Once back “home in Bali” (well, that is what it felt like) we headed to the coastal resort of Sanur. A delayed flight meant we did not arrive there until midnight and missed the check-to Airbnb: we had booked.
So in one hour or so, after we landed we were in a taxi with three large travel bags, various hand luggage, a stroller and two tired, sleeping children. To suddenly not have somewhere to sleep in a new place was exciting. Eventually, we passed a hotel that was still staffed and was allowed to check in. Then we passed out on the beds.
Sanur turned out to be a small relaxed fishing village / resort with kid-friendly beaches. In the afternoons it was filled with local families and Mio and Emil quickly gained many new friends to play with in the water and sand. I think we could have hung there a little longer without a problem, but we kept to the original plan and stayed only a few days. Then we began our four-week island hopping tripp on the paradise islands east of Bali. Nusa Lembongan, Gili Islands and Lombok, here we come!
Island hopping, Yes, it sounds wonderful, and it's usually gives a huge sense of freedom to move from place to place when you are travelling and feel compelled to visit somewhere new. However, it must be said that this feeling is a little inhibited when traveling with two children and a slightly oversized baggage. (The latter we have actually struggled to slim down over time. Stuff has been thrown, forgotten and lost, toys have been given away, etc.. But still it is no doubt that accessories like helmets, diapers, toys, oat baby formula , trolley etc still needs a lot of space).
In addition, kids easily become restless when on long trips or while having to wait to get on / get off. So then you need to have a strategy-packed hand luggage with snacks, games, drinks, toy cars and iPads so that they'll have something to focus on. Now , in all honesty, our travels so far, have usually flown on very smoothly after all. But then we do have some routine by now;).
The boat company we had booked with from Sanur to Lembongan island an hour away offered cheap tickets and both Mio and Emil got to go free of charge. Catch-ing! But presumably, this firm had not won any awards for their safety work, at least not in the last ten years. They had also adopted the same price strategy as the low-cost airlines as we discovered. For example, getting the baggage on board the boat was not included in the base package. That you paid extra for. Well, oh well, our luggage, we would like to come with us, right? Ok, we'll need to add this service.
Then boarding was done directly from the beach, that this day had pretty rough waves.
Once onboard, we got seats in the front. Me, who had worried a little about having left behind the children's life jackets in Thailand, straightaway looked underneath the seats if there were vests as promised. Oh yes, there they were.
But apart from that these specimens of course were too big for the kids they would also be totally useless for us adults, it turned out. They were well tired and worn. If they did not hung in the threads they were not able to zip or even tie together. Ok. Just live with it and keep our fingers crossed that this trip would go accident free. One had heard about tourist boats that both sunk and exploded in Indonesia and therefore one should choose the company with care. This we had clearly barred. But surely the old theory of probability says that the odds for this are quite low, I got to tell myself.
Our goal destination Nusa Lembongan met us with turquoise water and an immediate paradise island feel. Also here the sea was pretty rough pretty and disembarkation was a race to come up from the beach before the next wave would wet us down. And to get the luggage off was actually free.
After lunch and getting ourselves together, we decided to do the one-kilometer distance to our hotel by foot. For as always when you arrive in a new place, you end up in the sharks´ market when it comes to transportation. Around 10 US dollars which was almost as much as our recently completed an hour-long ferry ride they asked to take us a few minutes away by car.
Since we were traveling with a fairly tight daily budget it did not feel reasonable to pay the equivalent of three or four dinners to go this rather short distance. (Back home in Sweden this rate would have been called affordable of course. Everything is relative). On this island we also knew that there was no alternative to the taxi mafia when it came to transport so then there's only option would be to accept the price or walk.
So in the middle of the scorching midday sun, we got going . Children and all the bags in the entourage. We walked for a while and then had some luck when we actually managed to pass a man on scooter, who uniqely, did not want to sell us a transport. He also turned out to be related to the family that ran the hotel we were going to, so he went off to ask them to pick us up which they did. We had arrived!
Then we spent a few pleasant days on the motorbike hike around our island and the neighbouring island, Nusa Ceningan, and discover the many lovely beaches and scenery. We fully enjoyed this relaxed island- beach life and the minimal traffic.
The family whose hotel we stayed at had lots of kids Mio & Emil hung out and play with them whenever we were home. And as a thank you for the informal kids club these kids took over Mio & Emil's beloved kick bike when we went.
Our next boat trip we booked with the, prestigious and expensive ferry company which boasted several recent awards for its service and its safety works of the walls of its sales office. To avoid digging a big hole in our wallet we were a bit loose with the truth. Emil who recently turned 3 was to be born a few months later so that he could go with free. The things one has to to keep within the budget :)? Next stop: Gili Air.