Posts Tagged ‘lombok’

From Gili Air to Ubud via Perama boat and bus

Posted in Indonesia on July 13th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 2 Comments

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Happy birthday to me! I’m 23 today!

We woke up before sunrise, had some mango, pineapple, protein bars and coffee soda for breakfast before getting on our cidomo for a ride down to the jetty on the south end of the island. We boarded a local boat at 7:15am which took us to Bangsal. From the boat we could see where they harvest the pearls!

lombok pearl farm

perama boat sign

In Bangsal we walked on the main road to where the Perama bus picked us up to take us to Senggigi. You can tell which road to walk down because it’s where all the horse carts are waiting to offer you a ride. You can get a ride on a cidomo or a motorbike if you want to, but the walk down the road isn’t bad and going by foot saves you money. The bus stop is on the left side of the street before the tattoo shop. You will know it by the baby blue painted pillars, but otherwise there are no signs indicating that it’s the bus stop. We walked right past it the first time!

bangsal perama bus station

bangsal perama bus station

The bus to Senggigi goes along the coast and the views from the road are lovely. Lombok definitely has some stunning beaches and I am coming back to explore this island for sure someday!

perama bus

view from lombok road

view from lombok road coconut trees

Once in Senggigi, we took a local boat to the larger Perama boat, which left at 9:00am. A breakfast of coffee, banana pancakes, bananas and pineapple was waiting for us onboard. The boat was practically empty compared to the packed Perama boat we came on 12 days ago. The ride was much smoother and I read and napped for most of it. Lunch was served onboard at around 11:30am and consisted of rice, veggies, tempe and peanuts, fish, and watermelon. We arrived in Padang Bai at around 1:00pm. There we waited for the bus to Ubud.

perama boat and public ferry padang bai

The ride to Ubud took about an hour. We were dropped off at the Perama office where I waited with our bags while Ryan walked around trying to find a hotel that still had rooms available. We ended up staying at a place called Puri Gong Cottages on Jl Hanoman. We got a room with a double bed, air conditioning, and a view of the pool for 225,000 a night. The walls are rattan and are very thin with peep holes poked through them! We stuffed some toilet paper in the holes to keep out any prying eyes. Because the walls are so thin there is pretty much no noise barrier which makes sleeping well a bit difficult.

puri gong peep hole

After getting settled in our hotel we went to the market for some sunset-priced shopping. Everything is always cheaper at the end of the day because the shopkeepers get desperate if they haven’t made enough sales for the day. Then we had dinner at Biah-Biah on Jl Gootama.

Sunrise, sunset, the days melt away on Gili Air

Posted in Indonesia on July 5th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

Friday, June 26th, 2009

We went snorkeling again in the morning but since the waves have picked up again the visibility wasn’t that great and the current is getting stronger. It was still fun though!

For lunch we went to (you guessed it,) Munchies again where I got Urap-urap with tofu. I am really going to miss this tasty food.

urap urap tofu

We did some more reading and bumming around for the rest of the day before watching another beautiful sunset and hitting up Munchies for dinner.

gili air sunset

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

We skipped snorkeling today because the visibility was so bad yesterday. After watching sunrise and bumming around we spent most of the afternoon shooting the shit with our buddy Rouling at Munchies. He’s a 19 year old surfer kid, born on Lombok and now living on Gili Air trying to make enough money to get by. Like most people here he works from 8am till closing at around 10pm and only gets 2 days off a month. He’s a good kid, just living life and hoping he someday finds true love.

gili air bathroom

In the evening I bought a fresh mango for 10,000 to eat for lunch tomorrow, then we watched the sunset and went to Munchies for dinner. Wash, rinse, repeat… this is the life!

gili air sunset

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

After breakfast I bought a pack of peanuts from Ozzy’s store for 5,000 and inside was a 1,000 bill taped inside one of the peanut shells! Later I learned that it was part of a marketing contest, apparently I was the lucky winner of approximately 10 cents!

