Cock-a-doodle-do. Up with the cockerels again on what was to be our last day in Lombok, Tania and I having decided that we had seen enough and were in need of some R & R on the famed beautiful Gili isles. Having forgone the trip to Flores and Komodo (1.5 million Rp each) we thought that we would treat ourselves to some more upmarket accommodation on Gili T for a week. So the order of the day was schooling, then travel agent, then beach and then packing.
Breakfast over we set about filling the children’s minds with their usual diet of subjects. All three of them are willing students and make the task very enjoyable for both teacher and student alike. As the thermometer rose steadily, Mateo and I made a last run to the shops for lunch and biscuits whilst Tania finished with Luca and Oskar. Chicken Noodle soup again, but this time Luca agreed to eat it, providing we left out the sauce – i.e. noodles in hot water. Each to their own I guess, and he did eat it all up like he had promised.
We stopped into the travel agent on the way to the beach to discuss the trip to Gili, accommodation there, and getting back again to Denpasar in order to get to Yogyakarta (or Jogja for short). We pleaded impoverished family on an 8 month trip needing to economise, and so he offered us a bungalow at 450,000 Rp a night with a/c, swimming pool, hot and cold fresh water, the works. Very tempting, but for 7 nights, more than we wanted to spend. Eventually we were offered something at 300,000 Rp a night including breakfast, and a second bed would be installed for us to sleep altogether. Still slightly more than we wanted to pay, but when he included the transport and shuttle boat to Gili T, and the return fast boat to Padangbai and transfer to Denpasar all for 4.55 million Rp we decided to go for it.
He then offered to drive us to the ATM and afterwards back to the beach. We got the dosh and were duly deposited back at his office – which was in fact next to the entrance to the beach, which we already knew – and parted with our cash in exchange for an itemised receipt. This receipt would be exchanged for the various transfer tickets and be proof of our booking for the accommodation; do not lose it!
Now hot and extremely bothered, the children were desperate to get to the beach to dive into ocean and snorkel away the rest of the afternoon. This we did and made several sorties into the salty sea. Most of the coral is dead this close to the shore, but there are a few fish here and there. As you head further out life begins to display itself and the sandy coloured fronds start to change to blues and purples, and the fish become numerous and diverse. We saw quite a few “Gills” from the film Finding Nemo and some small electric blue/purple fish as well as a few rainbow coloured fish.
At one point a young Danish man and his Indonesian girlfriend appeared and asked me if I could watch their things whilst they snorkelled. When they returned we chatted and it transpired that he had been travelling for a year and a half, and that his lady friend was from Yogjakarta – our first port of call in Java after the week on Gili T. They offered us an opportunity to go to see her village when we were there (yes please, we said) and furnished us with his email address so we could send him our phone number. I was beginning to like this particular stretch of beach, there was some sort of fortuitous circumstances floating around here, or perhaps it was karma, who knows.
Tania headed home with Oskar and Mateo to lay out all of the clothes and stuff ready for me to do the packing when I got back with the boys. And after another chat with my new found friends, Luca and I home too. Then it was packing rucksacks for me before we headed off to Lotus House (the pizza place) as a farewell surprise for the boys. As before, all plates were cleared and so we ended our last night in Senggigi.
Tomorrow were are off to Gili Trawanga – the livelier of the 3 islands for a relaxing week of sun, sand, and even better snorkelling. Minivan and then Boat – can’t wait.