Tag Archives: lombok

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My Trip to Dragon Islands

To see Komodo dragons and dive into a national park, we took a boat trip crossing between Lombok and Flores, with multiple stops along the way.

Geographically, the Komodo National Park consists of 100% of the islands of Komodo and Rinca. These two islands are situated between Sumbawa and Flores. Sumbawa is on east of Lombok.

During four days and five nights with fellow adventurers, in a nut shell barely bigger than the old boat Ron. These boats have not really nice reputation. All travel guides advise to avoid. We had two live chickens in a cage at the bottom of the boat, near the toilet. A fish, a little tofu. A cooler full of beer and water. Eighteen foam mattress, three-quarters of an inch thick. No shower. Not enough toilet paper. A 30 horsepower motor to push it.

Our companions were vast majority British and Irish, and of course the boat has become a great big party. Beer, Irish songs, quotes from the movie Snatch, we were treated to all the clichés.

If the Irish were not sufficient to the task, we had a latino couple whose wife is a professional dancer who brewed his ass like a gallon of paint, a Finnish able to open a beer with anything, and an American who drinks all wrong. So all wrong it was absolutely drunk in his visit to the island of Komodo, and has repeatedly tried to pull the tail of a dragon by challenging the park rangers. I think they will remember us.

The snorkeling was great, awesome dragons and our lack of sleep, amazing.

The last night we rebuilt our reserves in the city and made a huge barbeque on a deserted island. We were very lucky to be dropped on people as friendly.

Once in Flores, we stayed and made a day of diving. On our first dive, a giant manta ray rose a foot above me. I shed a tear in my mask. Second dive much more difficult, especially with the strong currents in the area, but we met turtles, moray eels, and a ton of fish. Corals form veritable underwater gardens.

The beautiful diving, but difficult for beginners. Mary worked hard to keep control. The Dutch in our group had to air our divemaster both times. My regulator broke on every dive, I had to drive on my spare regulator. Not great.

We have thirty hours of ferry and bus back to Bali. Nice.

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Meno and Trawangan

We start at 6am with bus to reach the port of Padangbai then we take a ferry. The crossing lasts longer than 4 hours. We disembark at the port of Lembar and we take the bus to the port of Bangsal. We stay there for an hour because it’s pouring. We are soaked from head to toe and our big bags too! Fortunately the weather calms down, we take the opportunity to sail up in Gili Trawangan. After 10 hours of boat bus, we finally arrived, we had the Gili Islands!

After a lovely breakfast (included in the price of the guest house in Indonesia) consists of delicious banana pancake, fruit salad, omelette and coffee or tea bread, we start discovering Gili Trawangan. This is the largest and most popular Gili, it appeared for the first time on the tourist map in 90′s. It is an island untouched by cars and two-wheelers, the only public transport is cidomo (horse cart). The inhabitants of Gili are ingenious because between the horse and buggy is a canvas acting picks manure which helps keep a clean island. More people are sorting, they have yellow bins, blue and green … it is a very island ecologist! We note that there is no presence police so in case of any problem you should contact the village chief. The west of the island is wild while the rest is punctuated with bungalows, restaurants and shops. We discover the beautiful beaches fringed white sand and turquoise water. In the evening we eat a local specialty “Nasi Campur”, a dish consisting of rice steamed and mixed at various ingredients in a warung traditional at beachfront street. Throughout the meal, we died laughing because the teenager who takes care of the service commands to forget despair customers!

Today we explore Gili Meno, the smallest of the three islands. We see very little bungalow that we meet a pinch of tourist. This island is one of absolute tranquility. It has only 300 inhabitants. The interior of the land is punctuated with scattered dwellings, coconut groves and salt marshes. The beaches are beautiful, deserted and a turquoise worthy of the most beautiful postcards.

In our guest house the electricity was off for a while and water are recurrent, the systems are rudimentary and we take a shower with seawater, it is how to say … bitter! We cross the island this time through the hills and fields with beautiful views of the volcano “Gunung Rinjani” Lombok. We meet many (too many!) of spiders in the trees sometimes reaching the size of a hand! Late afternoon we reach the spot Trawangan Wall to snorkel (diving with mask and snorkel palm). We swim among colorful corals, fish sizes, shapes and different colors. A magical moment!

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Get to The Heaven – Gili Trawangan

After buzzing in Ubud, we decided to go down to Candidasa beachfront, just to be closer to where you just take a boat and go to the Gili Islands. In fact, east of Bali is Lombok, another island of similar size in Bali. And northwest of the island you can find the Gili (Gili Trawangan – Gili Meno – Gili Air), a chain of three islands that are strongly advised us to discover.

So we rented a cab to Padangbai, place of departure of Fast boat (1:30 trip) towards Gili Trawangan, the largest of three islands (and only with an ATM ^ ^). We also have the opportunity to take boats with longer and less expensive but good trip, with a little afraid of feeling ill, ease is chosen. So a cross made on the roof of the boat, with luggage and some other reckless. But hey, we could see the island of Bali in a different way, cross huge barges and saw dolphins … It was worth it!

