Ross and Natalie's Travel Journal
Lombok Sengigi beach is where we stayed and on our arrival I was offered all kinds of drugs. This was really surprising seeing that Lombok is a strict Muslim country. We only stayed for one night and booked a 5 day cruise around the Islands of Lombok. We visited pottery villages, we saw traditional Lenak dances and a fighting performance, two guys hitting each other with bamboo sticks as hard as possible, the only protection they have is this bamboo shield thing... it was very violent!! Back on the boat we sailed to a small secluded sand island. We met the rest of the gang, played beach volley ball, had a wicked tuna barbeque, some singing, dancing and replanted our own coral...bet none of you have done that!! It was amazing and the coral really grows (apparently coral is from the animal species, did you know that?)...it is a new project that they have launched and it works. The next day we went to Santonda Island that consist of huge hills and a salt water lake in the middle...we had a morning swim, floating was easy because of the high content of salt in the water. Sailing continued to Donggo beach where an ant bit me on my eye (no idea how it got there) and it looked like I did two rounds with Mike Tyson. The following morning we arrived at Komodo Island...the reason for the trip. We went on a Komodo dragon (the largest extant lizard in the world) hunt and after some walking in the sun we saw our first dragon...they really look like they are from the dinosaur times. They are about three meters in length and they move very slowly unless they feel threatened. It was mating season at the time which makes it very hard to see them but on our way to the boat we saw one walking with a force and we had to get out of its way. We visited the Red Beach and Flores Island and had a farewell party on the boat. It was a really great bunch of people on the boat, Maarten, Coen, Damian, Kate and Gray, Kate and her mum, Anke, Charlotte and Jasper, the Swedes, the Indian uncles and most interesting 80 year old New Zealand chap. It was great to meet you all!! The Belgium boys found it really interesting that I could speak their language and even Ross got a few words in Afrikaans. The karaoke came out after we had a few beers and palm wine. We all had to sing a song from our country, The English sang "Yesterday" and I had to sing on my own (no Saffa's around)...all good fun and then we did some line dancing afterwards. All woke up with hangovers as we arrived at Rinca Island...also famous for the Komodo dragons. We went on a hike with Uncle Louis and we saw loads of komodo's...even some trying to mate! It was our last day of sailing and we sailed to Gilli Lama, an island so small you can walk around it in 5 minutes...snorkeling here was great and we saw little Nemo's (clown fish) protecting their reef...they tried to scare you away by swimming right up to your mask...it kept us intrigued for hours! On our way back the views of the Gunung Rinjani Valcano was mesmerizing! It was good to be back on solid ground after 5 terrific days of ocean cruising. We where on the move again and headed for the Gilli Ilands. To be honest we where not really expecting much of the Gilli's. It is absolute paradise and we where very surprised. We visited the smallest of the islands, Gilli Air, we did a scuba dive and saw loads of tropical sea life and fantastic green sea turtles...by far the best dive we have done so far. It is a very relaxed and laid back island. We had tasty seafood barbeques every night. After a couple of days we went to Gilli Trawangan, the water is clearer than pool water and it is so so beautiful...anyone planning on a beach holiday should look at coming here...none of the South East Asia beaches has come close to this place. We had a fab Sushi night with the Belgians. The beer is cheaper than a pound for a liter and it was very sad to leave the islands. Back in Bali we did some cultural living in the artistic town of Ubud. Ubud is famous for its traditional Balinese culture and modern art. It's a lovely little town with a great buzz to it...we had some lovely Indian curry's....we walked through the most stunning green paddy fields...we visited traditional Balinese temple's and art museums...we even saw a woman's football match and best of all...I had a colonic irrigation done at a spa (I am not going to go in detail). Our time in Bali was coming to an end and we had to get going. As we arrived at the airport for our flight to Singapore, we got stung by and $80 fine for overstaying our visa...s*** happens!!