The 12 hour bus journey from Denpasar to Probolingo was undeniably long and uncomfortble, but that was still dwafted by the epic quest to take us back to Ubud on Bali. In a journey that would usually take 2 and a half hours had the weather been fine, instead took 34 hours, spanning three islands. This is the story of Gili to Ubud, the long way round.
We found out on the 15th of march that our bout back to Bali was cancelled, and that was expected due to the weather, and there are worse places to be stranded. We met some lovely, interesting people. There was an American living in Japan who we were chatting to at dinner, who was telling us all about the nuclear disaster in fukushima, as well as his travels around Loas. Then we moved down to this Irish Bar (they are everywhere), were we met an australian carpenter, who i thought was drunk and trying to hit on Han, but it just turned out he was lonely, sober and wanted a chat. Felt like a bit of a arse.
On the 16th we got up at 7 in the morning to get a boat to Lombok at 8. All was going swimmingly, the boat only took 20 mins, we hopped straight onto a minibus and made the 2 hour journey to the port on Lombok. It was a winding coastal road, drapped over the mountains that flowed into the sea. We made this journey with our friend Eva, and three Swedish boys, around 20 to 21 years old. One had was clutching this book very tightly, and we all wanted to know what was inside. After some time he finally revealed it was carrying his laptop. A clever way to conceil an expensive item, because, who would steal a book? Especially this book; it didn't have a very good story, no illustrations, just a laptop... what a crap book.
About 3 miles before the port, there was a huge traffic jam, and we all had to get out a discuss where we were going to go next. A local said he knew a back route to the port so we could miss out the traffic and get the next ferry to Bali, arrive in Ubud for dinner, and enjoy a meal and drinks over looking the rice fields. There was no ferry, in fact there was no ferry for 4 days. We turned for information from the organisers of the trip, and they'd vanished, without a trace, and we were stuck at a port. The organiser had mentioned flights out of Lombok to Bali. So there was our next destination, Lombok airport.
A taxi ride, taking us an hour and a half, took us to the very busy airport, with everyone needing to get out of Lombok. The six of us, Me, Han, Eva and the 3 Swedish boys queud up to find out about flights back to Bali. Here we were reaquainted with the hungover english boys from the boat, who said the next direct flight to Bali was on the 18th, 2 days away. Me and Han found out though that we could be in Bali the next day if we got a flight to Surabaya in Java at 6 in the morning, and then from Surabaya to Denpasar in Bali at 9 in the morning. We bought the tickets, costing us a day and a half of our budget, said bi to Eva and the Swedish boys who were off to stay in a place in Lombok, and had the 15 hour wait in the airport for our flights. We slept in the airport... well i slept in the airport, and at around 12:30 i woke up to Hannah speaking to some airport police, who were simply offering for us to stay on their floor in the police station, so we wouldn't have to worry about our bags. Hannah was very greatful seeing as she was struggling to stay awake to protect our bags. I however, was fast asleep.
At 4 we woke up in a police station, to 4 burly policemen singing Adelle in the highest voice you can think of. Now i know malria tablets make you dream, but this was rather sureal even so. We checked in at the airport and got our flight with wings air, the least you'd expect from an aeroplane really. This was a small two enguine propellor plane, which Hannah was less than keen about, but it did the job and after a short stop at Surabaya airport, we were in Bali, getting a taxi to Ubud.
After getting to Ubud we had a drink in th Nuriani hotel, and after some discussion, we decided to stay there and treat ourselves. Still it was only a tenner a night, and we got air conditioning, hot water, very comfy beds, breakfast and tea and coffee whenever we wanted. Anyway, that was that journey over with, and i hope the rest of the trip will be much easier. We are now in Probolingo, about to summit Mount Bromo with our friend Eva, and then on to Solo in central Java. I will fill you in on the rest of Bali at a later date. Enjoy.