Eat, Pray, Love – Bali, Lombok, Gili, Part Two

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This is my second part of my journey in Indonesia and covers the time I spent on the nice Gili Island. Way later than announced but better than never. Its about this wonderful group of islands and the French group I met here. Thanks to Luisa I changed my literary fauxpas naming my headline for this article eat prey love to eat pray love. I wasn't smart enough to come up with this idea on my own, its just another mistake so ... :-)

 

Gili Gili Giligiligililili here I come - 2.9.2012

IMG_2138Again I had to ride my scooter with my big backpack and daypack. But before I just drove around the town and to the main road again. For topping up the gas and for fun of course. I love it. I had to drive the road next to the harbor bay up and down a bit until the correct rental guy did draw enough attention. I paid my debt and left my green goblin behind, snivel, went to the meeting point 50m further to get my ticket from the speedboat company. The one I booked via http://www.auslandssemester-bali.de. I thought I booked it. They didn’t have any reservation or anything. I tried until the last minute to solve the problem but had to pay in the end 700000 Rupiah for the return ticket. A normal price but it could have been 400000 Rupiah. I was pissed off. And all this because my stupid Iphone didn’t send my final confirmation mail to this website. I did find the mail in the outbox waiting for new phone credit. How annoying is that but my fault, or better my phones fault.

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IMG_2144The ferry ride was very unspectacular. Only a few small waves but except that flat as. The ferry did stop on Lombok Island first, of course there was no normal port or so, just landing at the beach front first. At Gili Trawangan just a few minutes later the same thing. No port, no embarking via a footbridge, just directly on the beach hopping of the boat via a provisional staircase. Lets say a chair. What a beautiful tropical feeling this created right from the beginning on. So we jumped off the boat waiting for the backpacks being handed down to us and then I went walking to search for accommodation, limit 150000 Rupiah. I asked at a few promising sites but way too much, not even close to what I was looking for. Out of the sudden I had a small guy on bicycle trying to help me. Reason unknown. Maybe I should stop looking always for reasons why somebody is nice or tries to help. But in Germany you have to be distrustfully. It is suspicious when somebody out of the sudden talks to you or tries to help you.

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IMG_2161After a few more I did look at I was feeling way too warm walking around with all my luggage and tired of searching so i just picked one shabby one somewhere pretty much in the back alleys of this tiny place. At least it was just 150000 Rupiah for a double. Okay, but pretty shitty, not even a flushing toilet. They have a water bucket next to it to do it manually. I checked in just for one night to may find a better place later without luggage for the next few days.

 

 

 

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IMG_2162But first I was here on this Island. The feeling was unbelievable. It is actually a group of three tiny Islands right next to Lombok a bigger Island. There is Gili Air, and Gili Meno with only a few places to stay at and a couple of restaurants. They are more the islands for couples when you just want to relax. Gili Trawangan, the third and biggest island, is more for backpackers and people who wanna go snorkeling and diving at daytime and a bit of partying at night. I knew before how small Trawangan is, but you really realize it when you arrive. It is one main street maybe 2.5km long. Not really a street more sanded 3m wide pathway. There are no cars or scooter but bicycles. There is nothing to drive to so also not necessary. But there is something like a public transport system. 

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Horse pulled carriages. The Islands main “road” circuits around the whole island. But after the main part in the center it continues just as a sand road and is hardly not accessible by bike. Its just too sandy. But you can circle around by foot within less than 2h. Most of the parts of the main road are on the Island side covered with hotels, basic sheds or cottages or whatever you wanna call it. Nothing like real resorts. And in the first row on both sides usually restaurants, bars or clubs. Nothing else. There is not really something you can do here except relaxing, sunbathing, swimming/snorkeling, diving, eating, drinking, partying. It’s a bit like backpacker heaven here. and good enough for a while, aye?

