! It truly felt like we were on some paradise island. Late in the afternoon we decided to go to an Indonesian cooking class that the hotel were running! We learnt how to make Nasi Goreng - or Fried Rice and it was very simple and very tasty! Another thing for the repetoire when we get back! Haha! We needed to get petrol for the scooter before it was picked up and grabbed something to eat! Oliver is basically living off Banana pancakes here! We tried to wash the bike down with some bottled water as it was a bit grubby from the off-roading we'd been doing but it didn't really work! The boys arrived to collect it and all was well. Apart from the fact that we forgot to give them the helmet! We had to leave it with reception today so I hope they returned it. We then packed up last night ready for our trip back to Bali today. This is the first place that I am actually not ready to leave yet! As much as I have enjoyed some of the other countries I have known it was time to move on and was ready for the next leg. But, not here! I feel that there is more to see of this beautiful island and we will definitely be back to see it. I guess I am more of a beach bum than a culture vulture after all!
This morning we had breakfast in the hotel, caught an episode of Everybody loves Raymond (Haha!) and went to reception to wait for the transfer. Much to our surprise the driver was there half an hour early and we were on our way! What this did mean was that we arrived at the port in Lembar very early too so we sat and waited to board the ferry, which was due to leave at 12 noon. We sat in a difficult to describe place - a sort of cafe room type thing but all I do know was that it was very hot! Once again the company were useless with regards to information and we were still sat there at 13.00! Apparently the sea was a bit rough so the crossing was delayed. I wasn't looking forward to six hours of rough sea and it was going to be late arriving back to Bali
. Anyway, we eventually boarded and it was a different vessel to the one we came over on. We sat down in the one and only lounge only to be descended upon by some local guys demanding money for sitting in the air conditioned area! I went off to find somewhere else but apart from sitting outside on plastic seats there was nothing! We knew that these guys were trying it on but thought it might be easier to just pay them rather than be continuously hassled. I asked to see an ID card, which one of them produced but which was also probably made up on the computer at the local internet cafe! I also asked a local old lady if she had paid but the guys starting shouting to her (obviously telling her to say yes!) and as she was on her own and they were quite aggressive I didn't want to cause trouble for her. Rightly or wrongly we gave them the £1.60 they wanted and they left us in peace! I was glad we did as a fight broke out between a western guy - I think he was Dutch - and a couple of the locals. He was refusing to pay and then snatched the ID card to take to the captain. Part of me thought good on him but then it is a dangerous situation to get into too. There was a lot of swearing and pushing and shoving, including of his girlfriend, and they left the lounge. They did come back once the boat had departed and all of the local guys had got off! So, in the comfort of the air conditioned lounge (which subsequently became full when the vehicles boarded and lots of locals arrived, none of which paid any money) we set off for Bali
. To our surprise and my delight within three hours we were back alongside the port in Padangbai. Somehow we had ended up on the fast ferry, which was a bonus! Well, it meant that we were on time given the delay. Once again the company were useless and after walking back to their office they ushered us into a taxi to take us to Sanur. It was no real surprise that the taxi wouldn't drop us to the hotel and instead just took us into the centre of the resort. We stopped a couple of local taxis who wanted an extortionate amount to take us down the road but Oliver's bartering techniques are coming along and we paid just 10,000 rupiah or about 80p to get back to Villa Puri Ayu. It was kind of nice to be back here. The room is a little smaller and no outside bathroom compared to when we were here last week but it is still nice. In fact, the hotel is lovely but I think I'd definitely choose the Novotel and Lombok - guess that'll just have to wait though. For now, we have a couple of days back here on Bali before flying to Singapore on Saturday.
Yesterday was our final day on Lombok and we made the most of it. Up early and onto the beach for a lazy day! We spent the morning in and out of the pool, in and out of the bar and in and out of our books! Just heaven! We called the company that we booked our trip from Bali with to confirm our transfer back for today. Given them wanting the extra money etc on the way over I didn't have much confidence but they agreed to collect us from the Novotel so fingers crossed. We headed out for an early lunch and arranged to have the scooter picked up later that day. After that strenuous activity we went back to the beach! We were going to take out some snorkelling equipment and explore the bay but the tide was too low! Ah shame, back to the sun lounger it was! The waves were calling Oliver and he was keen to go back to Gerupuk and surf again but we were just enjoying doing absolutely nothing! If the truth be told Oliver was maybe a little bored after the first 10 minutes but I couldn't think of anything better! Mid-afternoon it started to rain a little bit and we took refuge on one of the sheltered hammocks