Published: May 14th 2012May 10th 2012
We took the public ferry from Gili Trawangan (Gili T) to Lombok Island for 10,000 rupiahs each ($1.10) around 9am, the trip across the strait was about 35-40 minutes. The ferry doesn't leave until it is full thankfully we were about the last ones on the ferry. We were the only 2 Westerners on the whole ferry and enjoyed the company of a few very cute Indonesian toddlers, who loved us.
Once we arrived in Lombok, we knew to pay only 70,000 rupiahs ($7.50) for a scooter for the day per our hotel on Gili T. The first guy off the boat said 250,000 rupiahs and we laughed then kept walking. We have noticed if you don't say anything the price of things have dropped instantly and quickly down in Bali, Gili T and now Lombok. After inspecting a few bikes, their tires and brakes we found a keeper for 70,000 and were off.
We were off on our 90 minute journey to Senaru to see the waterfalls. First, we wanted to fill up the bike as we only had a half tank of gas. We were told gas was only 5,000 rupiahs (54 cents
per liter) that is a little more than $2 a gallon, cheapest we have seen in our travels around Asia as most pay more than the US for gas, when they make much less than Americans. It took 3 stops along the road before someone gave a the going rate of 5,000 rupiahs a bottle, the others wanted 6 or 7,000 but we never pay more than needed even if it is only pennies.
The journey in Lombok showed that this island was much less developed than the island of Bali and unfinished mosques were in every small village along the way. But we never saw anyone worshipping in them during the calls to prayer. We only had to ask directions once we got to Senaru but this is where our problems started and ended.
No one wanted to give us directions unless we paid them to be our guide, but we didn't remember our hotel in Gili T saying anything about a paid guide, who told us how to go see the waterfalls even the foreigner/tourist fee of 5,000 rupiah (54 cents) to enter the park area.
Let's just say
after a 25 minute hike uphill and meeting 4 Americans who were on day 4 of a four day trek, that we weren't headed in the right direction. Their guide said he would find a local to lead us to the waterfall for 25% of the quoted rates we had been given by many people along the way. Black storm clouds were rolling in over the mountains and I knew we had a 90 minute bike ride back to catch the ferry. My patience had run out as this was Day 6 of our travels but the 1st time we felt worked over by being a tourist.
Back we went to the ferry and we were stopped by another "tourist/foreigner" harbor tax that you only have to pay when leaving the island for 1,000 rupiah per person. Locals, no need to pay only the other Westerners were being stopped...DAMN you Lombak even if it is just a few cents. Back to Gili T by local ferry and we only had to wait about 10 minutes until the ferry was full enough to make the journey across the strait.
It was fun to see the
less developed Northwestern part of Lombak and ride on the back of a scooter as it had been awhile since we rented one in Asia. Indonesia is known for its corruption so I am sure both of our little "entrance fees" were lining some government officials pockets.
There are more photos below