Maluk, Indonesia: Madman with a Pickup Truck

Trip Start Jul 28, 2013
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Trip End Feb 06, 2014


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Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Saturday, January 11, 2014

Travel in Indo is infuriating. Move, wait, move, wait, change ticket, move, change ticket, wait, move, wait, wait, wait. If I were any older I'd think twice about coming for fear of being old, grey and wheelchair bound long before they got their act together.

0700 Alarm - Rise and shine.

0815 Boat - Gili T to Lombok via an overloaded boat and an inquisative turtle who popped its head up to say goodbye.

0845 Wait - Here sit in this cafe and order something you've no desire to eat or drink just to waste some time.

0930 Bus - Lombok port to Mataram... but first we need to drop some people off in Senggigi so let's go there and...

1030 Wait - Outside a travel agent in the stinking heat, turning on deaf ears as they try to sell you a tour, which of course is only possible if you book with them as NO ONE else offers it. Blatant lie.

1045 Bus - Senggigi to Mataram.

1120 Wait - Where the hell are we and why aren't we at the bus station? Oh because you've got no idea what you're doing so you figured you'd dump us in a cafe whilst you figure your shit out. Right on genius, let me nominate you for travel agent of the year award.

1150 Car - Random cafe in Mataram to Mataram bus station with two other fellow travellers Marc and Maaike from The Netherlands.

1210 Wait - Oh and whilst you're waiting now will be a good time to tell you the bus you paid for on Sumbawa is broken. Which I think translates to - we've spent too long waiting and now you've missed it. Here let me give you 20,000 each compensation. My response "20,000? 20,000 won't even buy me a bottle of water let along a 3 1/2 hr bus ticket. You're having a laugh." So I took 50,000 off him for the two of us and told him we didn't have change. Oooh bad arse. Bit different when the shoe is on the other foot isn't it?!

1230 Bus - Mataram bus station to Labuhan (port on the other side of the island). With Marc, Maaike, some locals, a shed load of bananas, surf board and some other random packages which were dropped off along the way.

1450 Wait - But at least we're on the boat (little did we know a ferry on the same route sunk a week earlier).

1520 Boat - Labuhan, Lombok to Poto Tano, Sumbawa. Time to figure out where we're going to go (1) Down the coast with Marc and Maaike for a couple of days or (2) into a town to try and find a replacement bus to Sumbawa Besar.

1645 Bus - Turns out the bus we caught from Mataram is going to Taliwang so may as well just stay on and see where it takes us.

1745 Wait - Taliwang bus station. Four lost kids in the middle of nowhere. "No more bus" we're told. "You take motorbike". "What? With this pack?". "Yes, yes, no problem". "No, no, big problem". So instead we pay a man to take us in the back of his pickup because that will be a far safer option. Turns out he was an absolute nutcase and we probably would have been better off on the back of a motorbike but by then we were already hurtling along the road at breakneck, tyre squeeling speeds and it was too late to turn back.

1915 Slightly shaken and thanking god for sparing our lives we found a watering hole (called Kiwi Pub) to throw back a few nerve calming beers whilst a worker picked up a goose by it's neck to remove it from our path. Not quite the force that was called for and I must say, it left both us and the goose rather bewildered. After some rapid fire beer downing we walked to a hotel to enquire about some rooms. "Two standards please". "Standards we don't have. All full". The place looked like a ghost town and we were being told this by the security guard. "Are you sure?" to which he made a phone call. "Yes, next one up available for extra IDR 100,000". Not believing a word of it, and after some some cracking good Indonesian by Marc who speaks it pretty much fluently, what do you know... Tadaaaa "Look what I found, two keys for standard room. We do have after all." Cheeky fekker. Same bullshit, just different person.

What a day!! At least we met two lovely people to share it with.

INFO

Transport IDR 300,000 (A$30)
Hotel: Maluk Resort (sounds far grander than it was!). IDR 150,000 (A$15) per night
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