gili air beach

gili air beach

We spent the afternoon chilling at Munchies again. There is a momma cat and her 3 kittens that live there so we played with them and talked with Rouling for a while. In the middle of the day it was super hot so Ryan and I had an impromptu water fight to cool off to the delight of the Munchies crew who thought it was a riot. I borrowed Rouling’s bike to go buy our Perama boat tickets back to Ubud which cost us 335,000 each after the 15,000 discount we got for being repeat customers. We’re leaving on June 30th, but we really don’t want to…. On the way back from buying the tickets I rode through some of the village on the interior of the island. I wish I had more time to explore this place!

gili air road

gili air sign

At night we went back to our favorite place for dinner and beers with Rouling.

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Today is my unofficial birthday because we are traveling all day tomorrow, June 30th, which is my real birthday. We had breakfast brought to our room where we ate and watched the sunrise before heading into the ocean for some snorkeling. The visibility was much better today but the current is getting super strong! It’s fun to just get in in front of our hotel and be able to float along the the sea wall in the current.

We went to Munchies for lunch where I got iced coffee for 6,000, large Bintangs for 25,000 and a mixed lassy for 10,000. We chilled there for a while and took pictures with the Munchies crew.

gili air munchies crew

Later we watched the sunset and then I got a half hour massage by the beach for 50,000, it was lovely. We also gave one of our flashlights to the lady we bought necklaces from a few days ago as a gift. We gave her the manual recharging one so she won’t have to buy batteries. It’s interesting the things people have asked us for here; so far people want our flashlights, extra clothes, and Ryan’s sunglasses.

We headed to Munchies again for our last dinner and beers on this amazing island. I got my all time favorite Indonesian dish, Gado-gado for 13,000, and of course, Bintangs. We stayed until they closed and then asked Rouling to walk back to our hotel with us. We talked along the way and then gave him some money as a gift. It was a small amount for us but we really hope it will be a help to him. We promised him that when we come back we will all climb Mount Rinjani on Lombok together because it’s something we really wanted to do but didn’t have time for, and it is a dream of his to make the trek. Rinjani is considered a sacred mountain to Lombok’s people and making the 3 day trek to the summit is important to them.

We’re not ready to leave this beautiful island, but we are nearing the end of the trip and we must get back to Bali to fly home.

Goodbye Gili Air, you are by far the coolest place I have ever been, now back to Ubud, Bali!

Gili Air aka Paradise

Posted in Indonesia on June 26th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 5 Comments

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Our complimentary breakfast at Kaluku Bungalows consists of fruit salad, toast and coffee. Not as much as we have been accustomed to eating but I for one have been packing on the pounds so a dietary change is in order anyway.

We walked around island, started heading north. We found a sweeto deserted beach in the southwest that we chilled on in the shade for a while enjoying the beautiful view. The other island in the pictures is Gili Meno, and the mountain in the background is on Bali.

me gili meno from gili air

gili meno from gili air

One the way back we went to Munchies for lunch. I got Urap-urap (a Sasak dish containing boiled veggies with grated coconut and spices with rice) for 15,000 which was AMAZING! This and Gado-gado are my favorite Indonesian foods so far. I need an Indonesian cookbook so I can make this stuff when I get home.

urap urap

Later we hung out in the pool at Blue Marlin Dive shop next door to Kaluku and read all day. We ate dinner at Munchies again, I got really yummy iced coffee for 6,000.

Ryan used the internet at Ozzy’s where you can use their moderate-speed connection for 400 a minute.

At 9:30pm I went to a “big” party at the Blue Bar on the south end of the island where I met a few travelers and lots of locals, most born and raised on Gili Air, but a few from Flores, Sulawesi, and other Indonesian islands. We hung out, drank a few Bintangs, listened to the DJ spin some rave-y music, and I spun fire poi with the locals! Afterwards I headed home and slept in a hammock outside under the stars, it was lovely.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

I woke up to the Muslim call to prayer at 5am. I think it’s a pleasing sound to wake up to. Went back to sleep for an hour and then got up to watch a beautiful sunrise with Ryan.

