I am sitting on a huge ferry, bigger than I have ever seen, and thought I would write this down while it is very fresh in my mind.
My husband and I, yes we got married!!, came to Bali, Indonesia for our honeymoon.
It was not what we expected at first and we even wanted to go home earlier, we even got a quote for a flight change, but decided that we will stay it out.
We were told that Seminyak is very busy, but nobody explained what “very busy” exactly means. It is insane. It is scooters everywhere. The area is bustling till way after 11pm at night and there is a lot of people. Driving 20km here takes about 2 hours, depending on traffic.
We decided in the moment that we want to break away for a night or two and go to a quieter place. We booked a room at Kerti Bungalows and Restaurant in Padang Bai and off we went. We decided to stop in Ubud on the way.
I saw on Youtube someone speaking about the market. I really wanted to see this, but my idea of a market and their idea of a market are two different things. Apart from that it was raining, it was, again, soooo busy and soooo many people. Everyone wanted to sell something to you and haggling was advised numerous times.
The first experience I got with haggling was a couple trying to get a price down from IDR800 000 to IDR200 000. The lady shouted something at them in her language and showed 8 with a fingers and shoo’d them away. They gave up eventually. I suck at haggling so I left that to my husband. We only got 1 lady to change her mind. These guys, as per my opinion, do not want to haggle. Such a shame. They could make a lot more money off of me. We were completely overwhelmed and left the market. We explored the streets of Ubud rather.
After a lovely lunch at a local restaurant we went on our way to Padang Bai. It took us a heck of a long time and IDR850 000 in total. This is from Seminyak-Ubud-Padang Bai. Be careful, again there are cheaper options and although I have read that there are no taxis in Ubud, there are options.
We wondered around Padang Bai not really on our way anywhere and saw advertising for Gili Islands. Everybody wants to take you there. It is like that is the only thing they know. We spoke to one of the local operators and booked a day tour (well transfer) to Gili Air. This was IDR850 000 for both of us including a transfer to Seminyak after our return the afternoon. This is where the ferrie comes into play.
We departed late from Padang Bai and made our 1h30min way to Gili air by speedboat (way to slow still if you ask me, but driving 50km/h here is very fast).
It was fantastic arriving there. A real island picture and sooo quiet.
It is so relaxing, laidback and everyone is so nice. Nobody attacks you when you enter a shop, a welcome hello is what you get and you can browse.
We did not have a lot of time so we rented a bike (this was absolutely lovely paddling around) and some snorkeling gear and set off to the beach. Etienne had an absolute blast watching all the fish and you do not even have to go in that far. I tried but failed miserably as I could not even make it past the beach-haha not a fan of touching funny stuff.
After we had lunch and this was funny. We ordered a chicken wrap and on the menu it said slightly spicy. I can do spicy. I took a dew bites and my mouth started breathing fire! Apart from that it was actually quite nice. When the waiter ran past is again I asked what is in the wrap as it is very hot. He replied “oh, just a small bit of chillies”. Well mr, your idea and my idea is two different ideas. I washed it down with coke light and the fries was delicious.
It was time to go. We sat and waited quite some time for our boat that never arrived. Then we were informed that we are being moved to Lombok, different country and island, as our operator is too late for Gili and will collect us there.
Illegally we took a short transfer to Lombok where we waited, and waited, and waited a little more. Every time receiving a different update.
Somewhere a round 5pm the afternoon we were told that the boat broke and they have organised a bus which will take us to the harbor where we will get on the slow boat and sail back to Padang Bai.
Slow boat-it takes between 3-4 hours to travel 65km.
At 6pm we got on the bus, sighted a country illegally and arrived at a random stop just before the harbor.
Here we had real Indonesia street food, at a random stop, watching a soccer world cup game (Denmark vs Australia) with free wifi. How is that for travel?
At around 10pm we got onto the ferry and at 11pm we departed. We just arrived, kind of, at Padang Bai (4 hours later) and are patiently waiting to disembark. Apparently it takes skill as we have been docking for the past half hour.
The saga continues.
After crossing the road at least twice between two different taxis we got into one of the two sent to help all the illegals from Lombok.
It is currently 04:10 in the morning and we are on our way back to Seminyak…hopefully.
We arrived in Seminyak at the wrong location. Trying to explain to these people something different from what they have their mind set to is like trying to understand a foreign language you have never heard about. Lets just say I ended in tears.
We hailed a taxi after the driver basically threw us off the combi-taxi. He dropped us in front of our hotel and wanted IDR300 000 for a trip that is less than 2km. We lost it. He refused to take the IDR100 000. So we paid that for the short trip by leaving it on the front seat and got out.
It is now 05:48 and we reek. So it is definitely time for a shower and then sleep.
It is the next morning. We got some sleep (woke up at 13:30 this afternoon), had a cup of coffee and set out to find food and do some souvenir shopping.
After all the drama the time spent on the island was fantastic and we would love to go back.
Lets call this part one. Maybe I will share some more.