After spending eight days in Bali our next stop was Lembongan Island. An uneventful 45 minute boat ride (Perama, 100,000 IDR/person) and you are there. There is an ATM in Lembongan but being the only one it is often empty, so its important to bring cash. Also accommodation is limited. We showed up with no reservation and really struggled to find a place to stay. The island itself is gorgeous and its easy to rent a motorbike and tour the beaches.
While there I took a 3 day PADI open water certification course @ Lembongan Dive Center and am now a certified diver (for a cost of $385)! All other time was spent sun bathing and eating.
After Lembongan we headed to Gili Air via another ferry. This ferry was a little longer at 2 hours and significantly more expensive (300,000IDR/person). The gili’s are phenomenal. The most beautiful beaches by far of our trip so far. Crystal clear water, picturesque mountains in the background and bright white sand. During high season demand outstrips supply though and the accommodation prices are significantly higher than we expected. Like Lembongan we arrived with no reservation and really struggled to find a room.
We stayed on Gili Air and took a day trip to Gili Meno. Meno is even more beautiful and far less developed than Air. Definitely worth a visit.
Lombok is only 20 minutes from mainland Gili Air by boat (and only 10,000 IDR/person, drops off at Bangsal). Our destination of Senggigi was an hour cab drive away (always, always negotiate we got it down from 300,000IDR to 100,000IDR). Senggigi was kind of a let down after the Gilis. Mediocre beaches and super touristy. Fortunately it was only the launching point for perhaps our most memorable experience yet….climbing Mt Rinjani (full post to follow).