We sailed to Senggigi next. This is the main tourist centre for Lombok but it didn’t seem to touristy. The beach front is mainly bars and restaurants and the main street caters for all – but there was not a traditional fruit and veg market here. It was a great little anchorage with a really safe and sturdy dock – where we left our dinghy quite safely while we went and wandering around trying to provision. I bought my first souvenir here continue reading- we are not buying souvenirs as we have to watch the space on the boat and so the only things we can really buy must be light and small – I count a sarong as both light and small! On our last night in Senggigi we had a great night and dinner on Tereva together with Tehani Li. The next day they both headed off for Bali and we headed down to the Gili Gede islands with Atlantis and Gaulltine III.
These islands are not really yet known on the tourist trail. There are 12 islands in the chain and we had read that there was a yacht club under construction, but already the club, haul-out facilities and repair yard were completed. Well it didn’t take more than a nano-second to see that there was not only no marina but no facilities at all! Just a sweet little anchorage in front of a rather deserted resort – aptly name Secret Island Resort. We took the dinghy up to the resort and met an American girl on the jetty. She told us that the resort was in total disrepair but that the kitchen was still functioning so we may be able to get a meal there. The problem was that we couldn’t tie up to the dock as the fisherman may be back to use it later on that evening… It seemed sad that a resort that had once obviously been well patronised and in such a stunning location had fallen into such a state of collapse.
We headed ashore and explored Gili Gede – which has a couple of villages and it seemed very poor in comparison to the other places we had seen in Lombok. As usual the kids were super friendly and it appeared untouched by the outside world.
It seemed to be a tiny village, but then we came across a large school, playing fields and beautiful mosque. The houses went further into the island and we realised that this was quite a large community – land was being cleared for building and there was construction happening.
We continued to walk around the island, and then suddenly came across a resort! It was penned off with crude bamboo fencing but once inside it was pristine. We then noticed that much of the construction was for hotels – a times they are a’changing for this touch of paradise.
We stopped and had a couple of Bintangs and some calamari at the resort before heading back to the boats. That night we had dinner on board Atlantis – Stedem served the wine and I brought the dinner and we were joined by Stu & Lou from Gaulltine III. We all decided to head back to Medana Bay to collect our passports with our new visas in them the next day – as we all felt uneasy not having our passports on us.
The trip back was slow due to the currents but we arrived about 3pm and saw that all the people who were to have picked up their passports three days before were still at Medana Bay. The computer system was down………… so they had spent two days waiting in the customs office just in case it sprang into life again! It had eventually happened and they arrived back at 5pm having had their photos and fingerprints taken (yes – fingerprints for an extension visa for Indonesia) That night about 16 of us had a great dinner at the yacht club and kept our fingers crossed that we would be able to get our paperwork processed the next day.
We were told we may have an appointment at 9am. Then we were told maybe 12pm – then maybe 2pm – then maybe 3pm…. YES 3pm was the magic time so the 5 of us went into Mataram the capital of Lombok and took our places in the queue at the Customs office. All paperwork completed we headed off to the Hypermarket for a well earning cappuccino and chocolate doughnut. We did a huge re-provision and came back to the Yacht club – only need to have our passports returned which they have promised will be tomorrow – sometime…. Had a lovely roast dinner on Indian Summer that night with Gaulltine III and Atlantis – not hitting the sack until after midnight.