OctSober 10th: Day 10 and still going strong! (Octsober) We had a lovely breakfast of Paw paw, watermelon, grapes and cereal. Then we all bundled in the duck and went over to the little sand cay not far from the resort. It was a lovely little white sandy island with fringing reef. We had a good snorkel and a swim and saw lots of fish including the yellow, black and white angel fish, the little blue coral fish and lots of the black and white ones and a few others. The water was crystal clear and quite warm. We whizzed over to the next sand cay and it was beautiful, sandy beach, teal blue clear water and lots of shells and corals on the beach. We had a lovely walk, swim and laze about. Then we drove through the pearl farm which is basically just floats with ropes hanging down that they attach the oysters to, to cultivate the pearls. We spotted a large fish farm and the locals working it waved us in so we had a tour of that. They had lots of netted pens with Giant Trevally, Maori Rasse, tiger fish, sucker fish, groper, painted crays, snapper (not like ours) and a few we didn’t know. They sell the fish, we couldn’t communicate with the guys enough to determine whether they are sold locally or internationally. I hate to see the fish, or any animals really caged like that, much prefer to see them in their natural environment.
We came back to the boat and had croissants and coffee (very civilised) and then Robbie decided he would blow up the donut and tow Jordan so that he could tip him off. It was hilarious and even I had a turn (me – the biggest wuss of all) it was actually heaps of fun and Robbie tried very hard to tip me out but I wasn’t having that! Robbie managed to tip Jordan out twice, BUT I managed to tip Robbie out twice so tit for tat! They were kind to the girls and neither Janet nor I were tipped out. It was a good work out for our backsides actually!
OctSober 9th: We got picked up at 7am in our “Lombok Ferrari” and headed to the markets. Our pony was called Nessie and we couldn’t determine the drivers name, we tried very hard but it was not forthcoming. Robbie stayed on the boat to prepare for our departure so Tony, Janet Jordan and I traipsed to market, it felt quite strange and very unbalanced, in the little cart. We had the driveway to the marina and then a little village lane which led out to the road and then, Wow, it was like the Brisbane M1 except it was only motorcycles (many), ponies and carts and the odd car and truck. The locals all waved and smiled at us as they passed us. Especially the little kids 1 or sometimes 2, wedged in-between Mum and Dad on the motorcycles. It was about 4 k’s to the markets. I knew what to expect but poor Janet, Tony and Jordan were in shock! The stalls are packed tight with produce, people, flies, and bad smells. There is meat including beef, chicken and of course fish just sitting out on tables covered in flies. Poor Janet was beside herself. We saw live chickens, trussed together in bunches of 4. Tony and I debated whether we should buy one bunch to take back to Robbie for a joke, but then let them go but we decided against it. (I wish we would have done that actually) Instead we brought him a locally handmade machete style axe. We picked out some nice tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, limes, cucumbers, watermelon, rockmelons, and a tray of eggs. Most importantly we got a nice fat carrot for Nessie! I couldn’t get any lettuce but that’s normal for here. There are always a number of women wandering around with baskets of food on their heads, and Jordan put the tray of (30) eggs on his head and the locals thought that was hilarious and were cheering and laughing at him. He’s over 6’ tall and it did look rather funny!
We clip clopped back to the Marina, nearly ran up the backside of another “Lombok Ferrari” – we only just stopped in time! No road rage here, just a bit of a terse word but no rude gestures! Off we went again and then actually overtook the team we nearly rear ended – that was quite cool!
