Now lying in a cosy bed, air con blasting with a hot shower and tea and coffee when ever we want, the events of the last few days seen a long time ago. However these luxuries in the central town of Ubud in Bali, are much deserved after the perils Hannah and I were put through over the past few days. However that story will have to wait, with the entry being about our journey from London to the Gili Islands.
After a 24 hour flight, stopping off at Qatar; which we new about, and Singapore; which we didn't, we finally arrived in Bali at about 19:30 local time. Dressed in a hoody and jeans, the heat meant sweat was seaping from every part of my body. However once we collected our bags from the reclaim belt we jumped in the first taxi we could, aircon cranked up, and raced off to Kuta. The traffic was dire, and there's not much to be said about Kuta accept it being the a******* of Bali, in dire need of a wipe. We got to our hotel, Sorga Cottages at 21:00, after being lost for an hour as our taxi just dropped us off somewhere vaguely in Kuta. The room was basic but more than enough for just one night. The next day we booked our bus to Padang Bai, and then our fast boat on to the Gili Islands, three small islands off the north west coast of Lombok. We got the bus an hour later, and I experienced my first bout of tropical rain.
The bus journey was comfy, however the drivers seem to have been tought in the Jackie Roberts driving school, never knowingly maintained the same speed, but always accelerating or breaking. However they get us places rather quickly, and in no time at all we were in Padang Bai, a small port on the east coast. Here we met our first travel buddy, Eva, from Holland, who had to travel alone for now as her friend was ill. The boat over to Gili was rough, as a storm was coming in, and many people needed to despence over the back of the boat. On this we met four hungover British guys, dispencing allot. One of them had been travelling for four months with at least four months left. He gave us plenty of tips for Thailand and Loas, all of which were useful and exciting. With relief we got to the Gili islands and found a lovely cheap place to stay with air con, an outside toilet fitted with a shower, western toilet and cockroaches.
The pace on Gili is slow and relaxed, full of young people from everywhere in the world, and the main activities were relaxing in a cafe or on the many beaches, snorkleing, scuba diving and surfing. Due to the weather, the swell in the channel between Gilli Trawangan (the island we were on) and Gilli Meno was huge, and the waves crashing in to the shore were large and powerful, so surfing was off for amatures like me and Han, and the so was the diving for the same reason. So we were stuck on land, left to relaxing in cafes, eating cheap, tasty, heathly food and relaxing in cafes. This was fine for Han and I, who suffering from jet lag meant our energy levels were not high, and the rest after the flight was good to sort out our body clocks. We were on the Gili Islands from the 13th till the 16th, a day longer than intended.
Our time on Gili was wonderful and exactly what we needed after the long flight, however I would have been lying if I had said I didn't want to leave. Perhaps it was the weather, perhaps it was the fact we had no idea how to get off the islands, but there was not many things to do, and it hadn't seemed like the trip had propperly started. However what happened on the next few days changed that view completely. Sorry for the uneventful first entry, but that will all change in the next entry. It will be about our strange, unique, frustrating, eventlful, tiring journey from Gilli to Ubud.