A Day Trip To Forget
Our trip started with the usual risking of knees and toes getting on and off the boat and arriving at our destination pretty soaked. I love the journey over, not the beginning or end nor the price which at forty five pounds return is another example of island scalping but I am having a love affair with the sea and the journey over is exhilarating and relaxing all at once.
Lombok has some truly beautiful scenery, lush rice paddies side by side with peanut terraces, vibrant fields of chili, bamboo, coconut and mango trees proliferate.
When we had gone to collect Ma from the airport we had taken the forest road and seen dozens of monkeys lining the road. Our driver explained that as it was the end of the dry season there was not much food left in the forest for them so people came to give them bananas and peanuts. So we knew we wanted to take them some bananas when we came over for the day. Unfortunately this time the language barrier interfered and we did not stop for bananas and we drove past (TWICE!) the lovely monkeys we had wanted to feed and were taken to a ghastly patch of road covered in rubbish where the tourists feed the monkeys and our driver bought peanuts. Erm no thanks. Jason took a few photos and Ma and I stayed in the car. It was dismal and on Ma’s side of the car a sheer drop of several hundred feet which would have been all too easy to fall down. As it turned out this ‘misunderstanding’ was to be the theme of that day.
On to the way to the next location, a waterfall we had been led to believe was a 2 hour round trip, we stopped to take photographs of a lovely yard of drying red chilli, it smelt amazing, not like chilli at all but rich and spicy all the same. Sadly this and the views turned out to be the highlights of this hugely expensive, time wasting day.
We drove, and drove and drove some more to the waterfall, which after almost two hours of driving we were informed was 150k Idr each for a guide that you had to use but our driver could get it for 100k for all of us. Not impressed but with little option we arrived, or so we thought, instead we were at some sort of staging area with a restaurant where you get on a bus and a guide takes you and oh hells no. You can see the waterfall you are going to from here and it is downhill and sweet looking but certainly nothing i’m getting in a coach to go and see with some shady looking guide, thanks anyway. J and Ma in total agreement, we decided to eat at the restaurant, fools. We were told an item we wanted to order was finished only to see several people who ordered after us served it. The food we did get was well below average, the service was deathly slow, even for Asia, and they tried to keep our change. We could not recommend this utter waste of time to anyone.
With only two and a half hours until our boat was due to collect us we very clearly said we wanted to get some of the famous Lombok coffee and some sarongs/batik. Not clearly enough apparently.
It took over two hours to get almost back to our starting point, we did stop at a total tourist trap shop which we had expressly said we did not want to shop at and were offered the chance to visit a pearl workshop which we politely refused.
I am sure there are lovely things to see on Lombok, we just didn’t see them. This was our second pretty disastrous island tour and will definitely be our last.
Some six hours after we left we were never happier to land back on Gili Meno, empty handed, considerably out of pocket and glad to be home Xx