We packed a daypack and headed to the southwestern beach we discovered yesterday, stopping to trade books and have a lassy and iced coffee at Munchies on the way.

On our trek to the beach we took pictures of these super sketch huge spiders that are all over the trees and bushes. Important warning: don’t wander off the main roads and go tromping through the bushes on these islands, you WILL face plant right into these palm-sized fuckers, they are everywhere. Ugh, gives me the creepy crawlies!

gili air spider

We spent the day lounging on the beach, soaking up the sun and reading. We found a huge pile of seashells and when they started moving we realized most were inhabited by hermit crabs. There were lots of fisherman out, some with nets and some with poles. I dig how this guy has a pack of smokes strapped to his hat.

gili air fisherman

When the tide got really low we waded into the water. Gili Air looks beautiful from a few hundred feet out in the ocean!

ariel gili air

Ryan also had an excellent photoshoot with this crab.

gili air crab

On the way home we stopped at a restaurant on the south tip of the island where they had baby sea turtles that were sooooooo cute!

baby sea turtles

We grabbed lunch at Munchies (now our go-to place because of the cheap lassies we are addicted to) where I got Tempe in a thick spicy tomato based sauce with rice that was fantastic! This was also a Sasak dish.

spicy tempe sasak

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I woke up to a bright pink room and looked outside to see one of the most vibrant sunrises I’ve ever seen. We went out to watch and then I walked along the beach and gathered seashells.

gili air sunrise

gili air sunrise

In the late morning we snorkeled along the southeastern part of the beach. The current was incredibly strong, it just sweeps you along so the best way to do it is get in on the northeast beach and drift down to the southeast beach.

In the evening we watched sunset over the water from northwest side of island.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Got up early to watch sunrise again. It’s so beautiful every morning and it’s a great way to start the day.

gili air sunrise

At around 10:00am we snorkled getting in in front of the Abdi Fantastik bungalows a few steps south of Kaluku. We floated down to around Manta Dive, then got out and walked along the beach back to where we started, stopping to play on the swings along the way.

gili air beach swing

We did this twice, and we saw turtles! The visibility and reef are much better in the morning. The only downside is the ruthless jellyfish. We’re both covered in little welts from their stings.

Ate lunch at the Green Cafe where I got a vegetable and fruit kebab with a carrot and cabbage salad for 30,000. The kebab was delish but there are tastier things for the price. Green Cafe is right next to Munchies so Ryan ordered a lassy and they brought it over to him.

We watched another beautiful sunset on the northwest side of the island before heading to dinner.

gili air sunset

gili air sunset

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

After breakfast we snorkeled again, getting in in front of our place and floating with the current down to Munchies. We saw turtles again and a giant spotted eel!

Ate lunch at Munchies where I got Pelecing (water spinach with coconut and a spicy tomato sauce) which I had tempe added to, costing me 18,000 all total. It wasn’t bad, but not my favorite.

pelecing

Later we tromped on some central trails to get the the southwest side of the island where we watched the sunset over Gili Meno.

After sunset we bought necklaces from a primary school teacher named Mustafa. He teaches ages 6-12.

At 10:30pm we went to the once-yearly Dark Moon Party at Legends Reggae Bar on the north tip of the island. There were mostly locals there and it was very rave-y. We drank Bintangs, talked with our buddy Rouling from the Munchies crew, and I spun fire again. There are lots more tourists here now, and, surprisingly, Americans. The island is getting noticeably busier and it gets into peak season.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

We woke up late and went snorkeling a little later than we planned. We got in the water in front of Kaluku at 11:30am and floated south for an hour. The visibility wasn’t as great as previous days because the waves had been kicking up the sand all morning.

