Isn’t this picture perfect?
It’s Padang Bai in Bali where I was waiting for the boat to the Gili Islands and Lombok.
Again an early morning! Had to get up at 6 am this time… almost a full hour later then the morning before but still way too early for my likings. The bus came to pick me up between 6.30 and 7.3o to go from the hotel to the harbour. I really was hoping it was closer to 6.30 than to 7.30 so I wouldn’t feel like I got up so early just to wait around haha. But to be honest it was such a beautiful day with clear skies and lots of sun, plus it was a holiday so I didn’t care too much about the time, luckily I didn’t need to sit around too long and hup, on the bus I went. This was actually the most annoying part of the trip because I had no idea to which harbour I was going, to Sanur or Padang Bai and how long the drive was going to be , since my friend booked the ticket for me and I somehow didn’t think about asking him some more info,I also got quite carsick which obviously didn’t help
. It was a weird kind of carsick though, like hungry and nauseous at the same time. The drive over to the harbour was actually quite scenic, lots of rolling hills, green and the occasional glimpse of the ocean, that got me really excited…
After about 1h45min drive we finally arrived at Padang Bai, once we were driving for over an hour I kind of figured we weren’t going to Sanur which is much closer to Seminyak but also means a longer boat ride. There was a small little cafe across where we were dropped off and where we had to get our ticket, with still an hour to go and a very hungry tummy I grabbed a small breakfast. Banana pancake! They are so delicious, I just loved how the bananas were baked in the pancake rather than just added on top like we normally do. Sometimes pleasure is in the small things 🙂
I also had a cold latte, ok normally not really worth mentioning but I wish someone would have warned me beforehand about the ridiculously sweet coffee in Indonesia. I thought Morocco had pretty sweet drinks but oh my! I had about two small sips from the coffee before I thought my pancreas was giving up and I was creating instant cavities in my teeth. People who know also know I LOVE sweet things but that coffee I just couldn’t do… So for all of you who go to Indonesia for the first time and like coffee: Be aware of the sweetness!
It was quite nice to see all the kids playing in the water, refreshing from the morning heat and enjoying Balinese life with their friends. Not sure though if between all the boats is the cleanest and safest place to enjoy the ocean but still considering how hot I was, I actually felt some envy haha.
Finally on the boat we had this very funny and enthusiastic guy who was explaining us about the safety procedures & such and then off we went!
The boatride actually went a lot faster than I thought it would. It was about 1h20min to Senggigi in Lombok and then another 20min to Gili Air. The boat ride from Sanur takes apparently over 2 hours but depending on where you are staying the bur ride will be shorter. I think both would be quite ok.
I got really excited to arrive when Lombok came into view… I just felt so happy to finally get to Gili Air and to see my friend Joeri again after 3 years!
Some Practical Information
On the way to Gili Air I went with a company called ‘Wahana’ which I would definitely recommend. Their pick-up service was on time, the quality of the boat was really good, the seats were comfortable and there was air conditioning (which I think are quite a big + when you are on a boat for a while with a lot of people) and they were quite safe, meaning they even had a safety procedure and enough life jackets for everybody.
On the way back I went with a company called Marina Srikandi… the service and the quality of the boat was nowhere near what Wahana had to offer and the trip back almost took 3 hours back to Padang Bai! hallelujah for the fun and chatty South African guy next to me. The seats were still quite comfortable but there was definitely a lack of air conditioning on the boat and it didn’t feel as the safest company either. I wasn’t too worried about that for myself but I can imagine if you are travelling with infants that you want at least some life jackets for them and maximum safety.
I also heard from vendors who charge exuberant prices so be aware! I paid 250 000 IDR to go to Gili Air and 300 000 IDR on the way back (this is including bus transport).