Since we’ve been taking it so slow 2 weeks had passed since we arrived in Bali via plane. Today we would leave Bali via sea – with one of the many ferries that connect the Indonesian islands. The ferry ride is a short affair:
We quickly ride to the port, buy tickets and cycle on board. The ride itself lasts only a few hours and is very enjoyable.
I like getting to know the usual mode of transport between the islands.
And so we set foot on the island named Lombok which actually means chilli in Bahasa Indonesia. We find some beautiful roads leading north towards Mataram and it seems that we’re on our way to leave the tourist trail.
The roads are lined with chilli plants and coconut palms and suddenly we encounter horse carts.
People here are overwhelmingly friendly and greet us with Hellos and broad smiles. A few times we hear kids shouting hello at us from a far distance and we’re not quite sure how they actually see us. The ride is over all too quickly and soon we find ourself facing city traffic. We have a couchsurfing contact for the day after tomorrow so we’re looking for a place to stay for two nights.
As it gets dark we find a room and some rest. The next day we’re busy organizing stuff, mainly our visa extensions. As we came to Indonesia with a 30 day Visa On Arrival we need it to extend it once to be able to cycle at least some of the islands. You can read more about that process here soon.
After applying for the extension we find a very nice cafe with lovely owners and try to use some of our Bahasa Indonesia for some Smalltalk. It’s great fun and once again we promise ourselves to learn the language better!
After that we visit a bike store and get some more patches for our tubes. If we’re lucky we might just be set for the rest of our journey!
On the next day we want to leave our hotel and move on to Rumah Singgah in Mataram but this time Torsten is the one with the stomach problems. It seems that making a move is not in the cards for today and so we stay put for another night. I make use of the day and visit a hospital to get some of my asthma and thyroid medication which goes smoothly. If you suffer from asthma or thyroid hypofunction and need to get medication in Indonesia, read this blog entry here.
By the way – cycling is by far not the only way one can use a bike! It’s just perfect for drying laundry as well!