We flew from Bangkok into Bali and then caught a flight, straight away, to Lombok, costing us only £14 each. We later found out that this airline (Wings Air) has crashed multiple times and is banned from flying internationally… But, never mind because we are here alive and well!
Our first Indonesian destination was Kuta (Lombok) and we had a homestay booked – our own private shalet with a huge double bed and tasty breakfast included!
On our first day we motorbiked to two of the beaches on the west coast. The first beach we went to (mawun) was beautiful and serene with just a few tourists. Afterwards, we headed to the beach known for its sunset views and surfer scene (manwi) and we walked over the rocky hill to find a stretch of pebbled beach with just one other couple on the whole beach. With practically a beach to ourselves we lay back and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
We spent the evening, as is our standard, chilling and drinking beer (beer in Indonesia is roughly £2 for a 620ml bottle).
The following day we attempted to locate lombok’s pink beach but unfortunately we ended up motorbiking for a long time with no luck. We asked locals for directions but the language barrier made communication difficult. After 2 hours of riding, and the midday heat burning on our necks, we decided to turn round and head for home. We ended up eating “spring rolls” that were more like cheesey croquettes that had been recommended to us the night before, and then we headed to the beach right by our homestay which, again, was deserted. Unfortunately, my lactose intolerance resulted in a very close call – I accidentally drank milk in a smoothie. Liv hopped on the motorbike and rushed me rush to our homestay – an event which never fails to have Liv in hysterics any time we retell it.
The next day we headed to Senggigi. We’d looked at prices of shuttle buses but the guy at our homestay offered us a private taxi for just a little extra so we ended up travelling in a spacious air conned car – these little luxuries are worth treasuring.
Senggigi was a zombie land, with hardly anyone around at all. Our hotel was cute and it had its own pool which we took advantage of but there was nothing notable around. The beach was pleasant but had nothing on those around Kuta.
We only stayed for just over a day before we headed to our main destination – the Gili Islands.
First we went to the smallest of the 3 Gili islands – Gili meno. We stayed in a little thatched bungalow style hut which was really cute. Liv managed to get me on a glass bottom boat (I don’t really do boats by choice – sea sickness) to go snorkelling and we got to see turtles. Now, you’ve probably guessed from our website name but turtles are a big deal, especially to Liv who loves them so much – so getting to see turtles brought a big smile to her face for the whole day – you know the smiles that show white teeth and cute dimples, when someone is really genuinely that happy!
We treated ourselves to a freshly bbq’d tuna steak topped with fried onions which was amazing. It’s the first bit of fresh fish we’ve eaten, despite being constantly in seaside locations but it was well worth the wait! It was delicious!
The next morning we caught an island hopper boat to Gili T – famous for its party vibe. We spent our first day, sipping fresh juices, enjoying lush healthy food and actually working out at our fitness hostel. Now I stay hostel, this place is essentially a gym with some make-shift accommodation – we stayed in a little lumbung with a blow up bed. (The other accommodation option was simply a hammock under the stars.) With free access to the gym and complimentary breakfast and one of the cheapest stays on the island we couldn’t complain!
We eased ourselves in to the party style (after so long out of action) by just hitting up a few bars – one called Lava, another called Evolution that was just rows of tables set up for beer pong (I won both games) and then on to a reggae bar with live music.
The rest of our time on the island including more snorkelling (and more jellyfish stings), more beer, some cocktails, the gym, good food and even a movie in the hostels make-shift cinema.
After a really chilled few days we boarded our boat to Bali. This trip is famous for its choppy seas and its ability to make half the boat load throw up. Suffering from motion sickness as it is this did no bode well for me, luckily though due to some tactical starvation I managed to retain me stomach contents and we made shore with only a slight level of queeziness.