Fast boat to Bali
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
92Trip End Apr 22, 2011
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Time is ticking on and we only have a short time left in Indonesia which is sad. Having left The Jaya on the Monday morning we finished our breakfast burritos on the beach and said our goodbyes. I wanted a room with hot water as I was desperate for a long hot steamy shower with lots of soap and shampoo. The Island has changed in the week we have been away, high season has started and the place is packed. Everything has gone up in price and we really struggled to get a room we could afford. We are paying nearly £30 for a room with hot water and A/C which is way off our normal budget but it is a treat for one clean night.
We still have to finish paying for our trip so we need to make a few more trips to our favourite air conditioned room, the local ATM. The bank, however have blocked our credit card due to unusual transactions on our account....well 18 transactions in 10 days who can blame them! A quick call to Santander to unblock the card and we are back in funds again. With 4 million Rupiah in our pocket we walk the promenade towards the north of the island and the Gili Divers shop to pay our dues. On the way we buy our fast boat ticket for Bali the day after next and check emails in the internet cafe next door. By the time we got to the dive shop and paid them what we owed, we were down to a million Rupiah again, easy come!!!!
We got friendly with Anna and Christian the dive instructors on the boat, we had a lot in common including types of books we read and films we watch. They also love Texas Holdem Poker, so Christian arranged a poker night for when we got back on dry land. The poker night was meant to happen the next evening but they had a night dive booked so couldn't do it. It was changed to the night after that and we ended up changing our leave date and staying another day.....that sounds familiar!!
We changed rooms the next day to a cheaper room round the corner, which was very nice but no hot water. It did come with breakfast which was the nicest we have had on Gili T. We spent the day in the internet cafe uploading the blog. The videos and photo took over three hours to go on and I still missed one of the videos off. I had a very numb bum by the end.
We are still getting up at dawn, which makes us very tired at night. We are both struggling to keep our eyes open after 9pm. It is our last day on Gili T and we went to visit our friend in the north of the island with his wooden sunbathing platforms, he was very happy to see us. We lazed around all day getting ready for a big poker tournament that night. We met at the dive shop for the poker night. The Jaya was leaving today with its new customers, we tried very hard to sneak aboard but they wouldn’t let us. We chatted with a couple of them before they got on and told them what a great trip they were in for. The poker night was great fun, it was good to see Anna and Christian again, we also played with the owner, Neill and his wife Jenny and Cedric a funny French guy who is a restaurant owner/dive shop partner who loved the word bastard and used it in every sentence. It was an enjoyable evening and the beer flowed, nice and cheap too as Gary got it for the same cost as the staff. I came third but Neill and Jenny came away with the money prizes, still a fun night that didn’t set us back too much.
The fast boat to Bali the next day was two and half hours of bumping and crashing over waves followed by two hours of bumping and crashing over pot holes in a bus to Kuta. The traffic was crazy busy and the noise level was deafening.....oh why did we leave the islands. We finally found a room after a long walk round, dumped our stuff and headed straight for McDonalds. It had been a long day and we were both exhausted and grumpy. We fell into bed and I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Six o’clock in the morning and I am awake again, I do hope this wear’s off soon. Everything seemed a little calmer this morning now we have had a good night sleep, we had a good walk round Kuta to see what we could remember. I found one place that was there fourteen years ago, other than that everything else has grown and changed. There is a large monument in the heart of the main street, put up for the victims of the Bali bomb in 2002, some many names on it! We went to have a look at the beach again, we had stumbled across it the night before just as the sun was going down, you would believe how many people were sitting on the beach watching the sunset, all waiting to get that perfect photo of sunset and surfers. The beach was a bit quieter during the day but the sea was full of surfers all trying to ride the big waves coming in.
We spent the evening on the phone to Virgin Atlantic, two hours trying bring our flight forward so we don’t go over our visa date. We now leave Lombok on the 5th August for a 3 day stay back in Singapore with Jane and Jimmy and then on to Sydney.
The next day we took a walk along the beach and stopped at one of the vendors for a drink on the beach. The guy grabbed a couple of plastic chairs, set them down in the sand for us and then went back to get two beer crates as tables. We enjoyed our drinks on the beach not too bothered by the sellers walking past try to peddle their sarongs, wooden masks and more worrying crossbow and arrows. We watched the surfing community try their best against the waves and newbie’s having lessons, it was a very relaxing couple of hours.
That night we went to a restaurant called Alley Cats that we had been recommended. English owned, it did great food at cheap prices. Gary had meatballs and mash and I had Fish Fingers, mash and beans...... it’s funny what you miss when your away for a while! There are hundreds of DVD shops selling everything from the latest films to up to date series. Knowing we are going to have a TV/DVD in the campervan we have stocked up on some of the series we have missed. We have bought eight series and a couple of films for £20...bargain. We had a DVD player in our room so we watch some and tested others and they seem fine. I finally got to see Eclipse the latest Twilight film, so I am happy now.
A rainy day had us hauled up in our room watching DVD’s for the day, sometimes you just have to do it. The following day we headed south to spend the night with my cousin Jane and Jimmy and the rest of the Moran’s as they are on holiday in Bali for a week. We got up early and packed our stuff before heading out to breakfast. Just to prove yet again what a small world it is, while checking emails in reception of our hotel, Justin and Christian from the boat walk in. They booked in that night and out of the hundreds of hotels in Kuta they choose the same one we were in. We chatted with them for a bit and then went off for breakfast. We found a mini bus to take us to Jimbaran, which is up in the hills outside Kuta. The driver knew the road so it was just a case of finding the villa they were staying in. After asking a few locals we finally found it but everyone had gone out, we told the drive to go and crossed our fingers we were at the right address. While we stood outside waiting the manager of the property opposite invited us to come and wait in his property. These villas are enormous. Five bedroom places with swimming pool, Cinema room, huge lounge and a dining room table that could seat twenty. We chatted with the manager for a while, he told us that this was one of thirty five properties he managed for an English company, some places where as big as this some smaller, they were all holiday homes and you get two staff with it to clean up and cook. When his wife and kids came back we got ushered in to the Cinema room which had massive leather sofas and came out with a tray with beer and two glasses. We sat and relaxed and waited for the Moran’s to come home.
The car pulled up outside and we heard voices we recognised. It was good to see everyone again and we got greeted with big hugs. The villa they had rented for a week was just as lovely, spacious rooms, nice pool, lovely staff and fantastic views. It was lots of fun catching up and meeting two more Moran boys, although I did feel guilty kicking John out his room for the night. As usual the drinks flowed and the food was fabulous and we had a brilliant day. The boys left early the next morning, they were off to do scuba diving courses, and we sat round the pool with Carol, Jane and Andy and baby Andrew, until our driver turned up to take us to the next stage of our journey, Ubud.
Great catching up with everyone, thanks again for your fantastic hospitality, we will make it up to you once we are back in the UK.