I was in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. Initially, I was supposed to return to Bali from Gili via Marina Srikandi speedboat, but due to the strong waves, no speedboats were able to take us back to Bali. We were all stranded in Lombok, at least for a while, just about an hour (almost 2 hours actually!). There were many of us because travellers from different boat companies were also stranded there. After the long wait, our numbers got smaller as many of us had managed to go all the way to the South of Lombok to catch a ferry. I had to wait for my turn. We had to take the buses that were assigned to us (although some didn’t go by the rule and just got up on other people’s buses!). I got on the second bus at about 2 p.m.
I was so relieved when I got up the bus. The weather was really hot and I was catching up with time. I actually wanted to fly back to Malaysia on the same day. Somehow something told me that it wasn’t a good idea, so I booked my flight on the next day instead. Thank goodness! The journey from where I was picked from was pretty long. It took me about two hours to arrive at the jetty. When I got there, I saw the travellers I met earlier on. They were still waiting for everyone to arrive. Not long after that, we all walked to the jetty together and went up the ferry together. By the time we left the jetty, it was already about 4.30 p.m. Finally! I bought myself a cup of instant noodles.
I was starving. In fact, everyone was hungry. I sat at the top level of the ferry. I didn’t talk much to anyone on the ferry. I thought it wasn’t really the best time as they were all frustrated over the inconvenience. This problem was unexpected. I thought the best way to deal with it was to just get over it and appreciate the beautiful view that awaited me. I managed to see the sunset! It was amazing! I felt so alive as the wind blew my hair. It was such a shame that I didn’t have anyone special to enjoy it with, but it was alright because being alone wasn’t so bad!
Most of the people around me had friends with them. Some of them eventually became friends on the ferry. I am not an anti-social person, but I didn’t really have the mood to make new friends just yet. Some travellers took out a book to read, some bought beers and got quite drunk, whilst some just slept with their heads on the tables. As the weather got colder, everyone took out their scarves and wrapped them around their necks; except for me. I didn’t think it was that cold, and even if I was feeling cold, I didn’t have any scarf to keep me warm.
After a while, I got really bored of the same view. I got a bit thirsty too. I walked one level down to find something to eat and drink, but there was nothing cold to drink in the fridge. I saw many locals sleeping on the floor too. There were so many of them simply because the ferry is the most preferred mode of transportation amongst the locals. The price of the ferry is also cheap. If you don’t mind the long hours, feel free to get yourself a ticket. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try it. I continued to enjoy the night view. It wasn’t really a view because the only thing I could see were the waves.
I sat next to a brown-haired guy. He was alone and he had a surfboard with him. He greeted me later and offered me to also sit on his surfboard cover. I thanked him and we started introducing ourselves. He’s from Reunion Island. His name is Antoine. I was glad to meet him that night. We talked about a lot of things, including music. It’s great to meet someone who also shares the same interest. We talked until we arrived in Bali. It was already 11pm when we reached Padang Bai jetty. What a journey! I thought to myself “Oh no…long hours of waiting for the bus….again!” Luckily, Antoine offered me a ride on his scooter. I wanted to go on the bus at first, but I changed my mind later thinking that a scooter ride would be much more fun and adventurous! The scooter didn’t have much petrol left in it at that time, but I took the risk and followed him instead. Basically, it was my first time getting a ride from a stranger. By the way, Antoine took his scooter to Lombok, which was why he took the ferry instead of a speedboat. Besides, he said he prefers to go on a local ferry in order to experience the local lifestyle.
We managed to buy petrol from the roadside. FROM THE ROADSIDE. I have never seen anyone selling petrol (in bottles) by the road, so it was quite surprising to me. I had my GPS on while we headed down to Kuta, Bali. However, my phone ran out of battery. We were guided by the signboards along the streets and directions given by the local people we met along the way. For your information, Antoine had just one helmet. He gave his to me and went riding without wearing one! When we saw the police, we had to slow down and let them drive further away from us so that they won’t see us. We arrived at Kuta at 12am. What a ride!
I was supposed to meet my friends, Nirvan and Delphine in Kuta. They waited for me since afternoon! I felt really bad, but we ended our day with a nice supper at a local restaurant. I went to bed right after as I had to wake up early to go to Kuta beach, a few hours before my departure to Kuala Lumpur at 1pm. After a great time at the beach, I said goodbye to Antoine. I was happy to meet him. After that, Nirvan and Delphine walked with me to the airport. The airport is just 30 minutes away from the beach by foot. If you take a taxi, it will only take 15 minutes or less. I gave Nirvan and Delphine all my Indonesia Rupiah as a token of appreciation. They hosted me on my last day in Bali.
Despite the challenging time I had, I am glad that I took the ferry back to Bali.
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