After paying 800,000 (£50) to get to Gili T from Caangu, imagine my shock when the local boat was just 15,000 (about 75p) from Gili T to Lombok – an island just half the distance away. They really do up the price for tourists.
Unfortunately we are in rain season and the weather was taking a turn for the worst. The boat was just a simple long wooden structure with a plastic roof. It was rocking all over the place, up and down, up and down. The rain was pouring in, kids were falling off their seats and worst of all Steven was complaining about his hangover the whoooole 45 minute journey.
But we made it across safely, found a taxi and haggled him down from £30 to £13 for a 2 and a half hour journey to Kuta, Lombok for the both of us. This was probably the best taxi ride I’ve ever been in… the views of Lombok are spectacular. Rice fields, green mountains, palm trees and monkeys everywhere!
Our new abode in Kuta was Bule Homestay… wow this place is fancy, lovely owner and way too underpriced at £7 a night for our own room and bathroom. Beautiful pebbled pathways, 15 little huts each with its own porch with seats, water fountains, restaurant – I really appreciate the nice places after staying in budget hostels. The first thing I thought of when I got here was if they just changed their name to Bale Villas or Bale Bungalows they could double their room rate easily – still a marketeer at heart! But using the term ‘homestay’ is the cheapest in tax.
We chose Kuta in Lombok (not to be confused with Kuta, Bali) as it was recommended to Steven by a friend and a bit off the beaten track which we wanted after the hustle and bustle of Gili T. Moving forward I was keen to start doing a few more new and exciting things especially as Steven started to give me the new nickname of Anne ‘wuss’ Walton. I can’t argue with the name… one of the main things I’ve noticed about me is that I am overly cautious and I think way too much about everything. So here’s the plan for 2015, like one of my favourite songs of all time says: Do one thing each day that scares you – Baz Luhrmann. Well that starts today, Saturday 3rd January. Day one: I’m getting back on a scooter.
Today I also decided I’m also taking a vacation from social media for a few weeks
I’m noticing that I’m not really switching off from my home life, I go to a restaurant/café order something then immediately ask for the WiFi password to see what all my friends are upto at home, on their travels, who’s got engaged today etc. I came travelling to escape, challenge myself, see new places, indulge in new cultures but each day my pattern is to reconnect with the ‘real world’ when I’ve made a lot of sacrifices and using most of my life savings to be out here and I won’t get this chance again. So I’m taking a break, deleting all my apps but… I’ll still be blogging as I do enjoy it as my little therapy outlet. I’m actually really excited about this clean break, I think it will be very good for me.
After lunch Steven and I were off to explore. And to the Homestay owners shock, I got my own scooter. Why was that so hard to believe? Do I look that incapable? Probably.
Kuta, although rainy was incredible. Once we found the beach we went down this rocky road and found some amazing view points over looking the sea. Even with the stormy weather the landscape was breathtaking… I really couldn’t capture it in photos. This place is hidden left to the main Warung beach and is called Mandalika beach.
I’m also noticing the people in Kuta are also so friendly. Every one is smiley, people ride or walk by and say hello and more families want pictures together. I suppose this island is a bit less travelled than Bali and Gili so they don’t see as many westerners but I really like it here! Even paying for parking is friendly and it often really annoys me as its usually a ploy to make unnecessary money from westerners, but the guys here help you park your bike, watch your helmet and make sure your bike isn’t stolen only for 25-50p.
That evening we ate dinner at Warung Dulang restaurant. I just had a plate of fruit for 20,000 (a quid) but it was so good that I had to mention it – bananas, papaya, pineapple, mango and watermelon. Vitamins!!! It was such a great day! Tomorrow we are going to explore Lombok… in the south there are 4 main beaches and lots of mountain roads and views to see.