Another last minute decision to visit Indonesia turned out to be a great decision, although my first day in Lombok I didn’t quite feel that way. I arrived in Lombok after a 3 hour flight from Singapore, but landed a lot later than expected due to a delay. I was not keen on using the cheaper local transport which I had originally planned because I was on my own and it was no longer daylight so had to pay out for a taxi to take me to Singiggi, over an hour away, where my pre-booked hostel was.
I checked into my room with the little Indonesian Rupiah I had which then left me with no money, which I expected, as I had planned to draw money out at the ATM. Unfortunately the ATM didn’t want to give me any money and so I tried to call my Bank on the 2 phones I had with me but neither of them would connect. I was in a terrible hostel, which normally I laugh at but I had no money and no phones, and it just felt as though everything was going wrong. I was feeling a bit low but I decided to hold my head up and reminded myself how much I am loving travelling and that these were minor issues that were going to happen sooner or later. So, I got myself a drink, took a stroll along the main high street and as I was starting to feel happier I came across an ATM and just decided to try my luck, and as luck would have it, I was able to get some cash out! I instantly knew I was not going to enjoy Lombok and so by 10pm I had booked a bus and ferry to Gili Trawangan leaving at 9am the next day.
After a short bus journey and a slow boat I stepped onto Gili Trawangan the largest of the 3 Gili islands but the estimated permanent population being only 800.
I checked into my hostel, Le Grand Gili Backpackers at a price of 80,000rp (about £4.50) but it was really empty and I was the only one in the dorm, so I set down my backpack and went in search of another hostel. I found Gili Hostel which was right on the beach and close to all the bars. I booked myself in for the following 3 nights.
Gili Trawangan was a lot like Sihanoukville in Cambodia; beach, bars and accommodation. This made an ideal setting for my birthday celebrations. I had an amazing 4 nights on the island partying by night and sunbathing by day. It is also very popular for scuba diving and snorkeling trips but I decided to use the time in Gili to relax and save a bit of money. Every night there is a food market where stalls set up in a square and in the middle if the square is seating, the food was freshly cooked, extremely cheap and was a good social area. A must do if you visit Gili.
In asia fire stick twirling is quite popular and one night at the sunset bar I asked the talented guys if they would show me how to do it and I was lucky enough to give it a go. It is not as easy as it looks!
Whilst on the island I was able to get some good tips on my next stop which was to be Bali. So filled with more excitement I booked my fast boat and bus ticket to Ubud, Bali.