The Slow Boat to Lombok and the Senggigi Shack

After researching our options for getting from Bali to Lombok, Amanda and I decided the price discrepancy between the slow ferry and the speed boat did not compensate for the time difference. The slow ferry took about three and a half hours, though it’s listed as taking four hours, while the speed boat takes about an hour and a half. We paid about US$15 (and possibly overpaid) each for the ferry ticket and a transfer from the ferry to the town of Senggigi once we got to Lombok. The speed boat would’ve cost about US$50, no transfer included. The slow ferry seemed like the logical choice for us.

the view from the ferry from Bali to Lombok

We were the only non-Indonesians on the boat, which meant lots of people staring at us and several people who asked to have their pictures taken with us. A few minutes after the ferry sailed off, Amanda discovered an air conditioned room with little cubicles that people were lounging in, sort of set up like rows of beds, but it was carpeted floor sections. It was actually pretty nice, and definitely better than the dingy cafe where we got bitten by mosquitoes within minutes of sitting down. So we spent three hours or so in the air conditioning, relaxing, trying to ignore the bad Indonesian movie that was playing, and working on the interview I did with Amanda.

It was another hour or so in a van from the port to Senggigi. Instead of going into the tourist office they brought us to, we decided to just wander down the street looking for a room. I’m certain this led to a much cheaper room, about US$9 (that’s total, not per person), but it was the worst room I’ve ever slept in. It was 8PM when we got there, and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so maybe this led to a hasty decision to just take the first room we found at a good price. We laughed about the sink-less bathroom before we left to find dinner, but it wasn’t until we returned that we realized just how horrific this place was.

The bathroom, aside from lacking a sink, was filthy and extremely compact. The tiny window high up on the wall had netting taped onto it, presumably to keep bugs from flying in, but it was way overdue for a new layer of tape. The room only had one electrical outlet, so we had to charge our iPhones one at a time, and not to full capacity, while we got ready for bed, and then we could plug the fan in so we could get some relief from the heat.

When we crawled into bed, we realized the sheets felt sandy. Like perhaps the person who stayed there before us went to the beach, got sand on the bed, and then the owner/manager never changed the sheets. The walls were paper thin, and we could hear our neighbors early into the morning. A few times we saw little lizards crawling up the wall. Earlier than we wanted to wake up, we were awoken by roosters and the Muslim call to prayer, which sounds creepy over a loudspeaker who knows how many blocks away.

Although in-room lizards, early morning calls to prayer, and squawking roosters would make many more appearances during our trip, they just added to our discomfort with the indescribably disgusting room we found ourselves in. We didn’t shower there since we were about to jump in the ocean for scuba diving and snorkeling, but I don’t think we would’ve showered there anyway. I’m positive we would’ve ended up more dirty. I didn’t even take pictures of the room because I didn’t think they would fully show the horror we felt. I honestly don’t even feel like this post describes it well enough. I was more than relieved when we hauled our bags out of there the next morning.

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