Let me tell you about the worst journey ever.
So we left lake Toba by boat, waited around in Parapet market for an hour before our airport transfer was ready to leave and then took the four hour journey to the airport to catch our flight. We were there early, about 4pm to catch a 9pm flight. We arrived to discover both legs of our journey were cancelled, Medan to Jakarta and Jakarta to Lombok. For our first leg we were put on an earlier flight (great!) which was then delayed and left later than the original.
Arriving at 1am we had booked accommodation as our second leg was rebooked for 10:30am. In the morning (well rested?!) we got up for our transfer back to the airport. The driver protested about taking us due to traffic but we were persuasive and despite his grumblings he gave in. The traffic was awful, there had been a storm overnight and the roads was flooded. Indonesia’s capital by daylight was a sight to behold, one that many travellers attempt to spend as little time in as possible and that we hoped to skip completely. With the flooded streets, litter ridden paths and underdressed children playing in the dirty water, it reminded me of pictures of the slums of Delhi.
Of course our second flight was delayed but it appears delays are built into the flight time as they are that common. Due to our delays we were now going to be pushing it to catch the last boat to the Gili Islands so we swiftly got in a taxi at Lombok and arrived at the port at 4pm. Bangsal harbour is described by the lonely planet as “a cholesterol raising experience” namely due to the fact everyone is trying to convince you the boat has left/no boats are going/ you need to hire an expensive charter boat but once you fight through that, deserving of a medal, one hours wait and your on your way.
So that makes 36 hours travelling. Not a great frame of mind to be in to find that airline staff have rifled through your bag stolen your camera and phone.
This dramatic journey never intended to be its own post but I don’t want it to detract from the beauty of the Gili islands. Plan of action: a piña colada, lots of episodes of the office and an early night. Tomorrow is a new day, waking up in paradise (and there is only one flight left!)