Robbie was ready to go so we loaded us and the produce into Southern Star, waved to everybody and steamed out, manoeuvring through the boats on moorings in the bay. As soon as we were out of the protection of the bay the wind hit and it was blowy and very choppy. We cruised mainly sitting up in the fly bridge but eventually went inside as it was really windy. Arrived at Cocotinos resort on the South Western side of Lombok Island at 1.45pm. It’s a very pretty bay with the resort and a nice jetty and fringing reef and golden sandy beach. We got anchored and Jordan swam into shore and we took the duck into the resort for a cold drink. Nothing alcoholic just sparkling water for us. While the boys relaxed on the beach, Janet and I had a wander through the shop, checked out the spa price list (desperate for a haircut and eyebrow wax) and had a walk on the beach. A local dog came bounding towards us barking and due to rabies, I picked up a stone and just showed it and (thank god) he backed off. It was quite frightening though. Headed back to the boat and cooked fillet steak and my vegetable bake, which nearly killed me in the heat but was very enjoyable. We sat up on the fly bridge and enjoyed the moon and clear skies for a while before hitting bed.
OctSober 8th: Had a lovely breakfast in the hotel, of course ate too much couldn’t book another night in the hotel so organised driver and car and fast ferry back to Lombok. The driver picked us up at 9:30am and we headed north. Very busy roads, still millions of motorcycles but also lots of cars which the other islands don’t have. Arrived at the harbour with a bit of time to spare so Janet and I hit the roadside stall which was selling sarongs, bags and jewellery. I only wanted sarongs and got 4 lovely ones and Janet brought 2 bags and got sucked into 2 decorated eggs! The locals may be country dwellers but boy they have the marketing skills down pat! This lady came up to us and said hello where you from, here I have present for you, and gave us each a necklace! Then the sales pitch! These eggs make lovely Xmas tree decorations for you! They were (unfortunately) very ugly and I preferred to give her back the necklace but she wasn’t having that. Then Janet decided she would buy 2 of the ugly eggs so I figured that was fair enough. I won’t get sucked in like that again! Time to board the fast ferry for the 2 hour trip back to Lombok. It was a pretty unremarkable passage and we looked for the sunken catamaran but didn’t see it and the ferry driver said he hadn’t seen it since yesterday either. We are not sure what happened to it or where it was from but we are keen to find out. Arrived back to Medana Bay Marina around 2:00pm. Threw our bags on the boat and all headed over to the café for some lunch and a cold drink. Mucked around the rest of the day and then had to head back to the café at 7:00pm for a meeting with Raymond, our Indonesian rally organiser. We also met Raymond’s wife, Debbie for the first time. She is a very beautiful Balinese lady. They live in Denpasar. There was a good turnout for the meeting which was quite brief and discussed our next few destinations and our visa extensions. We have visa’s now current to 1st November but will need to extend them for another month if we stick to the rally schedule. We are not real sure if we will stick to the planned schedule or not yet. We do want to go to Borneo and have the jungle excursion in a local boat to the Orang-utans.
OctSober 7th: Driver picked us up at 7.30am to go do harbour to catch fast ferry to Bali so we could meet Tony, Janet and Jordan at the Denpasar airport in Bali. Tony and Robbie went to school together and are great friends. Its 6 years since we have seen them and we are all very excited to be seeing each other again. The fast ferry is about 40’long with 4 huge Yamaha outboards and very young Indonesian skippers! We had a good trip although it was quite choppy. We called into two of the Gili Islands to pick up on the way and then headed straight for Bali. 23 knots – It was a fast ride compared to what we are used to on Southern Star. Just off Bali Robbie spotted a sunken Catamaran, all you could see was the two hulls sticking out of the water about 1metre. He spoke to the skipper but all he could say was that it had been there for 2 days but they didn’t know where the Catamaran was from.
We arrived in Bali around 11:00am and then had a minibus to take us to the Hotel in Nusa Dua. There were 8 passengers all up and one disgusting driver who literally picked his nose and snorted and snuffled ALL the way to Nusa Dua. He never spoke a word to us, until about 1 minute before he dropped us off when he said” Oh very nice hotel, best part of Bali. You tip?”