 

IMG_2175IMG_2169To enjoy this I directly went to the end of the beach to a reggae bar with my favorite island song next to gangnam style, Bob Marley with three little birds. I placed my stuff on one of the nice bamboo huts to be not too much exposed in the sun. From Padang Bai I already have a very funny uneven tan. I must have missed out on using sunscreen on some spots. So now I have some burned spots where I missed out on one side and the rest is as usual. Anyway I directly went snorkeling. And here it was even better than in Padang Bai. The environment factors where almost the same just a bit of a current but more corals and more diverse fish races. The sand here at the beach is beautiful white and palm trees everywhere. And this reggae music again in the background. Amazing.

 

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IMG_2194After lazing for a while I started to walk around again to find a nicer accommodation but didn’t for the price I wanted to pay. So I forget about it and just started walking  walking around the island, just two hours, so what. I passed the “harbor” again, all these bars, small restaurants and huts, And heaps of other tourists. The average age on this islands must be around 24. Everywhere young people, and especially hot chicks. When the straight part of the road was over everything changed to be less crowded. Not that many bars or restaurants anymore until there where none. Just a sand road the beach, vegetation and almost nobody on the opposite side of the main part of the island. Every now and then I still passed some bars with names like Sunset Bar. I the middle of nowhere a cool funky bar. But empty at that time of the day. Even though the sunset was close.

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IMG_2192I continued walking and started to talk to a French girl who is also surrounding the island like I did. Her name is Rose. She is here with 7 French friends on a three week holiday. She is 25 and after finishing studying medicine she started to work in a hospital. We had a nice chat and after we arrived back in the town we went to her accommodation, She showed me her place, and I met her friends there. Very nice people, they invited me to see the sunset at the beach together. Her friends did also study medicine except Tibo. He is working as an accountant in Canada. The French part of course. But he was the only one with a pretty good English and confident enough to use it.

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IMG_2203We drank a beer during watching another beautiful sunset. I cant count them anymore since I left home. Then everybody went to the accommodation for a shower, remember, its hot as, and met afterwards for dinner at the open food court. There you see things you would never see in good old Germany. Prepared food, not chilled nor heated in bowls waiting for being sold. So there are these chicken, duck, pork or fish pieces lying around the whole evening, we have still around 28° not covered with any lids or food foil. Everything everybody warned you never to eat. Same with fresh salads rinsed in non boiled fresh local water or ice cubes made out of it. But hey what are you supposed to do. Ain’t eating anything? Of course not, and the food is very tasty. Spicy and seasoned a lot but good. Each of us picked at one of the food stands their own selection for around 15000 – 25000 Rupiah (1.20- 2€) for a full plate of food. IMG_2198And nobody was sick afterwards. After eating you have to drink. Therefore we picked one of the shitloads of bars over here and ordered a few cocktails in a bar with western live music sung with an Indonesian accent. A bit later we swapped our places and went the the other side of the main road to chill in one of the bars elevated open bamboo huts and drank some more cocktails. I got to know rose better, I like her, and she seems to like me too.

The other Frenchies  then disappeared one by one until just Rose and me where left there. We went then somewhere else to get her a mojito. To have mint in stock seems to be a serious problem on an Island like this. But we found it. Then I brought her home and fortunately found my place after I took some detours. At night, a bit tipsy everything seems to look a bit different but it worked and I ended up in my shabby place. I’m glad to move out tomorrow.

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More Frenchies - 3.9.2012

IMG_2207I moved out from my place and checked in until Thursday at their place It is way nicer but also way more. 200000 Rupiah per day. But okay, at least it is good and a nice breakfast is included. I did meet Rose in the morning next door and after her breakfast we went to the beach. Most of the others went diving, doing their PADI Open Water and Advanced training. We had lunch and lazed around with her friends who didn’t dive at the moment. Mumu, Gigi and Rose ... forgot the other names. Mumu just did arrive. He works for Air France as a pilot and visited his girlfriend Dr. Gigi here for two days. They don’t see each other so he had a 18h flight to come over for 2 days. Rose and I went snorkeling and I booked for IMG_2208tomorrow a snorkeling day tour for 900000, cheap as, for a full day of driving around in a boat all around the three Gili islands. I had a nap at the beach and afterwards went back to my nice room to chill there and writing down some blog notes. Later we first had a drink same time with the sunset. It was beautiful, we where sitting in another of the elevated bamboo hut at the western end of the island further away from the crowds. And the three little bird song again. I love it here. The we headed for dinner together at the same same food court but (had) different food, a fresh cooked Thai curry. We altogether headed to another nice bar and had some more drinks. Jugs of cocktails actually, Mojito, yummy. But the others went home pretty soon. Most of them where tired of diving all day long, Rose and I stayed a bit longer and tried another bar but went pretty soon to the beach to chill out for a while and watch the stars. Its never cold here. Its great.

