Bali Day 4: Ferry

Today we move on to the Gili islands, but not until around 11:30 are we expecting a pickup. That’s not quite enough time to really do anything, but enjoy our resort’s pool and restaurant and slowly pack.

The cold isn’t getting any better and I don’t want it ruining the rest of our trip so Jenn and I set for a pharmacy hoping for something to help. We’re given a packet of Azithromiacin over the counter, but they only have 1 course of the antibiotics. My understanding is this is a pretty strong broad spectrum antibiotic and a bit like swatting flys with rocket launchers but we’ve spent so much time money and energy getting out here. I email a friend who is a registered nurse for her opinion and tell her the symptoms. She says its likely bacteria and to go ahead, and says the 2 year past expiration date cirpo I have is also probably fine to take so Jenn and I start a course of antibiotics. I wish we’d thought to do this yesterday as it might have shortened the whole thing.

I’m out of cash from my original small withdrawl so I hit the ATM again and get another measly $88 with a $5 atm fee to be expected. God damn you Wells Fargo. I spend so much more in fees with you than I make with interest.

Back at the hotel Jenn naps while I journal and start packing. Somehow I lose track of the time and don’t wake her until 11:10 and we have only 20 minutes to pack our bags and check out. It’s a bit of a fire drill but we’re now in 3 bags with 1 bag being able to be left.

We check out but also make a reservation for the Saturday we’re back before our flight home. Park of me misses roughing it and feeling like you’re actually seeing the country but the other park isn’t sure there is much that hasn’t been commoditized for tourist consumption already and to just enjoy the strong dollar and the luxury it buys at such a reduced price. I don’t even want to know what a day like this would cost in Hawaii. We leave our third bag with the hotel to simplify things and wait.

Our ride to the ferry is later and I’m getting worried. I start to wonder if all of the juggling yesterday the ferry got dropped. But no, it arrived and we’re loaded in. I expected we’re going to Sanur pier since one of the reasons I chose Sanur was because it was close to the docks used by the dive boats and ferries. But no, we’re heading right out of town. I have no clue where we’re going or what ferry service we’re with.

The bus driver is a mad man. This takes the crown for the craziest driving with the driver weaving through traffic, tailgating right up on vehicles bumpers at 60mph, even passing on the hard dirt shoulder at a stop light. Jenn tried to get a video but as soon as she pulled out the camera he took it easier. I followed a long with my phone and google maps to try to figure out our destination and the best I could figure we were going to a port on the north side of the island closer to the Gilis, maybe Puri Santrian thought this would be easier or let us sleep in later I suppose. We made it half way up the east coast before turning into a little town with a port busy with people. We unloaded with our bags tagged and were told to go up to the second floor of this building to get our tickets, but that it wasn’t long until boarding so be quick.

Inside the second floor was a packed restaurant filled with people heading on the same boat. We squeeze our way past to the very back where a table is set up as a register. Two for Gili Air please. Ok here’s my card. What its cash only? Ok here you go. Rupiah only?! I’ve already withdrawn for the day, I can’t pull that much more. Please take US, everywhere else is, we’ll give you a favorable exchange rate. Ok this is what I get. You get the same? Here.

Wow that was complicated and way more stress than I wanted today. Today was supposed to be low key and not much going on. Relax and rest while we move. Nope!

The ferry loaded up and with no AC we baked for a bit uncomfortable and sweaty. Then the boat got underway. The thing isn’t horribly seaworthy, but it’s long and slender and moves pretty quick. There is no wind and for the most part no swell with Lombok across from us a ways keeping the fetch small. We made good time I suppose and landed in Lombok for a quick change over of some passengers. Only a couple get on and off. Then we’re up next.

The island reminds me immediately of Caye Caulker in Belize except where there were some 2-stroke golf carts in Belize, there are horse drawn carriages here. The hotels and restaurants line both sides of the single ring road and are thick near the dock, but thin and then become patchy the further away we go. Our hotel isn’t far and we walk a bit but man is it hot, way hotter than on Sanur Beach where we had a nice breeze, here we seem to be in the lee for what little breeze there is but also no land effect to generate breeze.

I had had to book our hotel pretty last minute and online which meant we had to take a family bungalow which was larger than our need, and I couldn’t get the off season discount. But when we arrived I found that there was one more small cabin which was plenty and we were able to work something out where we got credit to spend at the restaurant and bar in exchange for taking the smaller room. It comes to like $30/day, which I don’t see us managing in Bali where things rarely cost more than $7 for a plate, but hey, it’s better than wasting it on floor space. We put our bags down and hit up the restaurant needing a late lunch badly. The owner is Australian and brings the Aussie style to the restaurant so I have an Aussie burger. It’s ok, but not amazing or anything.

I go find the place I was going to dive with but they’re booked, and there is another close by with their own dive pool which to me is a good sign. I line up 2 morning dives with them which should have me back by noon-ish. That’s perfect, I get to do some diving which was some of my motivation for wanting to come to Bali, and it’s something different than I did before here. It gives Jenn time to sleep in and rest up. Then we can spend the rest of the day together.

Speaking of naps back to them! I think we slept from 3 to close to 6 with the sun dipping down.

We figure we might as well eat having had lunch so late. We eat at our hotel’s restaurant and it’s meh too. I suppose having just had so many great meals with Puri Santrian it’s hard to compare. After we eat we walk down the road a bit seeing what’s happening, and there look to be some really good options with BBQs going. Tomorrow we’re going to go somewhere else.

Back in our nice little room we pick up a kindle version of the book we’ve been reading together but left at home.

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