Friday, 24 January 2014


No rest for us though and the next day after a hefty sleep-in, we are off on the scooter again, loaded with our backpacks and planning to navigate our way around the whole of Lombok.  It starts out a great ride but once we are past the city of Mataram the scenery really comes alive and steps it up another notch.

  Although some of it is black sand beaches, the coastline is stunning, we ride in to beautiful secluded bays and beaches fringed with palm trees and not a tourist in sight, usually just a few surprised locals mending old wooden boats or cooking in thatched huts.
There are plenty of amazing hill top views over the coast, bays and eventually the Gili Islands also, Lombok really has an abundance of postcard perfect scenery.  We end up in Bangsal very late in the afternoon, where we decide at the last minute to jump on a boat and head to the island of Gili Air for the night. 

Gili Air is part of a trio of islands commonly known as ‘The Gili Islands’ (gili actually means island, so technically they are the ‘Island Islands’??!!) and they are a tourist hot spot in Indo.
  After the boat ride on pretty rough seas, we step foot onto the sand of the island and have just enough time to catch sunset and find a suitable room.  Don’t be afraid to bargain for your accommodation either, we got ours reduced by 150k rp by telling them it was too expensive and that we would find somewhere else.  

To get to the islands, simply turn up at Bangsal harbour and jump on a boat, no need to organize a 'tour', once again, always bargain and don't be caught late in the day like we were or you will pay to much.  We weren't planning to stay there our first night but made a late call, so try to be early for a much cheaper deal.
After a wander around 'town', a couple of rum and cokes over happy hour and a great meal saw us retire for the night, it was very windy and this island goes to sleep very early.  The next day was going to be a boat trip around the 3 islands snorkelling but with the weather still shitty we opted instead to take a pushbike around the island.  

We rode the whole coastline, a great little ride but extremely hot and you actually have to get off and push your bike about a third of the way.  A cold beer while we waited for the ferry back to the mainland, they only leave once there are enough people, and we were soon back on our trusty scooter and on the road again around Lombok.
 Gili Trawangan is the main party island if that’s what you’re looking for, but the other 2, Air and Meno are more laidback and suitable for those looking for a quiet tropical getaway.  Not a whole lot to do out there really, but that is what a lot of people go for, to relax on idyllic beaches with a cocktail or 2.  Sengiggi is a little to the South on the mainland and is the other main tourist hub on Lombok, but we just rode straight through.
Views around Lombok
 Buffalo taking a mud bath
Fruit stall in Mataram
Gili Islands,  you can see how choppy the water was that day
It was a rough ol' ride out to Gili Air, quite a few passengers were throwing up in the boat!
Sunset from Gili Air
Apparently they have horse 'raiding'
Around Gili Air