Real Travelling again

Trip Start Nov 18, 2009
Trip End Jul 08, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , Nusa Tenggara Barat,
Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This is more like it… has had the feeling of our Asia travels because we have opted for slow local boats and old buses. It has been really great fun.

Our day started at 5.45am when we got up and finished our last packing. We had three staff on duty, just for us as we were the only guests in the hotel, and they sorted out our horse and cart ride and we had time for a tea and coffee before we went. While we have mentioned the coffee, the Balinese coffee is super strong and when ground it is mixed with ground rice…..why? We could not get a good answer but two cups in the morning and two at lunch time meant no afternoon naps.

We arrived safely at the harbour after a negotiated 80,000 Rupiahs ride. There was only one other couple there when we arrived and an old Hippy who had lived on the island a while and knew everything. Although we were travelling with Perama Travel Services, we had to take the 7am local boat across to Bangsal, Lombok. Our Hippy told us that we would not go till there were at least twenty passengers and usually the boat left about 8am or even 8.30. At 7.10am a call went up to get on the boat… what about our Hippy friend now!!.......we were suddenly about 40th in line as people came from everywhere. We had to manhandle our backpacks through the water to get to the end of the boat to board. Hels was well prepared for this wearing her swimming bottoms. We climbed aboard with a Dutch couple Ian and D that we had been chatting to. In the boat were 58 people as Tony counted them, and 6 small children. There was no safety equipment except the empty water containers, piled in the middle of the boat, that were going to be refilled on Lombok. Before we set off there had been lightning over Lombok but thankfully the sea was reasonably calm. It was still a really good ride and good to be with the locals.

We arrived in Bangsal and had been told that the bus was about 300 metres away and not to go by horse and cart as they charged too much. So the 4 of us and one local lad walked. He knew where he was going and he even took Tony's heavier backpack, which was a godsend as the bus was at least a kilometre away and again it was only 8am but very hot and sticky. We treated the local lad as he had gone to Lombok to find a sport shop that could repair his football pump. They are all World Cup crackers over here and funnily enough they tend to support the team of the Country of the person they are talking to.

The bus ride took us around the coast, up and down the hills and around all the bays. We had about an hour and chatted to Ian and D. They were going to Kuta, Lombok and had about 4 hours on the bus, which was a bit of a bone shaker.

The bus dropped us off at the end of the road and we had 250 metres to carry everything to find the Senggigi Beach Hotel, and it was only that distance which was a blessing. If it had been any further we would have put our bags on the back of the motorbike, belonging to the young Tour Rep that was following us but chatting to Helen about day trips. We arrived and even though it was only 9.20am they took us to our room.

We have a first floor room overlooking the sea. We put our bags down, familiarised ourselves with the safe and the toilet and off to find the pool. The pool was fabulous because it was actually cold fresh water and we stayed there for a couple of hours. We had a wonderful coffee and tea, with no rice powder this time. We had a good laugh at a man and woman, in their 40’s with thong swimmers on. Tony took a crafty picture for the Blog but unfortunately had the camera on video……it has been x-rated and deleted. Will try again for tomorrows Blog.

We walked around, or Hels walked around to look at everything. She came back and said that the Bamboo Bar had swinging seats and a Happy Hour from 1-2pm. We sat and chatted with our bar lad and ordered a couple of cocktails each and a sandwich for lunch. We have a feeling we might be back for more tomorrow.

We went to explore the beach and the vendors selling tattoos, T-shirts and sarongs. The vendors are not allowed to come up to the sun beds so they try to engage you from a distance…..they actually have a good sense of humour and never push things after a no thank you. Probably snorkel tomorrow or walk into and through town as we need to check again exactly where our Slow Boat to Bali leaves from.

We went back to our room for a Blog and a nap before heading off to Sunset Happy Hour and a Half in another of the five different restaurants. We will hopefully sleep well tonight, if we have a beer or two but mainly because our Air Conditioning is on full blast….lubbly jubbly.
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