Coming to Bali meant two things: It is going to be more touristy and we will have to sort out some of our visas. Most importantly our NZ visa as there is a visa application center on Bali and immigration NZ had let us know via phone that we can apply there.
Packing our things, we drove down to Sanur. There is a German consulate here which we visited first. Just to make sure we don’t need any temporary papers for the time our passports will be sent to New Zealand. Nah, all good, we don’t need anything but a receipt from the application center. Is there a chance that we could get a second passport, you know, to apply for a Pakistani visa? No, absolutely not, this is just for business people. *le sigh*
Rocking up at the consulate on our bike, had given us a lot of attention from the security people who recognized the license plate and gave us many thumbs up. When we left again, there was a guy waiting for us. He had seen the bike and wanted to talk to use as he himself owns an Africa Twin. Thus we met Santosh, an Indian ex-pat living on Bali and currently house-sitting for friends in the same street that the consulate was on.
To facilitate our conversation, we hopped into Café Smorgås where Flo had juice but I had the most delicious ice cream sandwich…maybe ever. 🙂
Despite wanting to talk to a fellow motorbike traveller, I got itchy as the visa application center was still on for today. So we made dinner plans with Santosh and left for Benoa Square which houses the center. There is a toll road leading around Denpasar rather than through it. It costs 4500 Indonesian rupiahs for a motorcycle which is about 50 cents and cuts out a fair bit of traffic. And the best thing: Motorcycles get their own separate lane away from the cars and trucks.
Applying for our visa was not as straight forward as we hoped it to be. First of all, the application center had no means of checking if we are eligible for the visa we wanted so wouldn’t hand out the form despite us knowing even the number of the form we needed. Instead, we had to email them. This email then got forwarded to the NZ embassy in Jakarta. Then we waited on their reply to be able to actually apply. We would have loved to just get in contact with the embassy in Jakarta but they have no public website or email address so this was not an option. We had to go through the application center.
In the end, we got the right form, filled it out, stapled our passport pictures to it and then waited. And waited. And waited. The computer system was down (which we had been told before) but apart from having to pay in cash (which we were told), there was actually no way to put our application through (which we hadn’t been told). Instead of communicating any of the problems to us, we sat around from 1.30pm until 5pm with an increasingly frantic member of staff who kept trying to put our application through every 10min.
In the end we had to leave without applying and the advice to come back tomorrow. All this waiting made me nearly insane but Flo kept his cool.
Back in Sanur, Santosh helped us find a room for our budget and then showed us around town a bit on the way to dinner. The room was in a sweet Balinese style homestay, and our room was all carvings and decorations. Later in town, I even managed to buy postcards.
Dinner was lovely in a warung makan that gave us our first taste of Java. It was well frequented by locals and you get great value for our money. Afterwards, we took the “scenic” route back which led along the waterfront and stopped for one more rounds of drinks at fancy place. Santosh was great company, and we talked about traveling, life in Indonesia and his own plans for a really cool trip.