Posts Tagged With: lombok
After five beautiful days in Ubud it was time to say goodbye. We were certainly sad to leave, but excited about making our way to the Gili Islands. The beach and scuba diving were calling us! The Gili Islands are three atolls off the bigger Indonesian Island, Lombok. They are surrounded by white sand, crystal clear waters and supposedly many turtles. We really wanted to see turtles!
We had chosen to take the the slow ferry as it was a whole lot cheaper than the fast boat (150,000 rupiah compared to 400,000), but let me tell you it wasn’t our best decision. First of all, we were told the trip would take six hours in total, compared to three hours on the fast boat, which didn’t sound too bad, but that was definitely not the case. We were picked up from our guesthouse at 7:30, taken to Padang Bai and then ushered to an area where would wait for the ferry that was meant to be arriving at 9am. However, 9 o’clock came and no ferry, 10 o’ clock and still no ferry and then finally just before 11am the boat arrived. With the long wait we did make some new friends though, both English boys (Thomas and Adam), but one was living in New Zealand and working on those luxury yachts that travel the world (I hear it’s really good money). They were heading to Lombok to do some surfing, so at least we had good company to kill the time.
The moment the ferry left port, it was way past 11 and we still had 5 hours to go before reaching Gili T (should have paid the extra dollar). Anyway, we were still in for a big surprise. Not really knowing or even being told the process, we arrived on Lombok and didn’t have a clue what was what.
“Where was Gili T and why weren’t we there yet”. Six long hours had passed already and we were getting suspicious.
We started chatting to few people and discovered that we needed to take a mini bus to the other side of the island and then only from there, would we get another boat to Gili T, that would probably take another hour (sad face).
“Okay cool, lets do it, theres no other way”.
That mini bus ride took around two hours through the mountains of Lombok, which I must say were very scenic and we only arrived at the pier just after 6pm. We were then told to wait another 30min as we needed more people to arrive or the boat wouldn’t go. It had to be full or there was no starting that engine. I think we finally got onto to that boat just after 6 and made it to Gili T at 7. Oh my word! 12 HOURS! The flipping journey took 12 hours. I was exhausted, irritable, angry, and every other word you can use to describe being deceived. A twist of the truth, a lie, whatever you want to call it. They had made fools of us. The funny thing is I had actually read about it before arriving in Ubud. There had been a blog and someone had said “don’t take the slow ferry, it takes 12 hours and it aint worth it”. Silly me fell into the trap of believing anything I heard, so when the assistant at our hotel said:
“No sir, it only take 6 hours, I said ” are you sure?”, and he said ” yes sir, 100 percent”, I crumbled and went for it! It actually wasn’t that bad though. Looking back it was all part of the experience! It’s a learning journey and I loved all of it. The good and the bad. When we did get there, everything was forgotten. This is what we were greeted with.
The ferry trip was long but it had its charms. We met some cool people and had some interesting conversations. If we had just been told from the beginning that it would take such a long time, we could have been mentally prepared for what was ahead of us, or we could have just taken the fast boat and been there in two hours. Another problem we had was that we were meeting friends on Gili T. We had convinced each other that because we were on the slow boat (poor teachers from Thailand) and leaving at 7, we would probably arrive on Gili T around 1. They were taking the fast boat (pounds go a long way in Asia) and would be leaving at 11 and probably be arriving at the same time, so surely we would run into each other. But as you now know this was not the case. When we did arrive, six hours later, we booked into the first room we could find at 100,000 rupiah a night (not the greatest room, but we were too tired to look for anything better), got cleaned up and went on the hunt to find our comrades.
After coming back to life with a shower and a couple shots of arak (local palm wine, that I had dodgily bought on Lombok), we walked the street a few times looking for the crew but no luck. Greg and the girls were no where to be found. A quick stop in at the net cafe, and I was able to send a message telling them we had arrived and would be going to the famous wednesday night Irish party. We had heard on the way, that Gili Trawangan has three main parties. One on Monday at Blue Marlin. Wednesday is at the Irish Bar and the Friday party is at Rudy’s. This seems to be the weekly occurrence, which was in our favor. It was wednesday, there was a party at the Irish bar and surely we would run into them there. Where else could they go? We found a restaurant along the road leading to the irish pub, started drinking mojitos and waited. After our second round and a pizza, who did we see, but Mr Greg himself. Success! We had found our friend and now it was time to experience what Gili T had to offer.