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From Gili Air to Candidasa ....crossing the Lombok Strait

Another day, another island.... actually we are leaving the Gillis and returning to Bali. We have changed the plan a bit and rather than returning to Amed (from where we departed) are taking a longer water route to the port of Padang Bai and thence to Candidasa. Both towns are on the eastern coast of Bali.


Having scouted out the various companies which provide ferry service we settle on Eka Jaya which claims to have the biggest, fastest, meanest fastboat in operation on this run....We met the rep who sold us our tickets and he accompanied us to the harbor ensuring we got properly checked in and safely aboard. Interestingly enough his boss checked twice to make sure all was ok...some of these dides run a tight ship. The harbor is an organized bedlam...as there aare 3 or 4 companies coming and going at the same time......so you have tourists, locals, hawkers, bicycles and horse carts all milling about.....all went according to plan with name, age, nationality, passport numbers entered into a manifest which the police require.....WHEW!!! Then we hung around and waited.....watching the goings on:


......and chatting with our young escort.....desperately practising his English.......as a bye the bye, this really is a country where you need not have any linguistic ability.....everybody speaks English (although when they find out you are Canadian theys sometimes try their French) ,,,


.....soon our boat arrives:


Boarding is pretty straight forward, we opt for topside seating. This boat has a/c, flat screen tv's , 1500hp motors, with room for almost 300 passengers....oh yes, they are happy to peddle Bintangs in addition to soft drinks and water (BC Ferries take note !!).....last but not least you too can enjoy several hours of Indonesian techno. The writer has a rather poor taste in music but I must say I had enough after the 1st hour.

First stop is at Gili Meno > no dock, no beaching therefore launch from the shore and a "water" transfer:


Next stop as announced by the 1st mate as Gili Party (Travagnan), this time we beach the boat.....and luggage is off/on loaded...you can really see why buying designer luggage is a waste of money:


....some pics of the materials being offloaded and the mosque on this island:



.......with thunder booming, we head off, luckily in the opposite direction to the incoming storm....flat seas, nice conditions for the run of about 1 hour to Padang Bai. We soon reach the Bali shoreline (some dolphins danced for us at one point) and the Captain slows for pictures of the shoreline and tiny cove beaches enroute to our destination......


As luck would have it we managed to photo our hotel (orange roof right hand side of pic) from the boat...


There is a pier at Padang Bai and the boat gently arrives as hordes of taxi drivers descend on us, the boat crew heaves the bags to the dock and everyone mills around. We get our bags, ward of the taxi drivers (they insist our shuttle ticket is no good, will take very long.....blal blah blah). As the only people off this boat going to Candidasa... we need to go to the Eka Jaya office, but the wait is only about 10 minutes and we are on our way. Half an hour later we arrive (boat trip + transfer all for the princely sum of 700m Rp = 70 Cad for us both) at the Gennegong Hotel....check in (btw passports are photgraphed via I-phone for dispatch to the local gendarmes) and our welcome drink awaits.....

Beautiful setting by the ocean and a 1 st class room....a friendly Ganesh welcomes us in the room....


Annie can't help herself and gives him (it) a happy hug...


Until the 1970's Candidasa was a sleepy fishing village then beachside losmen and warungs sprung up and it bacame the go to beach sensation. With growth came the need for building supplies and coral from the offshore reef was harvested to produce lime........by the late 1980's Candidasa became a beach resort with no beach. The mining was stopped in 1991, breakwaters built and slowly sand is coming back. It now appeals to a more mature crowd i.e. seniors .

Some pooltime, dinner at the Hotel ....too sunned out ( travelling for several hours topside in the searing sun does that to you) to go out for dinner and it is time to checkout the election news....actually CNN is on the screen. Good nite all.

Posted by marcofisher 03:36

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This place looks very nice!

by Ella Morrison

I just got up-to-date on your excellent blog. Your photos and comments are great - the green of the rice fields is gorgeous, as are the colors in the markets. Good thing you are away from the madness of the election!

by Bev Morrison

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