Had another great trip 10th - 25th March 2013. Flew Garuda Sydney-Denpasar great flight arriving 12;45pm 40mins early. Had paid VOA at Sydney airport, processed onboard so straight through to baggage carousel in an empty airport. Good meals, constant drinks including free alcohol. Bused to terminal because of all the reno's for the new airport but it is starting to really take shape & hopefully will be excellent when finished.
Driver from Poppies Cottages waiting with cold water & a smile. Poppies is a beautiful set up with individual cottages privately set around lovely gardens. The staff are great, always smiling & ready to chat. We stayed here over Nyepi Day & they were so well organised for this day with all guests being on the premises. (Review to follow on TA)
After 4 days at Poppies we took a 30min domestic flight with Lion Air to Lombok. This is a great flight as it is quick but they fly low so your get to see some great scenery along the way & a clear view of Gili Air, Memo & Trawangan. Unfortunately our driver was not waiting for us at Lombok Airport so a call to our accommodation on Gili Trawangan had the driver chased up running late. It took an hour of phone calls back & forward until he arrived. The drivers as you step out of the airport here are very in your face but once they realised we did indeed have a real driver coming they relaxed & chatted to us for the next hour keeping us entertained while they practiced their english skills.
A 2 hour coastal road trip with beautiful scenery took us to the quite Teluk Kode pier for our short 15min speed boat trip to Gili Trawangan. It was a beautiful sunny day & the boat pulled up in the shallows in front of our home for the next 5 days, Bale Sampan. WOW Gili T was amazing & after only 5mins we had all declared we didn't want to leave. (review to follow on TA)
It was with heavy hearts we said goodbye to Gili T sitting on the sand watching our return speed boat transfer coming across the water. Waving goodbye to the lovely staff at Bale Sampan we boarded the boat for the quick return toTeluk Kode. Driver waiting he this time took us through a different scenic route going over the mountains on the inland road. We got to see a lot of the real Lombok this way going through villages & towns. The roads on Lombok are excellent most of the way & the main highway in & out of the airport even have solar powered street lights. Why doesn't Australia do this on all highways? I would recommend the 2 different road trips as you see a lot more.
Lion Air had contacted our resort on Gili T 2 days earlier to advise they had canceled our flight at 4:40pm & we had been moved to the later flight at 5:40pm. All good by us as we got to spend longer on Gili T & as it was only a 30min flight back to Bali what did we care we were on holidays :) As a word of warning many flights on all airlines to & from Lombok to Bali get canceled to move the passengers onto one full plane rather then multiple half empty planes. We chose to fly Bali-Lombok early morning as this flight, if cancelled & moved forward an hour, wouldn't waste our day & a later return flight so we could take our time travelling back from Gili T to Lombok. Always provide the airline with a local contact number be it your own mobile or hotel number so you are advised of flight changes.
On arrival back at Denpasar domestic airport it as a quick walk to the International Taxi rank for our taxi ride to Kumala Pantai Legian. We have stayed here before & this time had a Deluxe King room #27, friends in #21 in block NS. Rooms still great with a view from the balcony over the gardens to the new Sunset Hotel (behind the Sunset bar on the beachfront) under construction. The construction work was mainly just external painting & some internal drilling. Didn't bother us in the room & they started late morning & finished by 8pm most of the time. The breakfasts had improved & the restaurant staff seemed happier. The hotel was 70% full with only a couple of school age children staying at this time of year. (Review to follow on TA).
During the last 6 days, we ate, drank, walked, shopped, lazed by the pool & generally relaxed. Loved our meals at Yutz, Lanai, Blue Ocean, La Walon, Poppies Restaurant & Garlic Lane Restaurant & many local warungs. Some Bintangs & music session with our local friends at their beach bar made for a wonderful afternoon/evening.
We had some outdoor banners & truck stickers made for our business at Supaprint on JL Dewi Sri Seminyak thanks to a recommendation from another forum member & we were very pleased with the personalised, quick, quality service we got from them. They do all sorts of business advertising printing from business cards to, stickers, banners, brochures, menu's etc. Many local villa & business owners were using their service.
Visited dentist at Bali Dental Clinic 911 at Bali Galleria Mall. Excellent facilities & service. I had 2 fillings (one broken one replaced) RP500,000 each, scale & clean Rp400,000 & hubby had the scale & clean & a new mouth guard for tooth grinding made for Rp1,000,000 - his last one in Aussie costs us $550 AUD 5 years ago.
Ordered 3 x Face 2 Face engraved items all ready the next day & they look great. Weather was excellent with 1 or 2 showers at night, sunny days with lower humidity. Exchange rate ranged from Rp9950 - Rp10,075.
Return flight at 10pm with Garuda went well, again arriving into Sydney early. Home to see the family with one of my daughter's becoming engaged while we were away so now looking into a Bali wedding. Guess I will have to return again to help organise this in person hehehe