After one last morning swimming among the rainbow reefs, we took the boat back to Sorong without a clue where to stay or how to get back to Bali. The first mission was to meet up with a Biodiversity representative on the mainland so that we could go to an ATM to pay-off the rest of our bill. (Pro tip: stock up on cash before leaving the mainland!) He turned out to be the nicest young chubby kid who ended up helping us find a place and even invited us over for his mom’s home-cooking. Of course we agreed, but had no idea we were actually walking into a gathering of about 30 young teenagers from his christian youth group. The price of dinner turned out to be posing for pictures, helping kids practice english, and singing christian hymns that they just assumed we knew since we were white. The family was extremely welcoming and it was a good distraction from the stress of not being able to find a flight out the next day.
Sorong is not the type of place you want to be stuck in for long so we decided to just go for broke and spend the next day at the airport figuring something out. Turned out to be a wise decision and I’ll just summarize by copying my facebook status update when we made it back to Bali:
“Woke up at 5am in the backwater port town of Sorong, Indonesia with no exit strategy since all upcoming flights found online were sold out or ridiculously expensive. Crossing our fingers, we cabbed to the airport and found one Lionair ticket window open at 5:30. Initially hoping just to make it out to one of the hub airports, the lady behind the counter managed to string together Sorong->Ambon->Makassar->Denpasar for surprisingly cheap. Despite it being known as one of Indonesia’s sketchiest airlines, the transfer windows being about 30 minutes each, and the fact that the first flight was boarding as we withdrew the cash needed to buy the ticket using the one bank card between us that hadn’t already reached its daily maximum, we landed in Bali (with bags!) and were in Ubud by lunchtime. The travel gods sure smiled upon Georgia and I today.”