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The French guys are all really nice, friendly and when they talk directly to me they speak English. But the others usually in a group doesn’t even bother trying to speak English most of the time. Only Tibo, Mumu and Rose try it or at least translate some French for me. I guess its different if you are just on your holidays like they are but French backpacker would speak more English, at least the ones I met. And to the other French, come on, most of you can speak English, you lazy way too pride dicks.

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Gili Air and Gili Meno and my first turtle- 4.9.2012

IMG_2214I did wake up early enough to get my nice breakfast. Every morning you have the choice of getting pancakes, toast with scrambled eggs, plain toast with jam and butter or a delicious omelet with onions and cheese. For drinks it can be coffee/tee or one of a few of delicious fresh fruit juices. Very nice. Afterwards I had to head directly to the to the meeting point for snorkeling. I waited in front of the tourist office until some others came and we can head out onto the sea. I listened to music and closed my eyes for a minute lazing at the beach waiting for the other expected guys. A few where already there. Great, I almost missed my boat cause I watched the French connection around 100 meters away getting into their boat for diving and closing my eyes for a minute. Out of the sudden all of the people around me where gone.

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IMG_2224I sprinted directly to the tourist office guy who just pointed into the “harbor” direction. And in far distance I did see and followed them, almost running, scared of missing out on this snorkeling day. But I arrived on time, got just some flippers (I had the rest) and hopped on board, with at least 60 other random tourists, way too many. Next time I will make sure there are not that many on one trip. Its way too overcrowded. Relaxed snorkeling is something else. Anyway we went out with one of the glass bottom boats to our first two stop. This one was nearby Gili Trawangan and could have been easily reached by land. The the second stop was close to the middle Gili island, Gili Meno. Every time we jumped into the water you where surrounded by beautiful fish. And a lot this tropical colorful fish. I wished to be able to take pictures or videos of it. Also from the different sorts of corals, Some of them stiff, some waving with the sea. Some boring plain brown, others red or blue fluorescent. Just stunning altogether. The water is just perfect as well. Its has the right temperature and is clear as. The light travels almost without being weakened to the ground showing their those beautiful caustics. And it is calm, easy to swim and almost no currents. All these things are really driving me wanting to go diving in this setting. I'll try to do that in Thailand. Its supposed to be really nice there and cheap. Maybe I’ll first do a try dive to see if I like it a course. But snorkeling for the beginning is fine.

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IMG_2232After this 2nd stop for 30 minutes we continued to Gili Air the last Gili island in the row and the closest to Lombok. It is a very laid back relaxed island. With less bars, restaurants, hotels and in essence less tourists. It is even smaller then Trawangan. Tiny, I guess you could around it in 45 minutes. I think they even don’t have horse carriages but maybe bikes.Still they had heaps of restaurants. I didn’t went to the one we landed directly. Cause everybody else went there. I wanted to be special and cause we had an 1h stop I wanted to see at least a bit of this place. I Went further along the coast, almost ran and found an amazing one. With a nice view as always, right next to the beach as usual and with good food. For just 75.000 Rupiah. Okay quite a lot but I ordered a lot cause snorkeling makes you hungry and the menu did sound so nice. A banana milkshake, and two mains did find their way after 20 minutes. Fried rice and a whole pineapple filled with pineapple chicken salad.

