Monday, 18 November 2013

Pirates Life For Me

We were originally going to go to Kuta on Lombok for some more beautiful beaches, but after seeing boat trips being advertised by the various travel agents on Gili T we had a change of plan. We had seen these boat trips on websites a while ago when planning a rough itenery but were put off by bad reviews and a particularly scathing blog post documenting shipwreck. In the end we took the plunge and bought the tickets for the 4 day 3 night trip from Gili Trawangen to Labuanbajo with various stops along the way including Komodo national park. I'm glad we decided to ignore reviews because it was awesome!
We caught the public boat in the morning to Lombok and waited a little while for fellow travellers to come from different parts of the island so we could begin our journey. There were 13 guests? Or maybe we are shipmates? and 5 crew. Apparently the boat can have up to 25 people on the boat plus the crew, which would have been way too cramped but I think we had a good number of shipmates!

The boat chugged along the coast of Lombok whilst some of us slept, caught up on some reading and got to know each other. Everyone had stories to tell of their travels or where they were from, we had many nationalities on the boat but everyone could speak fluent English, even though only 4 of our number were native speakers. I had a tinge of envy that the majority of shipmates could speak a second language but I couldn't, my GCSE French just doesn't cut it! After a good few hours we stopped to watch the sunset over Gunung Rinjani and jumped off the boat to have a swim and a snorkel.
All our meals were served on a mat on the deck and we sat around it together and ate the delicious food the crew had cooked for us in the teeny tiny kitchen at the back of the boat. It was traditional Indonesian food so lots of rice and noodles with chicken or fish and some vegetables, but always plenty to go around. The crew had a fishing line at the back of the boat and caught a barracuda, so we had that for dinner one night, a fresh catch of the day.
We slept above the driving room? Our boat lingo ain't so great, and we don't know the name for the bit the captain actually drives the boat, but anyway we slept above that and the crews cabin. There were mats on the floor and we had to climb up a ladder and crawl along to our mat as you couldn't stand. The boat also travels throughout the night so you have the hum of the engine to send you to sleep. the first night the sea was a little rough to say the least... the boat was at some serious angles at one point, and we couldn't lie on our sides because we just moved around too much and had to sleep on our backs, almost starfish shape to give us some support, far from being rocked to sleep. A peek out the window hole to the starry sky above more than compensated for any lack of sleep.
A lone fisherman out at sea.
The next day we went to an uninhabitated island and walked through the jungle to get to a very pretty waterfall, until we saw a dead baby dear, and a huge lizard flop into one of the pools... Nonetheless we had a little cool down in the water and had a wash making the most if the fresh water as there is no shower on the boat.
In the afternoon we went to another island to see a salt water lake and snorkel some more. It was the best coral I've ever seen; the colours were so vibrant, and I thought the coral on gili was good, but this was somin' else! We both had the urge to watch finding nemo afterwards as we saw loads of clown fish! It was all fun and games admiring the coral and swimming with nemo, until we saw the huge infestation of tiny jelly fish surround us! Dun dun dunnn. Literally thousands of tiny jellyfish forming what looked like stalactites under the water just seemed to appear out of nowhere! Luckily a nice man in a little boat rescued us and gave us a lift to our boat
Unfortunately again, the GrPro doesn't want to upload photos, so we don't have any of the coral reef to show you, but we do have some of us chilling on the boat and the Robinson crusoe style islands.
 another beautiful sunset over the island of Sumbawa marked the end of two great days but bigger and better things to come in the next blog post.

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