The Guide That Wouldn't Leave

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Our bemo ride to Ende was definately interesting. Loads of cigarette smoke and loud music. I think our driver was the local cool guy and he had to make sure of this by honking and waving and stopping as often as he could for 4.5 hours. Once we made it to town we were followed by another guide who took us to a hotel that was ok, but when we checked out they tried to charge us more. We tried to get on the internet and walked all over town trying to find computers that worked for 3 hours. We did manage to find out that our wonderful friend Emma had booked us into the Sheraton on Lombok for a 3 day stay courtesy of her. Our check in date was the next day, but we couldn't book any flights till the morning so I called up and changed the check in date (twice actually). No one really knows when planes leave or if they will, but there's a small airport in Ende and 3 or 4 companies who do flights. Most of them go through Timor and we didn't want to do that. We ran around trying to find anyone who could help us, but in true style they all told us different things. Our night was really stressful as we didn't want to give up a great opportunity, but we were helpless at least until tomorrow. We ate some great street food and then took some valium and went to bed. Later that night the guide knocked on our door to see if we wanted to go out for dinner. It was a bit strange because we'd already said, "goodnight" and told him we'd eaten.
He took us to an airline office in the morning so we could book tickets. No planes till the next day so we were stuck. We decided to take a motorbike to the nearby mountain of Kelimatu which has 3 crater lakes that change colour every few years depending on the mineral layer exposed to the water at that time. The ride was gorgeous although a little potholey. Everyone we passed waved furiously and were all friendly. You can take a bike up to the top and just walk 30 mins to see the view and the lakes. A fat, gay man who's had a heart attack could have done it (not that I know anyone like that....) It was our laziest hike yet, but the view was great and we were all alone. We ate in the nearby town of Moni where I had to show the owner how to make a milkshake and explain that spaghetti bolognaise has meat in it. By the end of the day our bums were sore from sitting on a bike for hours.
We ate with the guide and the French people this night and decided to have an early one. We had declined an offer to go to the bar with the guide but hours later after Ben was asleep and I was reading he came and knocked on our door for around 10 mins. It started softly and then it just kept going and going and going. He was a little drunk and I thought it was very inappropriate so I opened the door and yelled at him. It was the 2nd night in a row!
We were very happy to be getting on a plane as there's not a lot to do in Ende. I was really scared about how small the plane would be, but it was actually a small jet - a focker and we were served cake. We skipped over Indonesia and bounced around over the clouds. The clouds were massive and hurtling up in the sky above us. How do you fly a plane straight when the nose is dancing all over the place? I thought we were going to come down for sure. We landed safely in Bali and found out we could take a ferry to Lombok that night as they run 24 hours. Our travel day was long. A kid puked all over himself in one of the vans from the airport. We had to take 3 and the ferry ride was 5 hours. We got into Lombok around midnight and exhausted. On the ferry we had sat in the VIP compartment where you can sleep on the ground. Luckily we found a guesthouse that was open that late and got a lovely little room. The next morning we found a van that could take us straight to Senggegi which is only 1-2 hours North of the port. We arrived in time for Ramadam which meant that local muslims didn't sell food during the day. That was ok though because I planned on using my room in the Sheraton for everything even eating.

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