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IMG_2237Look at it, its so delicious and looks gorgeous as well. Nasi special was good as well but not that photogenic. I hope you can imagine how it is to eat this tasty stuff sitting on the floor but on some cushions in a bamboo like building all walls open just a roof to protect you from the sun right at the beach. Me sitting in board shorts just a shirt on and with my snorkeling mask next to me. I could have spent ages hear with my banana shake. But we only had an hour and I already spent some time getting there ... I waited a while until I got my the food. I had no watch so I estimated I’ve to swallow my food down like never before and run back to the boat. So I did it. What a shame I arrived 10 minutes too early there. I could have eaten in a slower pace. But everything is better than missing the boat. Accommodation is more expensive there than back on Trawangan.

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IMG_2240After being our tour guides made sure everybody is back on boat we continued to a spot called fish garden. There is sooo much fish at that place. You hop in there and you are surrounded by swarms of different fish, some in schools and small, other alone but huge. We've got some bread to feed them with. You just hold it a bit away from your body and you see the fish coming thinking a bit if its safe to catch it and then picking it out directly of your hand. First I was a bit scared and afraid they’ll bite me, but they don’t. As long as you don’t have any wounds their first interest is bread and the floating around bread particles. Think about it, when 60 snorkelers with bread jump into the water plus we haven’t been the only boat there not now and not the whole day you can imagine why there is so many fish Smiley Anyway for 30 minutes it felt more like swimming in fish with water than in water with fish. The next stop, our last one and kind of the high light, was turtle point. We hopped from board and no 3 minutes later we've seen our first turtle.IMG_2233 I didn’t expect them to be that big. But I expected them to be as relaxed and cool as they where. I like them. The only problem I had where all the others chasing and touching them like zoophiles harassing them. Every time there was a turtle somewhere it was surrounded by heaps of others. So I left the big group and searched for my own unique turtle. It took me a while but I found one. Now I wanted harass my own turtle. I tried to dive after her to touch her, but every time I thought I am deep and close enough I wasn’t. And the air in my lungs made me ascent pretty fast and loosing my turtle. The goggles and the water let everything look like you are way closer to it. In the end I didn’t touch one, but at least I found my own one Smiley. It didn’t take long until I was surrounded by others discovering I discovered a turtle. Fuck, I hate snorkeling with 60 strangers. It must be way better going diving like the others I did see underneath me earlier. It looked so cool to be deep down there. I have to try it soon for real.

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After this last stop we drove all the way back to Gili Trawangan and this trip ended at the beach where it did begin. I went to my Wahana tour speedboat thingy to book in for Thursday back to Padang Bai (Bali). I have to making sure I’ll get to my flight on Wednesday back to Singapore. Unfortunately I can’t spend my last night in Indonesia in Padang Bai (Bali) again cause the bus timetables aren’t allowing me to leave from there the next day and be on time at the airport at noon. I will spend my last night in Sanur which as I've heard so far  is a nice place nearby the airport on Bali. I will see. I’m just a bit sad, I liked Padang Bai soo much but I cant help it and should think too much about leaving.

 

I met up with the French group to book our Lombok daytrip. It took a while until we (8) people figured out when and where we want to go to. If we wanna see monkeys, temples, beaches, rice fields, arty stuff or village live. For all of it Lombok is way too big. So we decided our route the guy in the booking office made a few calls and for our perfectly cheap as 225.000 Rupiah each we got the full trip including boats, our own bus a driver and a tour guide. I am impressed I will make it so far. Sweat.

Today it is Tibo’s birthday. I bought on my way back from the ship landing area some candles and cakes for the evening. Not a space cake but better then nothing. There I did realize I havent had chocolate for ages. And I’m craving for it, but here it’s just not the right place and climate. Its more something to look forward to getting it at home.

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For Tibos birthday we went out again to a nice place for dinner, heaps of jugs of cocktails and one special drink for Tibo as a birthday present. They brought a special glass and a big very high bottle with some stuff in it. He had to hold it over his glass and some guys came by poured some liquor over the big bottle and enlightened everything. Somehow everything dripped into the glass. It did look stunning. Unfortunately I don’t have any picture of that event nor any contacts of the only French speaking Frenchman's.
Thereafter we headed to another bar/open club place with nice dancing music to dance around a bit spastic. We had a nice time and did drink a lot. But not a Super Mario called mushroom drink what this place is famous for. We stayed there until 3am and we where exhausted and ready to fall asleep.