We had lunch at Munchies before walking back. We chilled at Kaluku for a while and then went on a new book hunt. We ended up buying one book from Kira Kira Cottages for 15,000, trading our Stephen King book for a 2008 copy of Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring (such a steal! this book is $26 at home) and trading 2 of our other books for Obedience by Will Lavender. I’m currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, the 4th book I have read on this trip (the other three were Stephen King’s The Dead Zone which I liked, How to be Good by Nick Hornby which was a quick and light read, and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown which was not good at all.)

gili air fish seller

gili air street

We watched sunset on the northwest side of the beach again, then headed to dinner at Munchies where I got a traditional Sasak fish dish called Ikan Parapek for 30,000. I thought it was pretty good, untill I found out that “fresh fish” means “caught sometime in the last month, maybe.” In fact the local joke is to say “Fresh fish, caught tomorrow!”

ikan parapek

I have gone mostly vegan here (had to give up lassies!) since dairy is hard to come by and I was already vegetarian anyway. So far I don’t really miss it and I feel great.

Yum, Lassy! To Gili Air by Perama boat

Posted in Indonesia on June 21st, 2009 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

The only noteworthy thing about today was our discovery of the lassy, a ridiculously delicious drink made by thoroughly blending fresh fruit, plain yogurt, and ice to a creamy smooth texture. It’s like a cross between a milkshake and a smoothie. We’re SO making these all the time when we get home.

mixed fruit lassy

Oh also we goofed off with my underwater camera in the pool.

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

After breakfast we scrambled to get ready to leave for the Gili islands. I bought a sarong for the beach for 25,000, we changed some US dollars for Rupiah because there are no ATMs on Gili Air, and we bought snacks and tickets for the Perama boat ride to the islands.

bali atm

padang bai beach

Goodbye Padang Bai, you were a pleasant place to be sick in, now on to Gili Air!

Gili Air is the middle of the three Gili islands when it comes to land area and busyness. It has the largest local population, it’s the closest to Lombok, and it’s not too busy, not too quiet. Gili Trawangan is the largest, most developed, and most expensive island, and is generally just one huge drunken party day and night. Gili Meno is the smallest, quietest, and least populated island. It lies between Air and Trawangan and has a salt water lake.

The Perama boat ride to Gili Air lasted about 4.5 hours, cost 300,000 each, included dinner onboard, and made everyone pretty seasick. It was very cool seeing Bali, Lombok, and the sunset from the boat so we alternated lying down with taking pretty pictures.

perama boat to gili

sunset from perama boat

We arrived on Gili Air after dark and got a ride on a cidomo (horse drawn cart) to get to the Coconut Cottages. The ride cost 20,000. There are no motor vehicles allowed on the Gili islands so the only way to get around is by foot, bike, or cidomo. It’s not much to walk though; you can get around the perimeter of Gili Air by foot in about an hour.

We stayed at the Coconut Cottages for one night in a fan room for 250,000. After we got settled in our room we went out and got pineapple juice at Lombok Indah for 6,000 before going to bed.

Friday, June 19th, 2009

For breakfast at Coconut Cottages I ate toast with pineapple jam, fruit salad, and Lombok coffee in the company of a super cute cat.

gili air cat

We walked around and looked at a bunch of different places to stay, most are along the East side of the island. We decided on the Kaluku Bungalows next to Blue Marlin Dive Shop which we got for 300,000 a night (down from 350,000) for an air conditioned room with a tv, minifridge, lovely open air bathroom with hot [salt] water shower, and a pool. The pool is a huge plus because this place is HOT.

gili air kaluku bungalows

We tried to go snorkeling but the visibility was terrible and the current was strong so we gave up and sunbathed on the beach instead. We’re told that the ocean has been rough lately and that it should settle down in the next few days and when it does we plan on doing a day long snorkel trip around the three Gilis.

ariel gili air beach

The power went out on the whole island sometime mid-morning and stayed out almost until sunset. For dinner we went to a place called Munchies where Ryan got some tasty chicken curry and we both got mixed fruit lassies.

gili air road

gili air beach