Really looking at these photos you would never guess what was going to happen after we left gili trawangan…..
It can take quite a long time to get to lombok whether you fly or go by boat. Plan for it to take most of a day. Then if it takes less its a bonus :)) The slow ferry from padangbai to lembar is usually the longest and maybe even the safest and definately the cheapest !? On a calm day its a beautiful trip, slow and leisurely.
Time wise and cost wise the fast boat and the plane can work out about the same depending on where you come from…..
I think going by plane will now become my preferred option.
My hairraising and fearful journey back from Lombok to Padangbai this trip has convinced me that I will never go on the fast boat again!
I have a little pendant with Kwanyin on it. Well, I clutched her in my sweaty saltsprayed palm and gazed out through the plastic window at a small cloud to the north of the boat and contemplated what might happen, was there an escape route, where were the life jackets , would i have time to put one on? Was there anything in my life that I hadn’t done! What about my family?
OMG, in indonesian ‘ Sayang’. ….The swell was huge, the troughs were deep, we were bobbing up and down like a cork….and then the engine stopped…wallowing, people vomiting grimfaced, the workers on the boat sporting tight worried looks on their faces. Sick bags were handed out ….one of the workers armed with a screw driiver disappearing back to the motors. Coming back wet and worried looking .. all this time the driver peering out through the saltsprayed windows working hard at keeping us afloat. This happened twice!
Mmmmmm finally after nearly 2 hours we got into the lea of Bali. Here it was rough but it seemed like nothing and we were nearly at Padangbai…..
I was very glad to walk off that boat onto the jetty at Padangai.
And never again!
W e were so lucky…getting up early allowed us to have the river to ourselves and the jetty at camp leakey. We were just the first of many to arrive, but we didnt realise that until later. We moored across the river from the jetty. Our joy and amazement knew no bounds….
There is a family that lives near the jetty….
They seemed relaxed and unbothered by our interest in them. It rained a couple of times while we waited for the 2:00 feeding to come around and they would disappear up into the trees, pulling branches over themselves to avoid getting wet.
Bu cathy and I headed off before the crowds, which did arrive in the interim. The boardwalk was easy to walk on as we passed through a small patch of swamp forest
We arrived at the camp leakey headquarters
We spent sometime reading and looking at the valuable information that was there for visitors. It is primarily a research centre.
After ourguide( everyone has to have one) registered us, we headed off again down the track through another bit of forest and then out onto a quite sandy and open piece of country where we encountered more of our friends 🙂
In the middle of the track. This female orangutan it seems, has a habit of biting guests so we kept our distance and stayed alert…..they too were off to the feeding station.
And there to greet us was the alpha male. We were left in little doubt about that. He was enormous, with a mouthful of very sharp teeth and a roar on him that reverberated through the forest. RESPECT you bet!
We gazed and gazed. A truly special experience ..
There is enormous diversity of plant and animal life in this beautiful national park. As we travelled up the river on our kelotok we were lucky enough to see some of this. My apologies at the outset for not knowing all the names of plants and if anyone can identify I’d be grateful. There was sooo much to see and how to share was tricky to say the least. The vegetation was amazing……
Along the edges of the Sekonyer river
In the forest epiphytes galore
Lianna and lichens
Palm trees harvested for roofing materials
Fruits for those that live in the forest
Fantastic reflections, lush dense forest…habitat for the orangutans, gibbons and proboscis monkeys among others
Large monitor lizards and freshwater crocodiles inhabit these waters.