SHARING BALI & BEYOND – FAQ

Our trips are in the preliminary planning stage so we have some work to do to answer all of your FAQ. Each trip will have a full itinerary with information on what to pack etc. once details are confirmed. We’ve made a start, so keep checking back in. Got a specific question? Feel free to email anytime. All questions are good questions. Ask away E: info@sharingbali.com

GENERAL FAQ

What’s the average age in the groups?

  • Our experience over many years running retreats at Sharing Bali, has shown that age is irrelevant. Everyone joins for the right reason, with a positive attitude whilst taking time out for themselves to have an active healthy fun holiday. The best part of any holidays is the chance to spend time with new people you wouldn’t ordinarily get to meet.

Do I need to be fit?

  • You don’t need to be the fittest or the fastest but you do need to have a general level of fitness and be free from any serious injuries or medical ailments that will either put you at risk or limit your ability to enjoy the activities. Take your own doctor’s advice. A good test for the hikes: are you able to enjoyably hike a 5km hilly trail without the need for assistance or fear of further injury? Yes? Then you are good to go.

What if everyone is at different fitness levels?

  • Nothing is a race. It’s as important to stop and take in what’s around you as it is to get to the finish. Every hike or activity will take into account the range of fitness levels within the group. There may be times you find it to be mentally or physically challenging, but also very rewarding.

I have some injuries and/or medical conditions that I am concerned about. Will I be allowed to join?

  • There is a medical background questionnaire/waiver to fill in prior booking providing us with background on your physical condition. Please fill in the form accurately. We will make an assessment about your ability and advise accordingly. Be responsible about any medical conditions you may have. Pack your medications and prescriptions as necessary.

What if I decide to skip an activity or I sleep in?

  • Skipping an activity is your choice and is fine, it’s your holiday. It is a group program so there will be no refunds or credits on unattended sessions.

What if it rains?

  • We avoid the rainy season to minimise the issue, however we can’t control the weather. We will do our best to reschedule activities to suit the conditions if necessary.

Do I need travel insurance?

  • Yes. In fact it is mandatory for all of our guests. You would be crazy to travel anywhere in the world without travel insurance. We are not liable for personal injury, death, damage to property or other loss whether arising from accident, cancellations, delays or any other matter beyond our control. Participants should insure against all such possibilities. All participants participate at their own risk.

FRENCH ALPS FAQ

Where is the closest airport/train station?

  • Fly into Lyon airport or catch the train to Grenoble.

Are transfers from the airport/train station included?

  • Group transfers are available to/from Grenoble on day 1 & 7

Do I need a visa or any other special requirements on my passport?

  • You are responsible for making your own arrangements and should check the requirements prior to departure from your home country.
  • It’s always best to travel with 2 photocopies of your passport photo page as well as saving the details to your phone or in the cloud.

Do I need any vaccinations?

  • Please seek your own medical advice prior to travelling. Always best to have tetanus up to date at a minimum.

What is the local currency and how do I change money? Any ATM’s?

  • Local currency is Euros.
  • You can preload a travel money card with Euros which can be used for cash withdrawals or card purchases. You could also have your credit card as backup or use ATM’s for cash withdrawals.
  • Best not to rely too much on exchanging cash on a daily basis.

How much cash do I need?

  • You need cash for personal spending at markets, a few meals, laundry and alcohol outside what we supply at the chalet. You may also want to rent bikes in your spare time. Credit cards are accepted at most places. Stay tuned for updated info.

I can’t speak French!

  • Making the effort to speak the local language in any country is always appreciated and makes for some interesting connections. Start now by learning the basics using www.duolingo.com (its free, fun and it works). Download Google translate app for instant solutions! https://translate.google.com

I’m travelling solo. Will I be sharing a room?

  • We chose to run Sharing Bali with no single supplements, but we can’t do the same when we use other properties. There will always be a choice of paying extra if you prefer your own space, otherwise we will buddy you up with another guest. Next best option… bring a friend, share the experience!

Is there a laundry service?

  • The Gîte has a washing machine you may use.

What’s the food like? Can I get special meals for my intolerances?

  • Food is really a big part of our trips. We always search out for authentic food using local produce. We love healthy food, and always load up on fresh fruit and vegetables but you can’t immerse in the French culture without enjoying a little bread, wine, cheese and pastries.
  • We can cater for vegetarians and we will do our best to cater for any specific food needs, however please confirm any special dietary needs before booking.
  • Please note that for reasons of safety we cannot take guests who have a fatal allergy to any food/food groups. Many of our meals are shared and we won’t have the facilities to cook separately to safely eliminate specific ingredients.

