After having stayed in Gili Air for so long in somewhat primitive conditions (the bungalow was OK, but there were a little too many cockroaches and the power was pretty unreliable) we wanted to have some luxury for the last full night in Indonesia. I covered some parts about our arrival in Bali's Canggu area in the last entry, but putting it short the trip from Gili Air took a lot longer than we had expected. This wasn't too bad but a little annoying still since we had reserved the Frii hotel where we had stayed twice before and the room was about three times as expensive as we were used to paying. We wanted to get the most out of it.
We were there by six p.m. though, so not too late, and got to enjoy the air-conditioning and the cable TV as well. Most of all we enjoyed the buffet breakfast in the morning. But in reality we returned to the Frii hotel mostly because of its proximity to Mojosurf's office building. We had left a whole lot of our things there underneath a bed and needed to go back to get them. They were there in perfect condition just as we left them, if only a little dustier.
We had a good time in our "expensive" 440'000 IDR/night hotel, packed our bags to the brim once more and checked out at noon. It was going to be a long day since our plane wasn't going to leave until 1.10 a.m. the next day. Naturally we took our hammocks with us to the beach and found some trees to hang them on. Our spot wasn't the greatest ever, I was stretched over a small cliff with a minor chance of rolling down a steep hill, but we spent a good while there anyway. We didn't leave the beach until we got hungry at around 4 p.m. and went to buy some snacks. Later, after killing some time in Frii's lounge, we had dinner at a place called Warung Smile which had the best chicken satay we've ever had for just 30´000 IDR.
We arranged transport to the airport right after checking out from the hotel, there's always a bunch of drivers hanging around there. We settled for 200'000 IDR without haggling since it was the same price we had paid earlier and agreed for the guy to pick us up at eight p.m.. The drive went by swiftly through the darkness and we got to our destination without any hassle. It was only about nine p.m. as we got there and we had no idea if it was yet possible to check in on our late flight, but we got into the line anyway. We were in luck and got EXIT-seats on the plane to Brisbane! I just love the extra leg room… We hadn't come prepared to pay the 200'000 IDR per person airport tax, but I was able to run to the ATM for the last 300'000 before anyone in the line behind us got too annoyed. We also had to pay extra for water, as always, but this time it was even more annoying than usually. They took away our bottle at the security check, of course, and sold similar bottles on the other side for six to eight times as much. But then they took away even those bottles when we went to the gate! That was apparently because of Australian flight regulations…
And that was Indonesia for us! It was a great month, if a little different from what we had expected. The surfing course we had with Mojosurf was better than we dared to hope, but otherwise Indonesia didn't awe me quite as much as I had hoped for. The country is beautiful, to be sure, but I had expected a lot less tourists. We were there on low season, we were in Flores and in one of the "less developed" Gilis, but still everything seemed to be geared towards tourists. In Gili Air everyone was involved in the tourist business in one way or the other, Labuan Bajo was littered with Komodo trip touts, etc. And the prices for accommodations were closer to Thailand's range than we had expected (also, as one can assume in a Muslim country, the price for alcohol is higher). We were not disappointed, but failed to find the island paradise we had hoped for. Had we stepped further off the beaten path we might have come across it, but I guess we'll never know. Unless we come again, which doesn't seem so far-fetched. Maybe we'll give Indonesia another go in a few years…