So after fending off a bloke trying to buy my guitar while we were waiting for our Bus to Mataram, we found out, that as our hotel was in the middle of, "butt f*** nowhere," the bus driver was refusing to drop us there and only to Mataram City Centre.
So we climbed on the bus, chucked our bags onto the roof and had a few heated interactions with the driver…. Long story cut short (after I cut his ears off) ,we not only got dropped directly to our hotel, but he waited for us to check in, leave our bags and get back onto the bus to continue the journey into Mataram City. I felt really bad for the remaining 8 customers on the bus who were taken half hour out of their way for us…. Ah well…. I'm over it now….
The driver however, had the last laugh….
A theme, almost a tradition that we have become more and more frustrated with, is that the drivers of the buses decide to drop you off in the middle of the most inconvenient, random and ludicrous places they can find which sort of, in a way, resembles the destination they advertise. This place was a car park of a supermarket about 5km out from where we needed to be. I'm sure it is a game they play. I didn't want to chop off anything else of his, so we just got off, collected our bags and walked the 5km in 35c heat to the Mataram Mall. It gave us a great opportunity to size up the Capital of Lombok.
Two words to describe Mataram, now known as Matalan, this time not muddy piss…..
We were so grateful for our Sayang Sayang countryside retreat…. We spent the time we had in Matalan stocking up on pirate DVDs and instant noodles. This would set up our next few days nicely…
The Hotel was gorgeous, a variety of sized little Villas, beautifully decorated with four-postered beds and luxury finishing throughout. The fish tank at the foot of the bath tub was an awesome touch….
However we read online the food was really expensive (almost 5 times what we have been paying, when we inspected the menu on arrival).. So we felt smug that we had hindsight and a rucksack full of noodles to accompany us for our stay.
We were literally in the middle of… ."Butt f*** nowhere." (I wonder how many times I can use that in one blog…)
We spent the evening talking to a few people on the beautiful iphone app which is Viber.
Sent a few emails to family members etc, and Katie caught up on the football news…
I received a call from a friend who gave us some devastating news from home. With respect I won't go into details, but the up shot was that one of our pupils from home had recently killed herself. She was 15 and going into her final year at school. The news hit both of us hard. Poor girl. Poor family. Our thoughts are with the whole school community we have left behind.
I did all I could, cracked open a can of Fanta and reflected on quite how lucky we are to be alive, healthy and enjoying this once in a lifetime experience.
We spent the next day maximizing the hot water by filling our bath up with our dirty clothes and doing some washing. (Thanks Val, your travel wash came in perfectly..)
I think the manager of our 4* Hotel was quite confused when we came out of villa, with item after item of drenched clothes and asked her where we could hang it all….
So having stayed in the middle of, "Butt f*** no where.." (I think that is three times) , surprisingly, the bus driver refused to pick us up from our Hotel. So the manager cooked us up some snacks to take with us and drove us to the agreed meeting point. We spent the next hour or so in a HOT bus on our way to the Ferry Port.
We spent the next 3 hours waiting and then an additional 5 hours crossing the water between Lombok and Bali in what can only be described as the boat journey from hell.
Huge winds and rocking boats are never fun. Especially for the people we saw loosing half their body weight in sick in the toilets… lovely stuff.
The final stitch up on our ticket, sold to us by "The p**** from Lombok, was that after arriving in Padangbai and trying to find our bus to Dempasar (where we had booked accommodation), we were told no bus goes to Dempasar…… WHAT A p****!...
We had no choice but head to Kuta once again. This however was a little bit of serendipity, as we arrived back to a place where we both strangely found we really missed and found a cheap room no problem. It's like we have stumbled across a totally different Kuta to the one we saw the last time..
Yes its commercial, yes its busy, yes it's FULL of Ozzies, but it is fun and we love it!
We are staying on Popies Lane 1 (the Balinese version of Khosan Road) and have booked a few trips and can't wait!
We go to the Zoo tomorrow to see the White tigers and others; we are both looking forward to it!
I will write up a "Kuta part 2" blog," as it really is like a different place this time round. Ill let you know if Katie has been eaten by the tigers and if I've managed to crack my Fanta addiction…. I am currently 2 hours clean…
"Hi, my names Nic and I am a Fanta addict…"
Next stop Lovina
Peace and Flip Flops
Nic and Katie xxx