My last day on Gili and Lombok - 5.9.2012

IMG_2244Partying last night was nice, but sooo tiring. We had to be around 8:45 pm at the harbor to catch our boat to Lombok and almost didn’t make it. We could have gone an hour earlier. But knowing in advance how the last night went the right decision not to rush. The boat was the possibly slowest I’ve ever been on. And even with calm as water this boat ride was choppy as with high waves. After a 40 minute ride we made it to the landing area on Lombok and met our driver. Everybody was so tired so we just jumped in our nice tour bus and was happy to relax or take a nap until we arrive at our first planned stop.

IMG_2245To get there we first drove out of the small but busy harbor area up the road over a pretty high pass with a nice mountain village. The road was narrow and windy and a bit nerve wrecking every time somebody unexpected was shooting down coming across us. But the trip offered beautiful views. Unfortunately everybody was knackered and not keen enough to stop and jump out of the car for taking some pictures or paying attention to the monkey forest. We passed all this nice scenery and continued for around 40 minutes to our first planned stop. A supposed to be nice area to do a bit hiking.

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IMG_2253And it was nice there. We started at a neat open rice field area with a small public building and a river. We started to hike along the river a bit through the bush and gained some height. Up there we had beautiful views over the valley with the river beneath us. We walked across nice rice terraces. Everybody was sweating a lot. Even our local guide said its unusual to hike at that time of the day, almost noon, with the bare sun roasting you. Most of the hiking groups start early in the morning.

 

 

 

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IMG_2262I spoke with the tour guide quite a lot. He was a nice guy and at least spoke English with me. So we did talk about his culture, Muslims and Hindus, living together and so far and so on. He mentioned in their Muslim culture they are hijacking their wife’s as he did too. After a bit of asking skeptical he explained the women decides to be with one man and steals herself away from her parents place without them noticing it. The supposed to be husband is waiting outside and brings her to his place. Funny custom isn’t it but no hijacking. Also he explained to me if a Muslim and a Hindu wanna marry the Hindu has to change his religion to be allowed to marry a Muslim. Other way around its not possible. So a one way street. How bad is that of the Muslims? Its not a big issue cause on Lombok more than 90% are Muslims anyway. On Bali its way different.

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IMG_2265We ended up back at the river where I, Tibo and the guide cooled down a bit by walking into it knee deep. The others with a medical background didn’t even went close to the river afraid of diseases. But hey they love to eat local food from those food stands on the market on Gili. I expect this food to be way more dangerous. Anyway the driver already waited for us up the hill. A fucking steep ascent over it and finally we arrived at the car and where ready to turn the air con full on.

 

On the way to our next stop we needed some decent local food. So our guide chose and decided where to stop. They selected a place which looked like a good normal local restaurant. And it was a pretty good choice. The food was good,  but it took longer as expected until it arrived as usual. It took at least 30 minutes until everybody got some. Also paying one buy one wasn’t a good decision and consumed even more of our valuable time on Lombok.

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IMG_2271Back in the bus the guides informed us about our time budget. We planned to do two more stops before heading back. But we did run out of time and both stops have been not on the track back. So we had to choose one thing on the way back to have just one more short stop. And decided for the temple on the way. A supposed to be really old neat Hindu temple famous and the biggest one on Lombok. This temple was so shit. It was small and ugly compared to the ones I did see on Bali. There was nobody except us and a stupid definitely not local guy with an I wanna be American attitude. With his sunglasses, big belly and way too self-confident behavior. His English was crap. He seem to try the whole time to speak with an American slang English instead of learning to pronounce the words first in a understandable way. When we asked what? He just repeated exactly as he did say before. So we still didn’t understand anything. The temple area itself was divided in a few sections. The entry area, just a square, then the garden section with plain brownish grass and almost no trees, so not beautiful garden like the others, and the last section with three tall tower temples and a few other small buildings. The guy pointed out the eleven layered roof. One thing we did understand. Our last stop was shit but we had no time to complain and needed to leave to catch our boat back.

