After clearing customs in Denpasar, Indonesia and arriving at the beautiful Sanur Beach Hotel in Bali around 6 PM local time, I met with my guide Scott Woolums from Mountain Trip. We were both hoping to spend some time at the resort and take the following day to rest on the Bali beaches but we got word we are to take the 2 AM flight from Bali to Timika in a few hours to get our expedition under way. We gobbled a quick dinner, sorted through our gear and packed the necessary items needed for our long journey.
We arrived at the airport at 1 AM and waited in the domestic terminal for our flight. One thing that surprised me was the number of rats roaming the terminal/gate area. I stopped counting after 21. Our flight was on time leaving at 2 AM and touching down in Timika at approximately 5:30 AM. I was pretty impressed with Garuda Indonesia Airlines using a brand new fleet of Boeing airplanes.
Once in Timika, we were briefly held up by a local airport customs/government agent requesting to see our paperwork and permits. He steered us to a separate room and started asking questions about the purpose of our visit. He was mostly trying to extort a few extra bucks after noticing our luggage and climbing gear. He wrote down our information and made copies of our passports and after waiting nearly 45 minutes, we were on our way out of the airport.
We checked into our hotel and met up with two other climbers joining our expedition. Jacob Schmitz, a guide with Mountain Madness who was on the canceled helicopter expedition and ended up joining our trek through the jungle, as that was the only way to get to Carstensz Base Camp. The other was Premlata Agarwal who is known as the oldest Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest.
After an early breakfast, we met up with team members from the local Indonesian outfitter (Romy, Yackson and Inka) and briefly discussed the logistics of the trek and the next few days. We spent the rest of the day resting and preparing for our departure to the village of Sugapa tomorrow morning.Next Post: Carstensz Day 2: Delayed in Timika Previous Post: Carstensz: expedition under way