After fleeing from Ubud in search of the sun, we drove down to Canngu which stands for the villa filled area north of the main resorts. We knew upfront that this would be the part of the trip where we would leave tradition behind and once I got my head around that it was actually a nice change. We stayed around the famous echo beach where we had working internet and a big clean pool right outside of our spacious room at R&R Bed and Breakfast. We had a week left so we tried to make the most of it. We tried to relax and prepared for the hard work that was to come when going back to Dubai. But because sitting by the pool every day isn’t really our cup of tea, we explored the surfing beaches by bike, Mark took on some waves in Batu Bolong (Old Mans) and found out maybe it isn’t the greatest place to learn but he looked cool anyway. We also rented a car for the day to head south. Down south we visited Kuta, I know I said we never would but we wanted to have a look if it was really that bad to stay there. It is the best place to learn how to surf but we wanted to know if we could survive staying there. To our surprise the north of Kuta really wasn’t that bad at all. So we decided that next time we would stay here a few days to take a proper surfing course. For some things especially when you have kids organised beach resorts isn’t all that bad as it turns out. After Kuta we drove down to Nusa Dua where you have you have the greger beach with its white sand and turquoise water. We drove on to Uluwatu temple on the south Cliffs ,where we said hi and goodbye to the monkeys one last time.
The Canngu area mainly caters for surfers and expats resulting in lots of great and hip places to eat. It’s one of these places everyone seems to go to these days as it was recommended by almost everyone that was ever in Bali. There is a downside to the area though and that is that is is pretty famous for break ins and it sort of shows as all the villas compete with the height of walls built around them.
Canngu had a little bit of a personal highlight for me on the agenda as well. . But I guess this needs a little bit of explanation. In 2005 I met one of my best friends ever in Thailand, we ran a small dive centre together on a idyllic beach, lived in the dessert and on a boat diving one of the most beautiful places on earth on a daily base. Most of my funniest travel stories and memories were with this person but we managed to fuck this friendship up by becoming a couple and having one of the most dramatic break ups in history. This resulted in not seeing each other since Egypt 2007. Due to some big changes in his life we managed to get in touch again at the end of 2015 and we have been the best long distance friends ever since. He lives in Australia now and I live in Dubai and Belgium so the chance to ever see each other in real life again was slim. But the gods were with us and somehow we ended up only 10 km away from each other for a day. So we had to meet up and with a little push from my loving husband we did. Almost 10 years have gone by but for a few hours at old mans it felt like I was 25 again and no time had passed! It just shows that true friendship is stronger than time, distance and even drama. We got a second chance in friendship and I will cherish it Im happy my best friend is in my life again. I also believe in world peace again btw 😉
Goodbye Lombok – Gili – Bali, thanks for the memories.
We will meet again soon! Emirates has direct flights starting from june.. jeeeeeeeej!!!!!
We set of for the airport in Dubai early morning after dropping off the last bits and pieces to the new house. As always DBX was smooth travelling. A lot of here you go’s , please mam and thank you’s while being escorted to cut in everywhere and anywhere because you are travelling with a child. Even the people waiting to board open up the row on their own account (like when Moses split the red sea) to let you go first.
The only obstacle we came across is Milla losing her dummy. You know this dummy that she needs for sleeping, the one they don’t make anymore and on top they don’t make the blanky anymore that holds the dummy and of course its the only one she wants. As always I brought spare but just the idea of one day not having that spare anymore freaks me out completely.
After settling in on the plane we started our 7 to 8 hour travel. The plane was only half full so if we wanted we could slap anywhere. We were traveling during daylight hours so that wouldn’t really be necessary.
In front of us were to young arab boys. I think they were Egyptian from the sound of their dialect but I wasn’t entirely sure. About half an hour into the travel they caused a bit of a commotion as they had a bottle of whiskey and their intention was to down it in one. From living in Egypt there were thousands of stories going though my head. However after the crew took the bottle from them without a fight they fell asleep and slept all journey.
Another painless journey had passed. Emirates always manage to spoil our little princess which only helps with the travel. We landed in Jakarta around 22.30 local time, got our luggage and went to emigration only to realise that we forgot about the visa application on arrival. After they did the custom visa office trick (trying to let you pay four times as much because we didn’t have local currency) we went to the ATM machine and waited inline again to pay only what we needed to pay this time with Indonesian rupiah. The next thing we needed to do is to pass passport control and then we would be able to sleep. A few people in front of us needed to do the same and they took a really long time bribing the officer as we waited and waited and waited, while money was taken and put back and taken again and finally they went through.
