Preparing to embark

Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
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Trip End Oct 08, 2008


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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Thursday, May 15, 2008

We left our little island haven early in the morning.  For some reason they've timed the only boat departure for an hour before restaurants start serving breakfast.  Bummer.  But it was another lovely ride to big Lombok. 

At the shore we all piled off the boat and walked to the bus stop to catch the connecting Perama bus to Sengiggi.  Lucky for us there was someone who knew where he was going, and we just followed, but Perama, and I assume others, don't offer a guide of any sort.  If you're in the same situation you can hire a horse cart to take you the short jaunt.  That's a lovely thing about the Gilis especially, but also Lombok to an extent - horse carts are the main form of transportation.  On the Gilis there are no motorized vehicles, and way up in north Lombok there aren't a lot. 

The Perama bus dropped us at the Perama office in Sengiggi, and while Travis went about confirming our cruise (our reason for coming to the town), I went hotel hunting.  It's unfortunate when people tell you a room costs 150,000 rupiah like it's a good price.  We were hoping that Indonesia would be way cheap, but prices seem to have doubled everywhere.  Eventually we found a nice little place for 75,000 and crashed. 

While there are various places to visit around Sengiggi if you have the transport and inclination, Travis and I decided that our Sengiggi activities would be limited to watching the sunset over Bali.  Apparently it's the thing to do.  So we made our way to the beach an hour before sunset.  After Gili Trawagnan it was a bit of overload, and not the cleanest, but we settled in and looked out at...nothing.  Bali was enshrouded in clouds.  And for the fleeting moment that the clouds let the volcano Gunug Agung peek though I missed my photo op.  So we had a pleasant time, but not a terribly satisfying one.  Ah well, we've been lucky with sunsets so far. 

On our way back I couldn't resist a dinner offer made to me.  There wasn't anyone at the restaurant and it seemed the guy was so desperate for customers that he offered us a free cocktail and free dessert.  This is my problem.  If I see an empty restaurant I'm not likely to think, "Hmm, people probably aren't there because it's not very good."  Rather, I think, "Oh, man, I have to help these guys out."  I mean, what if the restaurant just opened?  This is actually a beef I've got with LP.  People go places because they're in there, but usually with restaurants there's no need unless it's really something special or culturally distinct (so far this has been limited to Vietnam).  If you're smart about what you eat it doesn't really matter where.  Ergo I prefer to avoid this section of LP. 

Our dinner was delicious.  We spent a bit more than usual, but where can you buy a four dollar grilled fish?  Indonesia.  And the cocktails and dessert were simple concoctions not too expensive, so it really ended up being more of a set menu than a desperate attempt.  As I said, it was excellent food.  I think it was just on the wrong side of the road.  When travelling you may realized that in some respects, location is everything.  And our waiter was fun.  His name was Paulo and he was from Flores (Flores was colonized by Portuguese, so many people there have more Western names), so he told us all about it when we mentioned we were on our way there.  Then we had a pleasant walk home. 

Sengiggi wasn't much, but it was certainly a pleasant rest. 

Erin
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