So the flight ended up being delayed by a painful 5 hours but we eventually boarded and after a brief scuffle with the airplane police we managed to take the 20 minute flight to Lombok.
Once we arrived it was another half an hour drive to the hotel. It was dark, we were tired and the hotel definitely didn’t stand up to Ubud. After a quick Moroccan meal we decided to drown our sorrows and head to the Beach Bar down the road. There was a live band and we danced in the sand with the local guys trying to chat up western girls.
On our second day we went to a local Lombok village and saw how the people used to live. It was very interesting to hear how they only marry their cousins and live in small, dark abodes made of mud, buffalo dung and straw. The also had a village language - spoken nowhere else! After this stop, we continued onto a beach with good food and Bintang, all you need. Unfortunately, it began to rain, and we decided to move on. We weren’t too excited due to the weather but once we arrived the rain stopped, the sun came out and this amazing beach appeared. It was called Mawun and It was beautiful! The local kids came out and we had a good time playing around in the surf. On the way back, there was a torrential downpour and we stopped at a restaurant with an amazing view of the area. It was a great day, and we topped it off with a visit to the sunset bar where Iman got up and joined the local band for a rendition of I shot the sheriff and Redemption song. I have to say, having two local guides for this tour has been one of the biggest highlights for me; I have really enjoyed getting to know Iman and Petti and learning about their country through them.
The following day was Christmas Day and some of the group went on a waterfall trek which was full of adventure. The rest of the group wanted a chill day, and spent the day by the pool. At 7 we all met up for our Christmas Dinner in the hotel. We handed out the Secret Santa presents which was great fun but still didn’t feel quite like Christmas. It was definitely the weirdest Christmas I’ve ever had!
That night we went to the Surfers Bar and met the most amazing 10 year-old child! His name was Normal and if you gave him any country he could name the capital city! It was incredible. The following morning we left Lombok and headed to Gili Air. It was a long car ride to the boat and the driver had nothing but heavy dance music - it was a painful experience to say the least. After an awful experience in a restaurant, waiting over an hour for our food, we headed to the boat. It was delayed while they waited to fill it up. Everybody was feeling tired, hot and a little grumpy but then Iman took out his little guitar and started to play some reggae music and it lifted everyone out of their funk! Eventually the boat filled and we set of on the 20 minute trip to Gili Air.
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