Do you serve alcohol?

  • Local wine is a speciality to enjoy. It will be included in some meals. Best not to over indulge as we have an active program every day. Avoid dehydration! Stay tuned for updated info

What if I eat out in instead of with the group.

  • That’s your choice, but there will not be any refund or credits on any meals you miss.

How do I stay in touch with my friends and family? Is there any WiFi?

There are a couple of options to consider:

  • Organise a global roaming deal with your provider before you leave home.
  • Buy a local sim card with data credit. Make free calls with apps such as Messenger, Skype or Whats App using your data.
  • WiFi is available at the chalet.
  • France code is +33.

To use your phone with a local sim card ensure you do the following:

  • Your phone must be unlocked and ready to accept a new sim card BEFORE you leave home
  • Bring the device to release the sim card on your iPhone

How safe is it at the chalet or in the town?

  • We do everything possible to keep you and your personal possessions safe during the trip, but we expect you to help us out by taking reasonable care of your own possessions once you leave the chalet on day trips/activities.
  • You can find trouble anywhere in the world if you go looking for it. Be a respectful traveller.
  • We draw the line at helping any of our guests who have broken the law, especially in regards to narcotics.

What if I get sick or injured?

  • Closest hospital with Emergency and Accident facilities is in Grenoble (1 hr). There are medical centres in most of the surrounding towns.
  • We do everything possible to avoid injuries to our guests and appreciate it if you could take notice of our advice about local conditions.
  • Our trainers and guides are experienced and will advise you to train within limits that reduce the risk of injury. Please listen! It’s not worth injuring yourself.
  • If we feel that participating in an activity will be a risk to the health and safety of yourself and others, we will discuss the situation with you and where possible offer an alternative. Ultimately, we will not allow you to participate if we feel there is unreasonable risk.
  • Be responsible about any medical conditions you may have. Pack your medications and prescriptions as necessary.
  • It is mandatory (and smart) to take out travel insurance. You would be crazy to travel anywhere in the world without it.

TIMOR FAQ

It does take some preparation to travel to East Timor. We want you to have the best info possible so keep checking back here for updates.

Where is the closest airport?

  • Fly into Dili airport.
  • Make sure you have your baggage tickets as they are manually checked in the baggage claim area.
  • The crowd of taxi drivers in the arrival area can be overwhelming. Stay calm. Find the taxi sign and get a blue taxi (metered)

Do I need a visa or any other special requirements on my passport?

  • There is a $US30 Tourist Visa On Arrival fee. Cash only.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for six months and has two empty pages
  • It’s always best to travel with 2 photocopies of your passport photo page as well as saving the details to your phone or in the cloud.

Where do we meet on Day 1? What time do I need to be there?

Do I need any vaccinations?

  • Please seek your own medical advice prior to travelling. Best to have tetanus up to date at a minimum. I personally don’t take malaria tablets as it is not endemic to the island.

What is the local currency and how do I change money? Any ATM’s?

  • Local currency is $USD.
  • I recommend you arrive with $USD in cash. There is an ATM at the airport and many in Dili.
  • ATM and currency exchange is NOT available on the island.

How much cash do I need?

  • You need cash for personal spending at markets, alcohol, and additional activities such as snorkel and boat hire, diving, massages. Use this list as a guide: Beer $3, Wine $6, Coconut $2, Massages $25, Snorkel $3, Private boat tour $80 per boat, (max 6 passengers) Airport taxi 10

Is there any English spoken?

  • Very little English. The national language is Portuguese, Tetun is the local language, many speak Indonesian. The lodge staff and our guides speak a little English, my grasp of Indonesian covers the gaps! Making the effort to speak the local language is always appreciated and makes for some interesting connections. Start now by learning the basics of Tetun using http://translate.tetumdili.com/

I’m travelling solo. Will I be sharing a room?

  • No need to share, but solo travellers will have smaller bungalows on the island.

Do the rooms have air conditioning or fans?

  • The bungalows are well designed for ventilation and have a ceiling fan above the bed. No need for AC. The ocean is metres from your bungalow for a refreshing dip anytime.
  • Your hotel room in Dili has AC and you can cool off in the swimming pool.

Do I have my own bathroom?

  • Bathroom facilities on the island are shared to minimise infrastructure for waste management using environmentally friendly systems. You will be bathing “mandi style” (requires you to toss ladles of cool water over yourself). It is refreshing and you will embrace the simple luxury of it in no time.
  • Your hotel room in Dili is fully equipped with bathroom, AC, TV, WiFi, coffee/tea.

