was fast but another delay to my vacation.
It’s a gauntlet to get from customs to the taxi area. If you don’t have a driver waiting for you with a sign, there are any number of aggressive men offering their taxi services. Assuming you follow the few signs and get to where the actual official taxi desk sits, you will negotiate the cost for your ride.
My driver was nice and the right one for that moment in my life. I was sleep deprived and tired from queuing. He pointed out where things are and, other than some stilted English chatter, left me to see Bali from the back of his cab.
Things got interesting when we approached Ubud, the town near where I am staying. His navigation ability (no GPS unit) went only so far. To get the last kilometer required a combination of my Apple Maps and better night vision (something that disturbed me greatly to learn). We managed to get to my resort a mere 6 hours after I landed. Sadly, Google Maps is measurably better, so I installed it.
The room at the Karma Mayura resort is nice. It’s a bit spartan but the perfect fit for my digital detox. I grabbed some food and a beer from the restaurant and then crashed in my room.