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IMG_2279It’s a bit weird on Lombok. You have to wait until the boat fills up with enough passengers and only when it is full, it leaves. So first you buy tickets and then when they call for your ticket color in Sasak language you can hop on. We did wait a while until ours filled up but then we finally left. The slow boat ride left enough time for reviewing our trip and also enough for another power nap.

Lombok is definitely worth a visit but not like we did. We had way less time then we needed for what we planned. The fact we didn’t choose one of the tested tours with eg. monkey forest, arty village and nice temple at the ocean or the other tours and resisted on we wanna chose the spots and activity our self was a bad idea. As well as wasting more than one hour for eating. The others also complained about we did sit at least half the time in the bus and didn’t see that much is true. But all this is actually our fault. We should have left earlier this morning, chose one of the tested packages and included lunch. But things like this in a huge group are always difficult to handle and I was just happy to at least see a part of Lombok. 

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This evening I made my own business. I was just sick of them speaking French and the necessity of leaving already plus being knackered. I was just sad and not in the mood to meet with them for the evening partying again or anything. I also needed to plan my next days in Bali, getting back to the Airport and how to get from Singapore into Malaysia and where to. But first I took another real nap until it went dark in my room before I went dining alone.

 

Sanur – Pensioners Paradise - 6.9.2012

IMG_2308After my last nice fruit juice and brekky I took my speedboat back to Padang Bai. Leaving Gili was quite theatrical. Its just so beautiful tropical. And I knew the next weeks I wont see something like this for a while. But I also knew I have some beautiful Islands ahead of me north of Malaysia and south of Thailand. And like I said, I really loved to stay in Padang Bai again too, but there is no time, I had to take the bus to Sanur. The ride didn’t take as long as I expected. It may has to do with the mini bus driver. He was insane. No question about that. He drove way to fast. Especially when he overtook in the weirdest situations with oncoming traffic. Every time there was a red traffic light he just went into the turning lanes and when the lights turned green accelerated like a berserk and squished in in front of the first car. Some other times he just bypassed red lights buy turning left, doing a u-turn and turning left again. Sometimes he just ignored the red lights at all not trying to avoid them anymore. He drove really close to scooters all the time and stopped once for gas for exactly 10000 Rupiah. So around two liters for 2.20€. Who stops with a mini bus to top up this amount of petrol. Only a sicko, but he definitely bet some records this day.

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IMG_2303So in Sanur I left this racing bus and made my way passing the swastika guesthouse (for real, its weird for us Germans) and walked around until I found my place. I had the Address but sometimes street names go around corners as well here and nobody seems to understand your questions but instead of: ”I don’t know” some people are so polite to give you an answer. It’s a wrong one just to be not as impolite as the ones that say: “I don’t know”. So not everybody who points in a direction here is trustworthy. After a while and even with the hindrance I arrived in my not too bad accommodation. I got a four bed share room. Usually you share it with an young up to lets say 35 year old audience. But this one was a bit older. One of them could have been a 50 year old banditos member and the other one a retired seaman. The third one, an Asian, with a baaaaaaaaad English could have been my age. Maybe a bit older. Quite different to what I had so far. But they where nice I have to admit.

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For Lunner (Lunch/Dinner) I went to Sanur beach which is after something like Gili way too overrated. Its not nice, just way too many old people attracted by the few massage salons. Its nothing wrong with them, but man, why did I end up here? A typical bricked pathway accessible for wheelchairs which is nice but not what I was looking for. I had some food and a shake at the beach and chilled on one of the free sun chairs. It was hot as always but not really sunny so it may also influenced my opinion. I wish I still would be in Padang Bai.

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Another thing you do see here a lot is old white guys with younger Thai or Balinese girls. It’s the typical picture you now have in your head. And exactly like this it is. But some at least do speak their language. So at least they are not just those guys picking one from the catalogue or hijack one when they come for a visit. Anyway, a bit strange picture to see these couples but maybe its just prejudice. And at least I did see the same thing other way around too. Aged women, maybe 60-70 in a group with way younger Balinese blokes.

