Fifteen Hours of Transport: Better than a day at work?


Sitting at We Be Cafe for lunch in Gili Meno

Fifteen Hours of Transport: Better than a day at work? This day I really wondered!

Some days on the road are post card perfect and some are full of transportation!

I was so sad to leave Gili Garden Bungalows on Gili Meno. After staying there for a week, I felt all moved in, if only there was a shelf or cabinet or anywhere to put my things. The snorkeling was so wonderful and the location and price so great ($20usd with breakfast), I did not care about all my things being on the floor. It was a turtle  party nearly every time we entered the ocean seeing five, six, eight turtles on each turn in the water.

We got up on our last morning before seven am to walk the half an hour to the other side of the island and catch the eight am once a day public boat to Bangsal. It was 10,000Rp ($1usd) per person to take this boat. A private charter was much more expensive and we decided starting the day early was smart. In the harbor, we ignored the touts and walked to the area after the cidomo horse carts, searching for group transport to Lembar for the ferry to Bali. We were skipping the speedy and expensive Gili Cat which runs about $45 per person in favor of the slow local transport.

For 60,000Rp each (about $6usd), we could take the public bus which was really just a van at nine-fifteen am. At nine-thirty am, they loaded about twelve of us into a van and dropped off a few in Senggigi, Mataram and then transferred us to another van to get to Lembar. We arrived at eleven-thirty am for the noon ferry, quickly grabbing nasi goring for 10,000rp each as part of the change for our two 36,000Rp ($4usd) tickets to travel for five hours from Lombok to Bali.

The locals basically shooed all the foreigners to the top deck of the ferry boat. While we were happy to be away from the incessant smoking, we were roasting in the sun with no likehood of respite for five more hours. With a sarong tied to the railing and our trusty umbrella we created a bit of our own shade to rest under. When we were within sight of the port and just about twenty minutes away from shore, the ferry stopped for nearly forty minutes. By then, it had been nearly ten hours since we left Gili Garden, and I was ready for dry land.

We could have stopped the madness and stayed in Padangbai for the night. I knew we wanted to be in Kuta before we went south to Bukit Pennisula as we had some errands to take care of in the big city. We walked to Perama and a bus was leaving that second for Kuta and Ubud. I said, “We are here. It is cooler to take the bus at night and less traffic.” So after George raced to the bathroom and they found us two seats, we were off. For another 60,000Rp each, we traveled nearly the length of Bali to arrive in severe traffic in Kuta. It was so bad, they just stopped the bus and said, “Go that way. If we drive it will take another hour or more.”

Since we had no idea we would travel all the way to Kuta in one day, we had no plan for a hotel for the evening. After seeing many poor choices which had either dirty sheets, stuffy rooms, terrible value for money or other problems, we stumbled into the Amazing Hotel on Poppies II at nearly ten in the evening. After a quick refreshing shower, we went out for dinner.

I was glad when we awoke the next day in Kuta ready to take care of business. It had been a long travel day but it was either going to be expensive in time or money to get from the Gilis to Kuta and since we are away for so long, we chose TIME! More about our day solving problems in Kuta soon.

August 25, 20


Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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