Is there a laundry service?

  • This can be organised if needed. (Will be dried in the sun).

What’s the food like? Can I get special meals for my intolerances?

  • Each meal is served buffet style, so you get to make choices from a range of vegetables, fish and chicken. Fresh food is not grown in abundance on this island, unlike Sharing Bali, some supplies have to come in from Dili. Delicious local fish is a speciality to enjoy.
  • Please discuss any special dietary needs before booking.
  • Please note that for reasons of safety we cannot take guests who have a fatal allergy to any food/food groups. Meals are shared and there is no ability to cook separately to safely eliminate specific ingredients.

What about drinks?

  • Help yourself to the best local coffee all day. Tea and fresh drinking water is also available. Refill your sports water bottle in the dining area. Beer, some soft drinks and coconut water are available to buy. If you enjoy wine, buy a bottle in Dili and put it in the shared fridge.

What if I eat out in instead of with the group.

  • That’s your choice, but there will not be any refund or credits on any meals you miss.

How do I stay in touch with my friends and family? Is there any WiFi?

No Wifi. This is your chance to get off the grid! You are welcome to send SMS messages to family on my phone or:

  • Organise a global roaming deal with your provider before you leave home.
  • Buy a local sim card with data credit at the airport or go to Timor Plaza in Dili.

To use your phone with a local sim card ensure you do the following

  • your phone must be unlocked and ready to accept a new sim card BEFORE you leave home
  • bring the device to release the sim card on your iPhone

*internet access is slow and random, it can be a frustrating time waster, so have patience!

How safe is it?

  • We do everything possible to keep you and your personal possessions safe during the trip, but we expect you to help us out by taking reasonable care of your own possessions especially on day trips/activities.
  • There is a safe for valuables on the island.
  • Personally, I sleep with my door open and never lock my room on the island. There is a lock, that’s your choice.
  • I felt very safe in Dili, but I am sensibly cautious. My top tips are pretty much the same for any new place I travel to: dress respectfully, don’t flash money around; best not to be wandering the streets at night if you don’t know the area; only use Blue Taxis (avoid the yellow taxis, they are not metered); ask your hotel for advice/directions (they will call a Blue Taxi for you). Be friendly, respectful and it comes back to you. I shopped at the Tais market, very comfortably. No one harasses you.

FYI: We draw the line at helping any of our guests who have broken the law, especially in regards to narcotics.

What if I get sick or injured?

  • We do everything possible to avoid injuries to our guests and appreciate it if you could take notice of our advice about local conditions.
  • Our trainers and guides are experienced and will advise you to train within limits that reduce the risk of injury. Please listen! It’s not worth injuring yourself.
  • If we feel that participating in an activity will be a risk to the health and safety of yourself and others, we will discuss the situation with you and where possible offer an alternative. Ultimately, we will not allow you to participate if we feel there is unreasonable risk.
  • Be responsible about any medical conditions you may have. Pack your medications and prescriptions as necessary.
  • The lodge has first aid kits. Please bring your own personal kit as an additional precaution.
  • There is a clinic and ambulance on the island. Medevac is available in an emergency. The plane is based in Dili. Takes 30 mins to get to the island.
  • it is mandatory (and smart) to take out travel insurance. You would be crazy to travel anywhere in the world without it. READ THE FINE PRINT. Please ensure you are covered for medevac.

I would like to make a difference to the community. How can I contribute?

  • Your $25 donation as part of your trip payment goes direct to community projects managed by our hosts. You are welcome to make further cash donations. Be assured that it is money well spent.
  • Buying arts and crafts from the co-ops and markets we visit puts money directly back into the community. I spent around $100 on beautiful treasures over a 10 day stay.
  • Every time you snorkel on the reef your $2 donation goes to the fund set up to protect the reef.
  • You will meet many volunteers and NGO workers during your stay. By taking an interest in their projects you will find out how you can make a contribution.
  • Many guest asks about bringing kids clothes or school supplies. As transport to the island is on small boats, luggage becomes an issue. It is best to make cash donations to our hosts. They buy local school supplies and distribute them to all schools on the island.

I’m staying on in Dili. Any suggestions on where to go, what to do?

  • I took a trip to the Tais Market to buy beautiful handwoven textiles. It’s a short taxi ride from the hotel. Head out to the Area Branca beach area to hike up to the famous Cristo Rei statue, join the people running/walking along the path or just chill out at the beach side restaurants. It’s very easy to book onto half or one day city tours from the hotel. The coffee plantation trip is popular.