Lombok, the Gili islands
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the ferry to lombok was supposed to take anywhere from 4-7 hours. we boarded, found seats, thought we would have a smooth and uneventful crossing, until we realised there was a karaoke machine onboard !! haha.. so the whole (what turned out to be 6 hours) was spent sitting listening to bad singing on an awful system with only treble. well.. beggars can’t be choosers.
so, we arrived at lembar starving (since we were not supporting the onboard monopoly of prices for pop-mie), ran off the ferry, got a couple of pop-mies and haggled for a van to take us to sengiggi. arriving there late again the only cheap hotel we could find was a dump, but it was too late to get to the gili islands so we waited it out one night, settling for a small bar and cold bintangs.
next morning we were up early, caught a bus, a bemo and walked the final half kilometer to where the boats went to the gilis. we booked tickets to trawangan and waited… and waited….. and waited… it took almost 4 hours for enough people to come and fill the boat, so we had to lie on the benches and try to get some sleep.. i found a small stall that had nasi goreng wrapped in banana leaves which tasted good.. and it was actually quite nice to sit and watch the ocean for a while.
anyways, the boat came, we arrived, we walked the length of the island twice looking for a place to stay (laughing to death at the signs outside almost all the hotels: best fucking magicmushroom for trip to moon for free and back), found a dirt cheap, friendly hotel next to the water, washed up and spent the next 5 days relaxing, sitting on the beach, snorkelling, walking to the other side to see sunset, laying in the small huts and watching movies at night while eating great food from the irish pub and drinking arak sunrise.. wonderful. we met some wicked people there also, ash from australia and a couple of canadians who we spent some nights sitting on the beach drinking bottles of arak with. it was a cosy island, beautiful nature, friendly people, almost empty, just the kind of chilled out place you want after 6 months on the road….. perfect….especially after the disaster of bali..ugh.