Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag gili and whatnot
30 november 2014
gili and whatnot
We took a bus to Bandung to the house where my father lived for the first 3 years of his life. I wanted to go there to get a better view of the conditions my family used to live. Admittedly, my family seemed to be quite wealthy as the house was quite sturdy and situated in the center of Bandung. A sharp contrast to some of the shanty neighborhoods in the vicinity. After going there we drove to the hospital my father was born in to get an even better look of my roots. It was a mere 300 meters away.
We were quite glad we were able to find it since Towne told us that it would be nearly impossible. However, with the judicial application of Google maps combined a taxi driver whom was able to converse in broken English, we were able to find it. After our visit went on to the train station to go to Yogyakarta immediately after as were getting kinda sick of chaotic, smoggy cities.
We arrived in Yogyakarta at 3 in the morning and were relieved to notice that there wasn't any traffic around. We found 2 guys with some sort of bicycle rickshaws to bring us to a hotel/guest house. The guys on the bicycles did try to screw us over which admittedly sorta worked after some hassle. We slept there for a few hours before deciding to find a better hotel. The next hotel was quite beautiful with a Middle Eastern feel to it.
As we explored the city we also tried to find a way of going to Borobudur which was actually remarkably hard to do cheaply and on our own accord. There was a way of going with city buses and transferring at some other places. But after an hour of looking we figured we just hire some tour operator to do all that for us and take us to Prambanan as well.
That day we ate at a nice little restaurant for approximately 1.50 euro per person including a drink. This seemed ridiculously cheap to us but then again we're dutch so yeeey.
Our chauffeur picked us up at the hotel and drove us to Prambanan first. This is some sort of square with Buddhist temples. It was quite hot and sunny that day which made for great pictures.
Next stop was Borobudur which is a pyramid shaped temple thing is resembling different levels one can achieve in life whilst reincarnating to better oneself. It is quite big and a must-see. I ran to the top (don't ask why). On the Borobudur we were asked to pose in pictures again at least 50 times with kids as well as adults. We asked our chauffeur why that was and he seemed to think it was because we resemble the celebrities they see on TV.
I invented my own jump squat challenge on the thing and decided to jump each step of the 160-step flight of stairs before me. The locals seemed somewhat befuddled by my behavior.
After returning to our hotel went to get something to eat at a local restaurant and ate a crepe among other things. We did this because it most closely resembled pancakes which the Baars (my girlfriend's) family traditionally eat to commemorate the passing of Theo Baars the father of my girlfriend and patriarch of her family.
We flew to Bali the next day, rented scooters and went to Kuta beach where I tried my hand at surfing. Surfing is remarkably hard with a steep learning curve. Even more so than snowboarding I'd say. This day I was not really able to stand up on the surfboard at all.
We watched the sunset which seems to pass by significantly quicker than anywhere I've seen which sort of makes sense as we are damn near the equator. We tried to drive the scooters back to the hotel which was way harder than anticipated. Linda has no experience driving scooters or motorcycles and I was unable to keep an eye out for her as my rear view mirror only reveals a sea of lights. This combined with the fact that they drive on the left here, that traffic is chaotic at best, that I didn't know my way around the city and that there are lots of one-way streets made for a nightmarish trip back to the hotel with regular stops to figure out where the hell to go. Even with Google maps in my pocket (which can't calculate routes without WiFi).
Our hotel was quite nice with a pool which we regularly used after breakfast and afternoons.
We decided we needed to find something to that would help Linda to gain experience on the scooter so we went to the cultural heritage park on south Kuta. Although relatively expensive, was quite nice with huge statues of Wisnu and some birdish looking fellow(can't remember the name right now).
We saw a show in the amfitheater there and we got to ride a segway which we both hadn't done before. So experience points aplenty that day.
At night we went out in the Kuta beach area which was fun til we did a little social experiment. There were quite a few prostitutes around. It was kinda interesting to observe a madam with a prostitute under her wing giving her orders to attract men.
The prostitutes weren't bothering us much but we wondered what happened if I'd be walking on my own. I walked about 3 meters ahead of Linda as we walked along the boulevard. Within a few minutes I got 5 offers. However, as we were walking, Linda got harassed by taxi drivers. One physically held her back while 4 others also joined trying to pick pocket her. They became quite physical. Around this time I heard things going sour behind me soI turned around and intervened. Some other tourist girl helped as well which was nice of her. To this day I'd still like to kick some taxi driver asses.
This day we went to Kuta beach again to surf and chill out. We also went to the boulevard with all the bars again.
Back to the beach again. By this time the surfing went a lot better than before. Standing up for several seconds became more and more easy as I was getting used to the waves. At night we strolled into town and saw a tour operator going to the Gili islands. We saw online that it would cost about 1.500.000 rupiah to get there and back which is about 100 euro per person. He offered it for 800.000. We then kept playing the tour operators out against each other to see how low they'd go. It went from 800.000 to 660.000 to 550.000 to 500.000 to 490.000. We figured we bottomed out and take the deal.
We took the boat to Gili Trawagan where we tried to haggle for accomodation. It wasn't that successful this time around but we still managed to get a decent price. We went snorkeling that day which was more fun than we expected. Lots a little fishes.
That night we went to the evolution bar whom offered 2 cocktails for the price of 1 which was about 2.33 euro per 2 cocktails. We drank quite a few and sufficing to say.
We chilled at the beach for a while and snorkeled quite a bit. At night we went back to Evolution where Linda sang a song with the local band playing. We met an Australian guy called Uncle Bob whom is a contractor in Trawagan. He is the local boss as he was obviously ordering around the band and all other locals on the island. He considered himself an educator but mainly he was simply the local rich westerner with too much money.
Back to the bounty beaches to chill out and snorkel. We saw a turtle which was quite huge and impressive. We followed it around for a bit before trying to find other turtles. We didn't though. Not that day at least.We then managed to gettickets to Gili Meno which is a bit less crowded with tourists. We tried to find turtles again but to no avail. This island is even smaller than Trawaganwhich is about 3 kilometers by 2 kilometres by the way.
We went to Gili Air which is even smaller still. We snorkeled along the entire east side of the island. We didn't find any turtles though. And after almost giving up on seeing more turtles we decided to try one last attempt to go towards a tour boat. We then saw one and I must admit that I tried touching it eventhough you're not supposed to.
Our legs were quite sunburnt that day as we snorkeled for approximately 4 hours in the burning sun. We both looked quite British.
Back to Gili Trawagan. We had to catch the boat the next day to Padang bay on Bali in order to travel to Ubud. I tried to book my flights to Sydney along with the hostel. Sydney is quite expensive around new years and the flights doubled in price since I left home. So I had to reschedule a lot of things especially since hostels are 7 times more expensive around new years. Cheaps hostels are around 50 or 60 euros per night with a minimum stay of 2 weeks. Airbnb's however are not so I booked with a guy with a vantage point of Sydney harbor bridge for around 20 euros per night. Brilliant.
I also tried booking my flight to Manila from Sydney with Philippine airlines. I've never seen a slower website. It took me several hours to get past the biking process which is ridiculous and extremely frustrating. Apparently I'm not the only one who encountered this problem. It is a sad state of affairs for this day and age.
30 november 2014 22:04 | Door: Mary
Wat een prachtig verslag weer. Ik zou wat voorzichtig zijn in gebieden met prostituees en onbetrouwbare taxichauffeurs.... maar de stranden en schildpadden, geweldig!!!
Heel fijn om dit te lezen! Veel liefs, van Ma(ry)ms