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a treacherous journey…

The plan was simple, but like any simple plan, there are always flaws… wild cards, if you will that can turn a simple plan into a logistical nightmare.

The plan was this, to join a group of boys and their sponsors to the Rip Curl Pro Longboarding competition in Bali. Simple right? Book a flight on the same plane, we will all stay together… no problem. So it would seem.

Until yesterday I received a slightly disheartening text message from Air Asia. ‘We are terribly sorry for any inconvenience caused,’ it said. And with those eight simple words, our world became a little more complicated. The flights have been cancelled in and out of Bandung, indefinitely this week due to the debris from the still every erupting Merapi Volcano. Now, five people, upwards of seven surfboards, five bags and the winning trophy from last years event – might find it a little tricky to walk (or for those of you who prefer something a little less dramatic, take a bus and a ferry and a bus) over land to the far edge of Java to then get across the water to Bali. So what do we do?

There was talk of cancelling the trip, but then the complication of the possession of the winning trophy which needs to be in Kuta for the comp this weekend. Then there was talk of flying from Jakarta, but checking flights from the past few days soon revealed that many flights had been cancelled on that route too.

Who would have known a Volcano could cause such a dilemma for a bunch of low-lying, easy-going surfers and their friends… who just want to go to Bali, eat some good food, surf some good waves and hang out quietly out of everyone’s way.

We waited for word on what would happen. We ummmed and aaahed about different options and I packed my life into grass woven rice baskets… The decision came early this morning. We would go. We would try to fly from Jakarta as they are the most likely flights to still run. We would be a team down two people who didn’t want to join anymore. But we would still go.

I’m flying langsung from Bali to Australia to have a mini christmas reunion with my family in the cold and remote towns of the Southern Highlands in NSW… so my life is well and truly back in limbo. With everything packed, sorted and cleaned. My room is bare except for the mattress on the floor and the grass baskets in the corner containing my worldly possessions.

Despite the kink in the plan, we seem to be back on track. With hopes of Bali fun times, laughter and a victory all high on our list… we spend one last night in Batukaras… even though we’ve already been treated to the goodbye fish and kisses and hugs from our friends and families here… we’ll lay low and skip town in the morning.

All we can hope is the volcano takes a couple of days off, relaxes a little and stops spewing its filth into our airspace.

Barefoot, ready to travel.

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