I believe this is where Milla stopped showing patience with anything. She was really tired and after walking into a chair leaving the plane she now got stuck with her bum and legs up in between the desk and the foot railing. Time to get the slingshot baby carrier out!! Even that didn’t really help. After the ‘Taksi’ took us to the IBIS airport hotel and we dropped ourselves on the bed I was a happy mum again. Happy to have a sleeping exhausted child and happy to have felt the tropical heat and to smell that typical smell of Asia.
More Travel – Arriving on Lombok
After a good nights rest on a comfortable bed and jet lag not spoiling to much we had breakfast and took the shuttle bus to the airport. Ready for our last stint from Jakarta to Lombok we tried to check in at the normal Garuda desk. The girl behind the counter giggled and someone came to translate that giggle for us. ‘WE HAD BOOKED BUSINESS CLASS’.. What????
We went to the business class check in that was in a different building and tried to figure out what happened and how much it has set us back. Turns out that when we checked the total price while booking it was the one person price. The fact that we booked in Rupiah a currency we don’t understands but that has a lot of zeros at the end didn’t really help. Anyway damage was done so we should better enjoy what was coming. And we did..Only little Milla didn’t really realise how special the big chair was that she was sitting on.
A short flight later, were we got to see what was coming from the air, we landed in Lombok. My luggage came straight away, but Marks didn’t. So we waited and waited until there was nothing to wait for anymore. When we didn’t have another choice anymore we accepted the thought that it was gone and Mark went to baggage claim. Few minutes later he came back with his bag. Apparently they load first class on a cart for you and they forgot mine. Nice gesture but not really failsafe as we noticed. We walked out of the airport and there were about 10 Taksi desks right in front of us shouting and another 30 people to the left of us shouting. My first thought was: why didn’t I read up on Taksi prices on the plane and what was the name of that good Taksi company again. That of course didn’t stop them from shouting so whatever they said I said 200.000 less and we went with whoever still stuck around in the end. The one still had to pay off another one and since having a child I’ve become to soft. Instantly I regretted haggling on the price and maybe I even regretted not going with the official Taksi. Anyway those things are the love/hate things about travelling. There is no decent travelling without taxi haggling I guess.
Driving about 10 minutes the sky broke open and rain started to pour down in ways that it can only do in tropical countries. It however didn’t really make our driver go slower, maybe it even did the opposite, but thank god the rain stopped after a good 10 minutes. During our drive we overtook every other car, bike and truck that was on the road in Lombok that day. I saw my own funeral several times as on numerous occasions we avoided a head on crash only by millimeters. I managed to keep my screams from coming out in noise and put a polite (I’m not scared smile) on my face. While I was putting on my show, Milla was sleeping for the whole drive.
After an hour of racing against chickens, dogs and people we arrived in the Chandi boutique resort near Senggigi. It sounds fancy and it is fancy. Every time we make it to a place like this, my inner 25-year-old bag packing self, is looking at me disapprovingly. For years I believed that you can only call it travelling if the place you are staying has no AC, no pool and is built out of bamboo. And then I became a mum and things changed. Even though we still don’t use the AC it’s just nice to know when it’s there for when Milla is too hot during nap time in the day. A pool is safer to let her swim on her own and well yes those kinds of places are sadly enough built from concrete. Now this place was even a step higher than when we usually just try to get the previous things for the least amount of money possible. This place is only possible cause my husband saves up free hotel nights through hotel.com. For every 10 nights he gets one free. Because its business hotels he stays in during the year we can afford descent places here and there. This was definitely one of those descent places. It had an open bathroom that I love so much, it had lots of glass and was sett on a grass patch full of coconut palm trees with a beautiful naturally looking pool all facing the sea. The resort was on the main road but still in the middle of nowhere. Locals living on each side, and around sunset there would be a never-ending line of them Knee deep in the sea trying to catch whatever they would eat that evening.
Just as Milla and er dad came back from exploring I saw a bird on its back on the floor in front of Milla. It wasn’t moving much but it was alive, I screamed (I’ve got a thing for half dead animals it upsets me more than any other person). Mark picked it up and Milla was loudly impressed, but not really understanding that the bird was in pain. We found a basket and put the bird in a basket and secured it on top of an orchid that was growing on one of the palms. This way it would be safe from whatever was crawling around and also from Milla. It just laid there, hardly moving and hardly breathing. Every half hour Mark would pick up Milla and let her have a look. I didn’t have high hopes for the bird and thought we would have to make a bird funeral, but by midnight it was gone. Leaving only a little bit of birdshot behind in the basket. We looked around to see if it was somewhere on the ground but noting. All of us couldn’t be happier that the little bird was flying again, and every bird that comes near is now the bird that we rescued coming to say hi and thank you. At least in Milla’s world that is the only truth.
At night before closing my eyes I couldn’t help but think about bay lan bay back in Thailand. How that place had no AC, no pool, no lock on the door, no glass in the windows, no luxury, but it was so perfect. If only I could find a place like that again someday.