Published: April 13th 2009April 13th 2009
I'm not sure if I mentioned how much hotter it feels on the Gili Islands vs. being in Bali? The pools aren't heated but they feel like a jacuzzi once you step into them. Also, just until recently all of the hotel showers were only salt water. Not sure how one could feel clean after being hot and sticky from being in the sun and the water and then going back to your hotel and trying to wash off with salt water. Obviously the natives have been doing it for years! One of the reasons we stayed at Luce D'Alma was that they had fresh water showers....and boy did the fresh water feel good!
This morning, Jerri and I slept in and then had coffee on the deck outside of our rooms right next to the pool. Already at 8:30 it was so hot that we retreated back into the room every once in a while to cool off from the a/c. We were scheduled to catch the horse drawn cart back into town at 11 am so we could catch the Gili Cat fast boat back to Bali at 11:30.
At 11:05 I was beginning to worry that
Balinese soaking tub
This was the tub I got to soak in after my massage and body scrub. Its filled with beautiful Balinese flowers
our "taxi" hadn't shown up but about that time some new guests arrived on a cart so the driver dropped them off and picked us up. Now is when Mr. Toad's Wild Ride begins. As we turned to go on the main road to get back to the dock a waiter from one of the restaurants stepped right out in front of us! It was deja vu all over again from Ethiopia! I kept thinking if we had run that guy over and gone ass over tea kettle in the cart, how would I explain to my boss that once again I had been in an accident? With no further mishaps we made it to the dock. There was a group of the Aussies catching the same boat back to Bali (they were part of the wedding party that we had met the other night).
So after loading up and stowing the luggage it was a quick jaunt over to Lombok to check in with the harbor master and then onto Bali. I stood up the entire boat ride 1) to see better 2) to catch a breeze because it was so hot in the front of the boat 3) to roll with the waves if we hit some big ones. One of the crew told us that on the way over that morning they saw two large whales! Those elusive whales! I wanted to see them in Hawaii almost 20 years ago and then now in Bali, a no show. Guess I will continue to chase them on future destinations.
Once we docked, Jerri and I made a dash to the restaurant to use the restroom and then to grab a cold Bintang (local beer) for Jerri and a Powerade for me. Jerri's flight was leaving at 4:20 and it was already 1:30 so there was a definite need to get the show on the road. The driver's were trying to figure out who should go in which van and at one point Jerri and I thought were going to have to say our good byes there. Fortunately they put us in the same van along with 4 of the Aussies. We had a great time talking to them about the wedding and their world travels. The best man from the wedding worked for the Lonely Planet as the marketing director.
The drive to the airport was a white knuckel ride as well with cars most of the time making it into a 3 lane road instead of 2! Between all of the scooters weaving in and out of traffic as well as our driver trying to pass on a blind hill it was enough for me to worry about the fact that there weren't any seat belts for us to put on!
We deposited Jerri at the airport at 2:50 so she was cutting it close for her 4:20 flight. Then it was a quick jaunt to the Intercontinental Hotel for me. Once there I stowed my carry on luggage and headed to the beach. It was so enjoyable to be lying on a beach chair again, hearing the surf crash into the sand. Before I knew it, it was time for me to head across the street for my 3 hour spa treatment. Yes, that's right, 3 hours! I've never done anything like that before but hey, all I had was time to kill since my flight doesn't live until 1:20 AM! I had an hour Balinese massage, followed by an hour facial, a 45 min body scrub and then a 15 minutes soak in a deep tub that was filled with red Balinese flowers. It was like a dream walking amongst the flowers in the pool and soaking up the experince. My masseuse brought me tea to sip while I just relaxed in that pool. It was definitely a pinch me moment. It ended up being 3 1/2 hours and I paid $65 US Dollars! Unbelievable.
I hadn't eaten since breakfast so I hopped a taxi to a restaurant called PEPeNero (www.pepenerobali.com). Jerri, Brad and myself ate there last Thursday and I enjoyed it so much I thought I would treat myself before getting on a plane. The owner is a woman from Australia that attended NYU. Her and her partner opened it just one year ago and it seems to be wildly succesful. I highly recommend it if you're in Bali.
Hopefully that's the end of any further wild roads before I arrive safely at home.