Leaving Bali and Singapore same day - 7.9.2012

IMG_2150I ordered a taksi for my last trip to the airport. Again I knew how much it should have been and we negotiated acceptable 100.000 Rupiah. But he was such a dickhead. he must have had some serious issues. Physically or mentally. He accelerated veeeery very very slow and without any reason he did break all the time. It just didn’t make any sense. Sometimes he touched his knees and bended weird. I asked if everything is okay but he didn’t reply. I don’t even mention this driving in between lanes anymore, cause nobody gives a shit about them. And then at the airport he wanted me to pay 10.000 Rupiah for a parking ticket. I mean, we didn’t even park and we negotiated how much he gets before. In the end I paid 105000 Rupiah. He was angry but I didn’t give a shit for this shitty driving performance.

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At the airport I wanted to get rid of my last Indonesian Rupiah and went for lunch there. I scraped together my last 200.000 Rupiah, enough for investing it into a huge pack of 1kg Toblerone. After such a long time without decent chocolate I gave up and bought some. I saved some money for the fee you have to pay to leave the country. 180.000 Rupiah for paying the visa department the departing fee. The first time I had to pay for a tourist visa to get into and out of the country. This time at the security check I had to leave my sunscreen behind. So far nobody noticed it in my hand luggage but this time it offended them.

 

Until the last bit of my flight it was very unspectacular and boring. But close to Singapore the airplane started to wiggle a bit and increased until it was very shaky. The captain approached to land already when it got even worse. When he had the nose pointing down and the landing wheels went out a bit it was very frightening, nobody talked or paid attention to the movies anymore. It was more as scary. Out of the sudden the engines went on to full throttle and the plain stopped the descent and shot up still shaking a lot. I felt a bit sick for the first time in an plane. After a few more silent but shaky minutes the captain apologized for the severe weather conditions. Singapore did close the airport because of the strong rain and wind coming from the Indian monsoon. So we had to fly another big round until we had another landing approach. I was scared of having the same procedure again, but luckily it wasn’t as bad as the first time. I was so relieved when we touched ground in Singapore safely and so sad about leaving Indonesia already.

 

Resume Indonesia

IMG_2146Indonesia is way more than just Bali. And also way different than any other place in Indonesia further away from Bali and the Gilis. But that’s how I experienced it.

John and Dianne always said I should go to Bali … It is beautiful … and I am glad I went there. I somehow missed it while booking my flights three month ago. I was a bit stupid cause I could have gone from Brisbane directly to Bali and then to Singapore. It would have been in the correct order then. So I did waste a bit of time, money and worsen my carbon footprint. Without taking the last point into account it was worth it still doing it.

I had a very different idea about Bali. I expected it to be way different. After NZ and OZ I never thought it is so crowded and maybe a bit overpopulated. Mainly by tourists of course. There are a lot of shitty roads, normal roads and big autobahn like roads. Most of them are accompanied by properties and buildings blocking any possible nice view. It is probably a bit different further out in the north(east/west). But anyway, I expected Bali to be way less stressful then Singapore.

IMG_1849Gili was more of a gimmick. It wasn’t planned, like anything else and just another advice from heaps of people I’ve met. Somebody is telling you go to Bali, on the way to Bali somebody tells you don’t miss out on Gili Island and then it is just a jiffy to Lombok. Traveling like this is great and must be awesome when you are even less restricted by any flight dates or money of course. In the beginning I did think the whole time I have to shorten my trip and 1 1/2 month in Malaysia/Thailand would be way too much time to stay in south east Asia. But I didn’t had Bali in mind back then and what else I could have done and where else I should have gone to. In general everything worked out well and better too short than too long. But for predicting all this three months ahead, it was a pretty good guess, time wise.

Before visiting it I never thought about Bali as a part of Indonesia, but most don’t know that or ever think about it. And another big thing is the location. In the middle of my journeys I thought I never really celebrated leaving the southern hemisphere and I’ll never checked where the border actually is. Afterwards I did have a look and now know as long as I have been southerly of Singapore, so Bali included, I have been in the southern hemisphere. Singapore is almost on the same latitude as the equator. Which means so far I didn’t leave the southern hemisphere. But that will change soon in Malaysia ….

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