Schapelle Corby’s enforced stay in paradise is almost over. And she’s making the most of every minute.
On May 27, the convicted Bali drug mule will have served her time.
She’ll be able to return to Australia for the first time since October 2004.
All she has left to do is keep her low profile and stay out of trouble for two more months.
Then, if all goes well when fronting the Bali parole board, she gets deported.
Back to Australia.
On the first available flight.
It could have been worse.
Corby, then 27, was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempting to smuggle 4.1kg of cannabis into Bali. That meant a release date of 2024.
But, on February 10, 2014, the high-profile prisoner — who always protested her innocence — won parole. She was the first Australian to ever win such a reprieve.
She could leave prison. But not Bali.
Since then it’s been a waiting game.
And one of hide-and-seek. Her parole conditions specify the 39-year-old must avoid media.
Even though the media keeps seeking her out.
But it’s not all a waiting game.
Schapelle’s routine is well established.
Every morning she steps out of the Kuta apartment she rents with her brother, bright and early.
Beyond her usual large sunglasses, there’s no attempt at disguise.
Then it’s a short scooter ride to a bright-blue local beach for a jog. Sometimes a swim.
But it’s an illusion of freedom, acted out in the shadow of Kerobokan Prison just a few kilometres away.
She must return to the apartment. She must lay low. She must regularly present herself to police.
It’s been 12 years since the Gold Coast beauty therapist’s nightmare began.
A lot has changed back home since then.
Her plans for life back in Australia remain unknown. She has diligently remained silent whenever tempted to talk by persistent media.
This time it’s been Channel 9. They’ve caught her on the run. Taking a dip. Even shopping.
But, when approached while climbing on to her scooter, she steadfastly refused to talk.
Only once back in Australia will Schapelle be free to tell her side of the story.
And free it probably will have to be.
The Australian federal Proceeds of Crime Act means she faces confiscation of any money made from selling her story.