Having descended from Bromo, we took the first bus that was headed for Bali. A twelve hours journey on a tremendously slow vehicle combined with a trip on a ferry, and we arrived to the beautiful Seminyak, Bali.
Seminyak, a town just north of Kuta, is bustling with tourists and luxury amenities- boutiques, massage salons and chique restaurants. Being a famous place amongst starting surfers, we too took our very first surfing class. Next to a lively nightlife, delicious grilled fish and waves, Seminyak offers beautiful sunsets, best enjoyed on the beach with a bottle of Bintang.
From the south of the island, we headed up north to Singaraja. Although a trip of only 90km, it still took us well over four hours. The parents of Wika, Radek’s friend and old colleague, live here and were very kind to offer us a shelter for several days in their home. Once we arrived, we were welcomed by Wika’s father Wiratha, mother Puspita, and their dog Zero.
Wika’s dad made a good itinerary for us, starting the next morning at 05:00 to spot the dolphins. And dolphins we saw. Together with 50 other boats packed with tourists. It wasn’t cool how all the boats raced over the water to get as close as possible to the poor mammals, just to get a better glimpse of them. We were surprised that the dolphins still came to this particular spot, as they basically get hunted down and rushed by the boats every single day. But apparently, this is a great place for them to catch tuna. After the dolphins, it was time to fully relax in the hot spring spa- Air Panas Banjar, with free falling water massaging our backs.
The other days we saw famous waterfalls, ate Bakso and Babi Guling, and figured out the simple name system of Bali. As it happened to be, Wika’s cousin Yogi was driving in through Singaraja, all the way to Padang Bai. This is where the ferry to the Gili islands leaves from. They were kind enough to bring us along in their minivan, together with three other adults and four hyperactive girls, who taught us a bit more of Bahasa Indonesia ;).
It was great to spent a few days with a Balinese family and to experience their hospitality and friendliness! Terima kasih to you all.
The speedboat to Gili Air, one of the three Gili Islands above Lombok, took just over an hour. This laidback island has no scooters or cars, the only traffic you hear are the horses that gallop by. But don’t be fooled, Gili Air doesn’t lag in development. Air-conditioned rooms and high speed internet are just as available as ice cold beer. There are some great snorkelling points, so most of our time here was spent underwater. Besides that, we walked around the island (which only takes about 90min), saw the sun rise at 05:45 above mount Rinjani and the sunset at 18:15 at the other side of the island, met up with Feline again, and booked our flights to the Philippines in two weeks! From Gili Air, our journey continued by boat further towards the east of Indonesia… but more about that in the following blog!