This week has been great. I was planning to leave Kuta at the start of the week and ride to Ubud, but my couchsurfing host was really nice, so I decided to hang around for a few more days. We would go out to eat cheap, but really nice noodles and other local food, then get fruit smoothies in the evenings. There are some great smoothy places in Kuta, you can choose what ever fruits you want to add and you only pay about 50 pence for almost a pint of smoothy. One of the best is avocado with chocolate sauce, but I liked to add banana to it too. So on Wednesday I rode 45 Km from Kuta to Ubud. The first half of the trip went quickly, just an hour. But the second half was on a long gradual uphill, my bike is pretty heavy and I haven’t adapted to the weight yet, so I had to slow right down and stop for a few minutes every few Km.
When I finally arrived in Ubud I stayed with another couchsurfer who I met last week through Sita (My first Indonesian CS host). He has a really nice place down by the river, the only problem is that the river gets a bit smelly sometimes. Sita decided to drive up to Ubud and hung around with me for a couple of days which David was working. Ubud is a nice enough place, but it is basically a tourist town, there are beggars and taxi drivers hassling you all the time and everything is more expensive. After a couple of days there I was ready to leave, so I set off towards the coast to get the ferry to Lombok.
The ride to the coast was much easier than my first day as it was mostly downhill, taking me through small villages with mountains and rice fields in the background, it was a little over 45Km but I didn’t need to stop for a rest and didn’t feel overly tired when I got on the ferry. I took the slow ferry across to Lombok because it is the cheapest ferry (about $5). It takes about 4 or 5 hours to cross the small channel between the islands. I sat in the air conditioned VIP section because there was nobody checking tickets, then went up on to the roof of the ferry to do some yoga and admire the view. I wasn’t sure whether I would want to ride into town (which I thought was 30Km from the port), or whether I would camp near the port and ride into town on Sunday. But after almost 5 hours on the ferry I decided to just ride. It was only a little over 20Km to my couchsurfing hosts place and I arrived at about 9pm, had a bucket wash and set up my Thermarest mattress for a night sleeping on the floor. Lombok is a Muslim island, like most of Indonesia, so it reminds me a little of Zanzibar and northern Africa. I’m not sure how long I will stay here. I need to extend my visa soon to get my second month, I can do that here and visit some of the small islands around Lombok. I guess I’ll just have to see what happens.