01 Oct 2013 Indonesia: Luxury in Lombok
It was 5 months into my Asia travels and I had been in Indonesia for about 2.5 weeks. My original plan was only 2 weeks in Indonesia, and if I had stuck to this plan, I wouldn’t be writing this now. I had a flight from Denpasar Airport, Bali to Singapore on the horizon.
I had traveled to the Gili Trawangan Island with some new traveler friends which I had met previously in Kuta, Bali. Zane, Josh and Tim I had met from Kayun Hostel. Zane loved wearing Justin Bieber shirts as a joke, so as a group alliance name, we called ourselves the Bieber Babes. Whilst staying in Gili Hostel; we had met some more travelers and numbers to the pact. Nick and Mairi, a couple from Australia, and Hanna and Verona were best friends from Norway and Kosovo.
I got all the way to Denpasar Airport, when i decided not to take my flight to Singapore. I wasn’t done with this group, or with Indonesia. I had spoken to Zane and Tim who talked about renting a Villa with Nick, Mairi, Verona and Hanna. Josh by this time had left to continue his travels. I loved the idea of a bunch of us in a Villa and would of felt left out I hadn’t journeyed again. Back down I went from Kuta, to Padang Bai Ferry port and from there to Lombok, bypassing the Gili Islands. I got to the Amepnan Ferry port in Lombok which was completely empty and I was alone. Where I needed to be in Kuta, Lombok was a 3 hour journey. I had no choice but to pay 2 young lads 350,000 Rupiah which is approximately $35 for the car trip. I was exhausted and fell asleep until we got there.
When I arrived at our place, Sari Inn, I had never expected such a palace. Along with the Private Chauffeur who we could ask to take us for free at anytime, we had 4 bikes ready for us for 8 of us to share. The price was $9 per night each. A two tier Villa with a balcony, swimming pool,multiple rooms, double beds, hammocks, a kitchen area, TV with DVD’s and more. It was backpacking luxury. Flashpacking some might say. Hamy who was a local Indonesian, was a cock fighter. He ran the place with a couple of his friends. By 8am every morning the place would be spotless, no complaints or trouble.
During our 5 days we were all there we went out on bike rides, surfed, ate at local restaurants, had pool parties, and played drinking games. We even re-enacted the famous painting of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the last supper I recall. Our day times would be chilled out, with the hammocks being the most popular spot to read a book or listen to some music. We ate noodles for food, bottles of Indonesian Bintang to wash it down with; typical backpacker style. I remember feeling part of a family due to the good atmosphere and everyone getting along. Our final night we had final pool party. We had met some Swedes in the Gili’s and randomly bumped into them at a restaurant earlier that day. We invited them around. A bunch of backpackers living the flashpacker life from across the globe coming together. Nationals from England, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Canada and Australia. Some would say that’s a pretty good bunch.
There were a lot of happy people that night. This may sound like a typical party story that every backpacker experiences, but it wasn’t. This was quite unique. You hear about fancy villa resorts for next to nothing prices across Asia, normally occupied by people on ‘holiday’ living an easy lifestyle, champagne by the pool, whilst the beaming sun sizzling their skin. It wasn’t that we took it for granted; it was almost like justice had been done. Justice to all those kilometers traveling on the road, bitten all those nights by mosquito’s, woken up by the sound of drunken mischief. Of course, this was part of backpacking; however, this situation we found ourselves in was a gift.
Plans change when you travel. These are the delights of being a traveler, not knowing what is going to happy next. There are so many titles for this article that could be sufficed. Whatever that is, it was a time of my travels I won’t forget.. We had a bit of luxury of Lombok.