Lombok to Surabaya
Trip Start Apr 30, 2004
88Trip End Jan 28, 2005
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Where I stayed
For the journey from Mataram to Surabaya we had 2 ticket choices, tour company bus for 200,000-250,000 or the public bus for 125,000. Having tried both options previously we know they provide exactly the same service, the only difference usually is that the public bus is always full. We take the public bus option and between us save 150,000 which will pay for our next room and a couple of meals.
We had to be forcibly removed form our room with a full bathroom and petals on the pillows to get in a bemo to Mataram.
The public bus was full, but its the same as the tour company buses with air con and reclining seats. It left on time at 11am and by midday we were driving on t othe ferry at Lembar. Packed to the gunnels. Mostly with backpackers, in fact it was the first time since Singapore that we'd come across a full platoon of the grunge monkey army. The hours flew by as we surreptisiously observed them on board. In their attempte to look cool, slightly edgy, or hardcore, many backpackers fail miserably and just look plain ridiculous. We thank them one and all for the entertainment they provide.
Despite rough seas the ferry made good time and by 4pm we were just off the port of Padangabai in Bali. Unfortunately we remained there for an hour and a half waiting for another ferry to offload and move out, very frustrating.
By the time we'd docked and driven off the ferry the sun was setting. We travelled the length of Bali and didn't see a thing.
Saturday means world service sport, so at 10pm Indonesian time I dig out the radio. The reception is intermittent, and incredibly frustrating. But by the end of the 2 hr program I have all the days football scores, the latest Olympic news and I heard a snippet of cricket commentary as they went live to the Oval? as Marcus
Trescothick hit the winning run against the Windies. So with that, Forest earning a credible draw away at Leeds and Liverpool beating Man City 2-1, I went to sleep content. Rene was already asleep.
Expenses (16500 rupiah/pound): bus/boat ticket 250000, internet 17000, fruit and water 8000.
Sun 22 Aug - Day 112
The ferry between Gilinanuk on Bali and Ketapang on Java takes an hour. The noise of docking, metal on metal, wakes us. It's 1am.
From our seats on the bus we see 10 men and several boys leap from the dock onto the ferry. Bus bandits, armed with guitars. Within seconds, a guitar toting man and a boy of about 10 are stood in the aisle ready to perform. It's like waiting for sting to sing, you know its going to be 3 minutes of low quality warbling, and it was. But give them their due, it takes a special kind of hard nosed nerve and maybe a little desperation to jump on a bus full of uncomfortable, just got to sleep, wake ma and I'll kill you passengers and start wailing, strumming and a clapping for money. In the UK they'd have been lynched and kicked off the bus wearing aa guitar necklace, but in Indonesia it seems to be part of the national psyche to just accept whatever happens. Noone uttered a word of protest and some gave them money.
Luckily we're awake at 6aam when the bus stops briefly at the Surabaya bus station a full 3 hours earlier than we were led to believe. The bus station clock says 5am and we reaslise that in the travel timewarp that is Indonesia we're back in a GMT + 7 zone.
A metred taxi drops us outside Paviljoen Hotel in Central Surabaya where we stayed 2 weeks ago. It doesn't open until 6am so we have a wander through the fresh food market thats set up nearby. It's a very busy place at 5.30am. Full of people buying their daily produce. From fish to chicken gizzards, hanging meat to any kind of fruit and veg, it's all available here. Several women have large boiling oil filled woks and great tubs of batter mix into which they drop anything they can lay their hands on to produce a fritter. Rene carefully selected a cuople of pisang (banana) fritters which were delicious.
The friendly elderly owner of Paviljeon allowed us in our room at 6.30am and we had a couple of hours sleep.
Our Becaak (Man pedalled 3 wheeler) driver looked about 90; he only had 1 tooth but it was a pearler, big and yellow like a walrusses. Theres only a couple of small inclines on the way to the Pelni office but it was a real struggle for him. Getting out and helping to push isn't an option, the driver would lose face which is very important to Indonesians, but the way he was rasping we were more concerned with him losing his life, but he made to the Pelni building and we purchased our tickets to Nunukan.
Doing as little as possible kept us fratically busy for the rest of the day.
Expenses: taxi 30000, becak 20000, bfast 3000, Pelni boat ticket 1473200, juice 15000, photos 100000, new knickers (hurrah) 127200, supermarket 27725, dinner 90000, hair bobbles 8000, purse 20000, internet 52000, lunch 95000, Bushmills 229000.