Day 2 (6/1/12)
Got up early as our Taxi was supposed to pick us up at Ruslan’s at 8 a.m. Oka was our friendly driver who drove us to Padang Bai, a 2 hour journey dotted with a wonderful balinese breakfast, an unsuccessful shopping stop and tons of interesting conversations! Oka took us to a local school canteen instead of a conventional warung (small restaurant) and his wife served us freshly made “Utte” (a flat vegetable bajjji like thing) which was excellent with our red chilli karam podi! In the car later, Vishu tried to give Oka a crash course in website creation when he told us that he had five kids and needs to gain customers! We plan to help him out when we return to Bali on the 17th.
When we reached Padang Bai, we were hustled into a public office where we booked our tickets to Senggigi. We were told to hurry as the ferry would leave in 10 minutes, but the Indonesians seem to follow our concepts of time as well. 10 mins turned out to be 45 mins after which we waited another 1 hour for the ferry to actually leave the port! So I suppose we felt right at home! :)
The ride from Padang Bai to Senggigi is a 6 hour ride best described by the pictures we uploaded. We met a wonderful Anglo-Indonesian family on the ferry. Adrian (British), Heni (Indonesian) and their two wonderful kids Michelle and Isabel who kept us entertained throughout the journey. After a few minutes of getting to know each other we were invited to stay in their home in Bandung, West Java. Adrian is an oceanographer and a very nice man. Heni works with autistic kids and was happy to invite us to take part in her work with such kids when we stay with them. They’ve been driving from Java through to Lombok on a holiday. Can you believe that we actually had an “oceanographer” on the ferry!! Our Guruji is truly an artist who places the perfect people at the perfect spot, at the perfect time and makes us bump into them at the perfect moment! :)
We saw a weird flying fish that was flying on its tail!! And a couple of dolphins as well. The weather on the boat alternated between hot, cold and wet as we tried to out run a torrent of rain that was at our heels. In between this, we read a satsang extract from Bound To Love about Transformation in Progress that was wonderfully apt. :)
We finally reached Senggigi, according to me and the stupid ticket, but Vishu’s sixth sense was telling him that it wasn’t. Annnnd, it wasn’t! But we didn’t know it then! We blissfully assumed that we had arrived in Senggigi and got off the ferry. Along with us, another poor couple with backpacks were also hustled into a suspicious looking mini van. There we were subjected to the first of the many “package pitches” of our journey. We all declined the brilliant looking “package deals” and started chatting with one another. Neza and Jure, a Slovinian couple were on their honeymoon. Neza is a doctor and Jure is a anti-terriost cop who runs triathlons instead of catching bad guys as there is hardly any crime in Slovenia. We didn’t really know where the minivan was taking us for quite a while, but the conversation was enjoyable so no one complained. It was raining all the while as well. Eventually we arrived at our destination, Senggigi!! At this point we realized that we had actually arrived in Lembar and not Senggigi earlier. Then we sat through another session of some random tour guide telling us the best packages that we should take in order to fully experience Indonesia. We all declined and walked to our hotel. Our new Slovenian friends could not get a room in our hotel, so they left their bags at our room and went hunting. In the end, they got a pool and a garden and we got a broken flush and a loud mosque. We then had a wonderful dinner together and swapped stories about our respective countries and lives. We exchanged Facebook IDs and decided to meet again the next day for dinner.
Tomorrow we plan to rent bikes and get lost in Lombok. Our new friends on the other hand plans to go for a run early in the morning and then bicycle half the island to Mataram and get back in time for dinner. Opposites really do attract!
We’ve noticed that Bali had a weird smell about it. Lombok has its own distinct aroma. We haven’t been able to figure out either.
We’ve been in Indonesia two days, and have even travelled between a couple of islands, but we are yet to see a beach. Wonderful, delicious irony which we hope to set right tomorrow.