We’d booked fast ferry tickets to the Gilis due to the shortness of our stay. The much cheaper slow ferry takes 12 hours which essentially loses you a whole day, and means you arrive late on – a death knell on your hopes of finding accommodation during the current high season.
Again we’d organised things through MBA as Bernhard had recommended them. Asking around I do think they offered us the genuine “best price” of a million Rupiah (around $US100) for returns. At the time of setting off, our plan was for two days on Trawangan, two on Lombok then back out to Air before returning to Bali after a week.
However… we got talking to some people on the boat out to Trawangan and accommodation is very scarce there and on Air. Gili Meno is a better option as there’s next to nothing there. If you want to completely chill out, that’s the place to head. We’re playing it by ear, but currently we’re thinking of extending our Trawangan stay (allowing for finding a room), then maybe just hitting Meno for the remainder and hopping back to Trawangan or onto Air to catch our return ferry.
The ferry journey wasn’t too bad, being a little over two hours. Generally smooth with a bumpy patch in the middle, it was still comfortable due in part to the padded bucket seats we all had. Well, all except one old chap with dodgy legs who was treated incredibly well by the boat staff. All the seats were taken but they’re prepared several cushions for him so he could actually lie out on the back. It sounds like he’s pretty much a local (although definitely an Aussie), as he runs one of the guesthouses on Meno.
When we waded ashore at Trawangan we were surrounded by horse and trap drivers offering to drive us around all the properties to find somewhere to stay. However, they were asking 80,000 Rupiah which is insane. As long as you can walk fast and get one of the earlier boats, you should be OK. The cheaper accommodation is way down south (turn left when you get off the beach), though we ended up in Big Bubble at $55 per night due to Leah’s taste for the luxurious.
OK, luxury is an overstatement but excessive comfort isn’t. Cold shower, but very nice bed, aircon, good decor, crash pad with pillows out the front, proper loo and breakfast included. It’s also the dive school Bernhard got his Open Water certification through.
An average price around here during high season is $50 per night for somewhere half decent. There are properties which charge (and justify) twice that while I’d reckon you’d be lucky to get anything for less than $30.
We had a snooze in the afternoon to make up for our early rise, and I booked a dive for the next day. Basically, we lazed. Which is what you’re meant to do on sandy islands. We even lazed with a cat as the resident black and white puddy decided it liked us.
In the evening we took a walk around the main street (which took maybe 15 minutes) and settle on a pub next door for pizza and lemon juice. Just chilled and relaxed and listened to the sea and fed little bits of chicken to the cats that wandered up and pretended to be our bestest friend in the whole wide world until we ran out. Then they scarpered.
As did we. And slept again.