Jan 15, 2016
|We tossed up a 3 day 2 night boat ride vs a 7 hour ferry trip followed by a 24 hour bus ride to return to Lombok....guess which won? Yes, we returned by boat, but it took a different route this time. We opted for "deck class" again and joined 15 or so others on our mattresses each night!
We had a snorkeling stop, another stop where we walked to a waterfall and a swimming stop on a tiny island that literally took 10 minutes to walk around. Again, an interesting mix of mainly European tourists - even two couples round our age, one from France, the other from Scotland. Everyone is on different journeys with varying tales to tell.
Back in Sengeggi we indulged in foot massages/reflexology for 40,000 Rupiah. Sounds extravagant until you convert to NZ $ - around $4! We didn't want to walk "home" on our relaxed feet. (Home for us at the moment is where our backpacks are!). I also ventured for a haircut. A bit scary with the hairdresser having limited English and my non-existant Indonesian. Lots of gestures and sign language! All good.
We spent four days on Gili Meno, one of the three Gili islands just half an hour boat ride from Lombok. Each island has its own appeal - Meno is the quiet, honeymoon island. Trawangan is the party and diving island and Air is a mixture of the two. There are no cars, motorbikes or dogs on any of the three Gili Islands and they are making a good effort to keep them rubbish free. The modes of transport, apart from walking, are horse and cart or bicycle.
We could walk around Meno in about two hours on a coastal walkway, stopping at strategically placed thatched shelters to stretch out for a drink or food. The sand is soft, white coral and the water is warm. We took a boat out to the reef on a snorkeling trip, and as well as interesting coral and colourful fish, we saw turtles and looked down on a shipwreck. There is a turtle hatchery on Meno where each full moon the turtle eggs that have been laid on the beach are collected, hatched and kept in tanks for 8 months until they are bigger and have a better chance of survival.
One day we hopped on the island hopper boat to visit Air Island, the next day we checked out Trawangan Island. Once there we rented bikes for the day to explore around these islands - they are only slightly bigger than Meno. The islands are quite dry and everything has to be shipped in from Lombok or Bali. Power comes via cable from Lombok.
The accommodation ranges from simple homestays to exclusive resorts, all mingled together. Our bungalow had brackish water for the shower, and I presume the toilet. One evening we discovered a scorpion and a LARGE spider sharing the bathroom with us!
We are now right at the south end of Lombok at Kuta beach, a popular surfing area. Last night we watched lots of locals with torches and snorkels spearing octopus.
It is nice to be able to take the time to watch a boat being unloaded, watch surfers catch the waves, sit on the beach to watch the sunset, watch fishermen try their luck, or a net being pulled in, answer questions from the friendly locals or admire a baby.
On Tuesday we fly to Sulawesi Island and head north to our first WOOFIng adventure.