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Published: February 28th 2014
ATM info Part 2!
If you do as I did and forget to take your card out it will be eaten by the machine, but do not panic! If you are sure this has happened, you can go into the bank (if it is attached to one) and they will open the machine for you and give it back. It won’t be cancelled. Of course, not a good idea if you think someone has taken it, although a UK debit card isn’t really any use to anyone. Sam still can’t remember her number ( and has been giving herself a hard time about it), and as the bank has reset it twice now she is all out of attempts and it is dead! She still knows the numbers, but not the order……. Ditto her credit card. Tried for the last time today, had a ‘good feeling’ about it, but alas, no luck! Composing advert: travel companion required – must be numerate!!!
Transport arrived – new, large minibus with one very chatty German girl in it. Stony-faced driver. It was about an hour to Padangbai, again, not much open countryside and mainly on slow, windy roads with bright green rice
paddies, mopeds and dogs which seem very traffic-wise, distant views of the volcano, Mount Agung. We saw a funeral procession crossing the road and everyone looked smiley, wearing traditional white and the women were carrying offerings. I gave Mr Stony-face a tip as we had arrived alive and he wasn’t too crazy behind the wheel - £1 – would be insulting in the UK - and he was delighted – all smileysmiley now!
Had to wait a while to board the speedboat, many snack offerings/sarongs/sunglasses while we did so. The boat was not full and the sea was like glass, so very comfortable, and some people did go on top, which I thought I remembered as not being allowed. What I had not thought to ask was if it was direct, so was quite surprised when we went to Lombok and stopped at Senggigi. Sam was sitting on top and nearly got off, having no idea what Gili T looked like. So the whole trip was nearly 2 hours. Lombok looked beautiful from the sea – very mountainous .
Had hoped that we would pull up at the jetty, but we went straight onto the beach. Barely got
feet wet though, and the crew passed our heavy bags down to us, so very easy, and then a short walk to the Pesona resort (not really a resort!). Young guy on reception said ‘2 nights you change’. ???. No, 4 nights and we don’t change! Another tried to explain that our room was only available for 2, then we would be upgraded to an aircon room. No thankyou, I said, waving my agoda confirmation, we don’t want to have to pack our stuff up and move as this is one of our only 4 night stays. Manager called, she said that the fan room had only one bed and she would put a mattress on the floor at no extra charge as it was their mistake, and they were going to be renovating the room after 2 days, and if we didn’t want to pack up our stuff her staff would do it for us!!!!!!. Remain calm and say no, mattress on the floor is not OK when we booked a twin, (and what kind of scuzzy room will we be in that needs immediate renovation?), and can’t we just have the aircon room from now? Hang on a
minute, phones agoda and luckily they haven’t had a booking for the aircon room so we can after all have it for 4 nights. Calm and patience, this is not the USA where we would have been upgraded as a matter of course, everyone smiling and saying thankyou – we are now very happy!
We dumped bags – room has 2 6 foot beds, nowhere to hang clothes but never mind, porch with hammock and is at the back of the plot so quiet. We had lunch in the market area – very cheap, then splurged 75p on an hour’s bike hire and went right round the island. Stopped at Manta Dive, where I went last time, and signed up for a Discover Scuba day on Saturday. They have a good-sized pool for the initial training – others looked very small. $72 for a whole day with sea dive in the afternoon, and possibility then of doing a fun dive the day after. Also found the yoga place which is part of the free diving centre, as Sam is going to do a few sessions there. Asked around a few agents about the price of our return speedboat trip
to Sanur on Monday – varies wildly, so will keep asking and haggling today. There is a small turtle sanctuary here, disappointingly petting is not allowed. We are hoping to see some when snorkelling or diving.
The island is really beautiful – white sand, transparent sea, easy to cycle round although you have to push through a few sandy patches. No motorised transport – horse and cart (cidomo) or bikes or feet! Very quiet in the north (glad we are not staying there, and the beach is not cleaned, so rather dodgy rubbish along the shoreline – looked like lots of brown glass pharmaceutical debris!), great views of Lombok and everyone is much more friendly here – less hard sell and the travellers want to chat. I had a leg massage just along the front near to the hotel and gulped a bit at the price compared to Bali, but this one knew what she was doing. We sat in the shisha bar on the beach in front of the hotel and watched the sunset, ate Indian food in the restaurant (OK for a change, but when you ask for spicy that is exactly what you get) and then
had a few drinks in the Irish Bar, but it was early so not very lively.
Such a unique place here – very happy to be visiting it again. Sitting looking at the glittering sea across to Gili Meno, waiting for breakfast.
Lots of love to my bbgrls – really miss seeing you xx
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