Finding Gili Meno

Trip Start Oct 27, 2004
Trip End Aug 17, 2005

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Tuesday, May 17, 2005

We left Kuta on a series of over-priced Bemos (Local public mini-bus) that seemed to take us around the whole island before we arrived in Padang Bai, the port for Lombok ferries. The crossing was a delight with the sun setting over the impressive volcanic peaks of Bali as the mass of Gunung Rinjani (3700m) on Lombok loomed ever closer. We were forever beseiged with Indonesia's favorite question, "Hello, where are you going?". Unfortunately most Indonesians don't speak much more English than this and our Bahasa Indonesia is still only in it's conception stages, so the reply is usually ignored or greeted with a smile and a nod.

We made friends with a Javanese man who was on his way to work on the Lombok power supply, Yubi and his friends were kind enough to drive us to Mattaram (the capital) and arrange us a taxi at a proper price to Sengigi. They even sorted us out with a packet of Nasi Campur (Mixed rice) and Frestea (Iced tea) to see us on our way! The kindness of Indonesian people can not be overstated.

After a refreshing night spent on a bed with springs (a real luxury at this point, the norm being foam or shredded coconut husks) we were ready to spend another day being ripped off by bemo drivers. Ripped off we got, nonetheless we arrived in Gili Meno safe and sound, we even managed to get some digs by the sea for less than 2 quid! Saltwater shower and roof full of giant gekos thrown in for free.

A week spent on Gili Meno was a week well spent indeed, coral reefs, turtles, beers, sunsets and smiles! What more can we say? Just look at the pictures.

After this we decided to book ourselves a four-day/four-night "cruise" along the north coast of Sumbawa to the island of Flores. All inclusive price of $15 per person per day seemed like a bargain. What's the worst that could happen? A non stop rollercoaster ride eating nothing but rice and veg on a boat load of non-English speakers? Surely not! Read on...
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