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The Adventures of Whales 4 1/2 months with a newly wed couple in Southeast Asia Jan 9th 07 to May 17th 07

Bali Dreams To Sorry Sape

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 14 March 2007 | Views [1700]

  A lot has happened since we arrived in Indonesia. Two childhood dreams were attained during our stay on Kuta, Bali. Elijah rented a surfboard and with his previous experience snowboarding and summers of skateboarding, was able to catch a wave on his very first try. Its not the best season for surfing in Bali, but Elijah still had a lot of fun and surprised himself with how well he did.

   The next day we did one of my lifelong dreams-horseback riding on the beach. We found a reputable place where just a guide and us could gallop through the waves. Fortunately for me, my little white horse, Mega, loved this idea and took me on a great 2-hour ride.

   So, pleased with our accomplishments and refreshed by the beach, we set out to the next major island, Lombok. The bemo bus took 2 hours to reach Padang Bai pier. From there we boarded a ferry and floated for 5 hours to Lembar, Lombok. This was the start of the craziest traveling (mis) adventure yet.

  This ferry was pleasantly uneventful, but the moment we exited the boat in Lembar, the eventfulness started. We arrived late and there were no other travelers heading the same direction as Danielle and me, so the local drivers wanted to take advantage of this by increasing their rates by 4. When we asked where the hotel was, we received a different answer from everyone. Some said the price for accommodations was outrageous and others said there were no hotels. The truth was there where a few local hotels and they were nice and well priced.

  The next morning we left for the opposite coast of Lombok. We dealt with a few liars selling tickets, but we ignored their “advice” and made it ourselves to the ferry leaving for Poto Tano, Sumbawa. From Poto Tano we drove to the capital where we needed to make a bus change heading for the last city, Sape. I had been told that we could get a bus directly to Sape. But when we got off in the capital, with rain pouring down, 6 men tried to force us into a bus to Bima (which was only part of the way to Sape). We did not get on that bus only to find out there was no direct drive to Sape, we had to stop in Bima. So we had to wait 6 hours for the nest bus. Then it was a 9-hour ride to Bima where we had to wait another 6 hours for the next bus to Sape. Miserably we sat there but the local Indonesians kept us company.

  On the bus ride from Bima to Sape we picked up a Czech guy named Dave. He would soon become our good friend and the only person we could trust in Sape.

  We arrived in Sape, the armpit of Indonesia, at 10am. It is a port city that harbours the ferries for Sumbawa  to Flores and Sumba. Across from the harbour is a very poor fisherman’s village. Sape’s center is the dirtiest place I have ever seen, where the goats that wander the street freely eating the garbage are the only ones cleaning up the mess.

  As soon as we exited the bus there was an on slot of men telling us that the ferry was not coming. From our past experiences, Dave, Danielle and I, just assumed they were lying. The ferry never came that day so we slept outside with the locals in hope that it would arrive at night.

  The next morning another bus arrived with 8 travelers expecting a ferry that we knew may never come. After talking about our options for a while, we agreed to charter the boat form the locals that they had been pushing so hard. Now the reason the ferry was not coming was because of 4 meter swells (12feet). But the boat captain assured us he could stay close to the islands and make it safely.

  Hiring the small boat was quite expensive $200. and half had to be paid upfront. So we paid our 10$ a person and got in the single engine 25ft x 7ft boat. We got 30minutes out before the captain said we had to turn back. There was no room for disappointment as we where overcome with fear as we gladly returned to shore.

  When we got back, getting a refund was an impossible task. At one point in our battle to get any money back, we were told how lucky we were to only be cheated out of such a small amount. The man said there had been tourists that get killed and all their money is stolen. The best we could get was them to sell back the gas they bought for the trip. The ferry arrived the next day and it was a 16-hour ride. We were so stupid to ever think that little boat could have made it.

Tags: Scams & Robberies

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