Laying in Lombok and 15/20 minutes later, landing on Gili Trawangan. No dock, feet in the water. No cars or scooters, only small carts pulled by small horses decorated and bicycle rental. A real change! No hotel booked, we start playing adventurers. There is a place in a homestay, a sort of small family hotel, close to 15 € per night with breakfast for two. Thereafter, we meet two French advises us to Edy Homestay, even cheaper (11 € for 2 with breakfast and 2 queen beds, small bright terrace), with supposedly a family atmosphere. It therefore changes the next day. And there, a very good discovery) Every evening, the hotel manager, Norman and his friends play music for hours, tubes and elsewhere singing, and we at even ended up singing “Aicha”, the only tube “French” they know:) So a meeting with local super friendly, outgoing, always smiling and offering you food, ask you where you come from, how long you stay … The hotel is not large (8 bungalows), we could befriend two Finnish, one English, one English and one American, with whom we spent our days on the island . And to wash clothes, €1 for 2kg:)

We do not know how long we would stay but in the end, it was so peaceful and relaxing as we finished our week there. No brainer to know what you are doing, what time .. A real holiday! We have come across young people like us, older people, families … Everyone can find his place. And we just stay in a hostel or in a superb beachfront bungalow, everything is possible! It should be 1:30 for a tour of the island on foot, but there is still plenty to do: learn to dive, get Padi (degree in dive) in 4 days, snorkeling (mask, snorkel, fins), lazing on the beach, making day trips to Lombok for example, or from 4 days and 3 nights towards the Komodo, surfing, get a massage …. An island with dirt roads that certainly get a little muddy when it rains, but so authentic. Small shops, local know that eventually you and ask your news every time you crossed them, the restaurant, spa, a shisha bar … everything is possible! And here is the free wifi everywhere)

For us, it was a day of snorkeling (€9 each for 4 hours by boat on 3 different dive sites). We saw a variety of fish, turtles .. Small lunch break on Gili Air, quiet, nothing to turn lunch in bamboo huts with lounge music in the background ..). A very good experience except that I got a little seasick, even during dives. But it was worth it! We also tested the “fish pedicare” i.e. they put their feet in tanks filled with water and small fish that you are removing dead skin lol. Well it’s surprising, but it works! And if not, walk on the beach, nap on the beach in the shade of a tree, reading books while listening to music. And finally, we discover that you can live without a laptop and shows enough!

For outputs, it fucking worth it, there is always something held each night in a different bar. Tourists and locals on the island come together: the Irish Bar, Sama sama reggae bar The rooftop of Gili Hostel, Rudy’s Bar, the Blue Marlin and pool … So we had a chance to go out a little after listening to our friends play the guitar and sang in the patio of the hotel.

And food issue, it takes between 4 and 7 € for fresh fish on the grill spent with a portion of rice, cooked vegetables and a drink … :) Same, I stayed on my tea and a banana pancake or pineapple in the morning)

Personally, this is the place I chose for calm but also for the things we could do during the day and evening for meetings that are to do, and the kindness of people. Never harassed to sell us something, just reply with a smile.

ertt

Mataram

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Mataram City, www.Gilitransfers.com

About Mataram City

Mataram is the capital of West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The city is located in Lombok Barat Regency and lies on the western side of the island of Lombok, Indonesia.

As the provincial capital, Mataram has also become the center of government, education, commerce, industry and services. Three towns constitute the Mataram area; from west to east, these are Ampenan, Mataram, and Cakranegara. They are distinct towns, but run together.

The former Lombok airport (Selaparang, ISO: AMI) is located in Mataram. Mataram was previously a part of West Lombok district before the division of the region. The capital of West Lombok was moved to Gerung in the year 2000.

Getting to Mataram

By Flight
The official Lombok airport is Bandara Internasional Lombok (also called BIL, ISO: LOP). The airport is situated in Praya, Central Lombok Regency, about 30 minutes driving to Mataram.

Upon arrival in Lombok airport, travelers can use public taxi to reach Mataram. A public bus called “DAMRI” operates transfer from Lombok Airport to Central Senggigi with some stop over points in Mataram, but not in the central of the city.

By Sea
Upon arrival with public ferry in Lembar harbor, travelers can use a bus (if available) or public taxi. There is no regular transport between Lembar harbor and Mataram. Some people offer private transportation with negotiable price.

Same condition for arriving with fast boat from Bali to Lombok in Teluk Kodek or Senggigi port. Getting public taxi is more easier in Teluk Kodek and much more easier in Senggigi port. For backpacking style, upon arrival in Senggigi port travelers can use a public car ‘Bemo’ from Senggigi to Kebun Roek market, then moved to another ‘Bemo’ from Kebun Roek market to Mataram. Most Bemo operate from 08.00 am to 04.00 pm.

Map

To see the area on Google Maps, click Google icon on bottom left of this map.



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