The Hotel (Melia Bali) is absolutely beautiful. I fell in love with the gardens, the furniture and the suite was just lovely. We went and had lunch in the beachside restaurant and I do have to say this is the first time I was tempted to have an alcoholic drink. A bottle of wine would have been a nice accompaniment to the surroundings. I rang Heidi (we had both agreed that if we felt tempted we would ring each other) and she said No Jo, be strong! And I was! Had a sparkling water while Robbie had a Bintang. The food was scrumptious and it was lovely to sit and relax. At 5:00pm we hired a car and driver to take us to the airport to meet Tony, Janet & Jordan. The airport is absolutely beautiful! The car park is covered in gorgeous plants including many coloured Bougainvillea’s and some stunning hanging vines. Very, very nice. No drama’s meeting them, so good to see them after all this time and Jordan has grown about 3’ since we saw them last. Back to the hotel for a few drinks (not for me!) and dinner and lots of catching up.
OctSober 6th: More cleaning preparing for our guests today and then hired a car and driver to take us into Mataram to provision the boat for our guests. First we stopped in Sengiggi and into the bakery and brought every pie and croissant that they had (it wasn’t that many – 6 croissants and 10 pies), asked them to put them in the freezer and we would collect on the way back. Continued to Mataram and into the Selecta Yamaha first stop to try and solve our outboard problem. No luck, continued into the city into the mall. I headed for a salon to get a pedicure and leg wax. Certainly a different atmosphere to Ella Bache I can tell you! Firstly there were male and female staff lazing around, the males were sleeping on the waxing beds and the females were preening themselves in front of the salon hairdressing mirrors! I could not believe it, they were just sitting there dreamily gawking at themselves and preening this way and that way! The pedicure was OK and she was a female so that was good. Then when it was time for my leg wax it was into the back room that has a flimsy curtain and two waxing beds in the same room. No privacy – while I was getting my legs waxed there were staff waltzing in and out the whole time! Had I not have been desperate I would have walked out. Could not believe it. Just another thing that we in the civilised countries do not realise how fortunate we really are. Haven’t seen a hair salon yet that I can get a haircut either. (Without catching something)
Once that was finished I headed down to Heroes – the supermarket and we stocked up with what we could. It was one of the better supermarkets we have seen yet, but still falls a long way short. I can’t understand any of the washing powders, thank goodness I brought a few 5 litre containers of Dynamo Liquid in Australia! I am onto the last one though so will need to sort it shortly. By this time Robbie has had enough of retail therapy (I never have enough!) so we headed back. Stopped off in Sengiggi again and collected bakery goods and stopped into the bar that the marina owner Peter had recommended to buy wine and Robbie was able to get 6 bottles of Lindemans Sav Blanc at $23 per bottle which is VERY cheap for Indonesia. Other places have been $40 to $60 per bottle which we refuse to pay, and in a restaurant we have seen it up to $140 per bottle.
Octsober 5th: More jobs and boat cleaning but at lunch time caught a taxi into Sengiggi, the small touristy town about 20 minutes from Medana Bay. It was a public holiday and celebration in Lombok so not a lot of the shops were open but we had a wander around and had lunch in a restaurant called “The Square”. Very nice food and ambience. Had a wander through a gift shop, full of interesting carvings, statues, sarongs, all sorts of nics and nacs. I am in love with the Indonesian furniture and ornaments! Want to get a big container and full it up and ship it home! Am feeling a little bit homesick maybe, or maybe just missing terra firma and my gardens and a home that doesn’t float! Most of all I miss all the kids (very, very much) and of course the two munchkins Ethan and Charlotte, our grandchildren. Think I need a family fix soon!
Octsober 4th: Day 4 of Octsober and still haven’t missed it. Am drinking tonic water with lots of lime and ice or soda water when we go to Sundowners. Today we walked to the Lombok Lodge, the resort on the corner of the Bay. It was about 2 kilometres and it was hot, dusty and hot! The lodge is a beautiful 5 star resort and we had the dining room to ourselves. I think all the guests were lazing by the pool having poolside service. We had a lovey lunch, but couldn’t face the walk back so got a taksi (taxi) back to the Marina. Cheap as chips it was 20,000 rupiah or $2