My people!!!!  Oh, how I’ve missed you!!!!  Ok, so I’ve been out on this secluded island in a bungalow cottage where I was unable to post, and I’ve just popped out into civilization late yesterday…  So, this is the post I wrote the first night when I thought there was a chance we could somehow make it work… Ummm, didn’t work out… So, here ya go, even though it’s a week later now…  Today I’ll work on a more detailed post with pictures of my time in Sri Lanka and the week on the secluded island 🙂

Back to Livin’ Primitive…

Holy wow people, you won’t believe where I am… So, I’m writing to you now from Gili Gede Island, a small island off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia, not far (sort of) from the more well known, Bali. So freakin’ cool!!! I booked my stay at the Via Vacare guesthouse weeks ago from Rishikesh, India – Siggy mentioned that she had a friend that visited Indonesia recently and had suggested this place to her… Siggy got the email address from her friend, and in the spirit of, I’ll try anything – and it’s a bungalow on a beach, awesomeness!!!, I booked a week without researching it at all (hence the lack of awareness of no wifi, phone service, etc.).

I’ve learned this is usually the best way to book to a new town/country… Someone suggests a place that they’ve stayed, or knows someone who’s stayed there, so you have a known place to land when you get to a new country, and then you can either extend your stay there if you like it, or move on if you don’t.  And it always leads to interesting and unexpected experiences, which is fun – and sometimes challenging, mentally, physically, or both…  So that’s how I ended up here…   I just didn’t realize how far off the beaten path it was…  But my people need the continuation of the “As the World Turns” series – now coming to you from Indonesia… Sigh…

After my two flights got me to Bali, via Kuala Lumpur, I took a small plane to the neighboring island of Lombok, Indonesia, then took a car 2.5 hours driving into the evening until we arrive at a small boat launch… In the darkness of the night, about 7pm, I collect my bags from the taxi and walk down the wet, concrete boat ramp and men with flashlights greet me. I hoist my bags onto the small boat with a local fisherman who was waiting there for me, having been prearranged by the guesthouse. Eryn, did you just somehow teleport yourself into an episode of The Amazing Race?  The captain asked if I minded if we took a few local workers home to their islands, I said, “Sure, no problem.” We loaded the other men on and took off into the bay.  As we make our way farther from the shore and further into the dark, quiet, vast open space of the water, negative thoughts start to take over my brain… Hmmm, Eryn you’re on a small fishing boat… in the dark… with no phone service… with 9 men and 1 seriously old lady, none of which speak English… And you’re in a Muslim country, albeit a peaceful one…   They’re talking about you – it’s obvious…  But the men are not displaying any elevated behavior… you’re ok…  Reeellaaxxxxx Eryn… Paranoid thoughts flood my mind… No Eryn, don’t think like that, these are peaceful village people… Paranoid thoughts return… The internal argument within myself continues on….

After a 30-minute mentally challenging ride and a few stops to neighboring islands to drop off a few of the men, we arrive at the Via Vacare shore (the captain signaled to me, otherwise, I would’ve had no idea where we were –this is not like Vegas with the big Bellagio flashing sign). I jump off the boat, feeling the safety of the earth and finally feeling the sand between my toes… Ahhh, ok relaxxxxx… I hear a woman’s voice call out to me as she comes towards me with a headlamp on her forehead… “Oh, Erreen, is that you? So glad you made it, we waited for you for dinner.” That was Thelma, the woman who runs the guesthouse…  Ok, Eryn, you’re ok, you’re with Thelma, you made it, and no harm came to you… Look how unnecessary your paranoid thoughts were… Shame on you!!  

I meet the other guests staying there; a couple from Denmark, and two women traveling together, also from Denmark, (they’re all in their early 20’s) and me… We dine at a 6 top dining room table on an open-air veranda… Felt like I could’ve been sitting back in Key West on Peter and Kenneth’s outdoor patio having dinner with my old friends… Dammit I miss all those Keys people…  I wanted to turn in early, exhausted from the long 30 hours of traveling, so one of the friendly staff, Ningya, showed me to my room…

It is beautiful here… really spectacular, adorable bungalows with mosquito net beds (necessary, not decorative) – but seriously primitive…  I’m talkin’ no power on the island people – we only have generator power 4 hours a night to light the veranda dining and kitchen area for cooking. Fresh water is brought over in large containers for us to drink, and we take bucket showers – something foreign to most of us westerners, although I was exposed to that already in India… Also, they do have western toilets to sit on, Yay, as opposed to the squat ones, but since they don’t have the infrastructure here with running water, you pour salt water in to make it flush away… Do they really want to know the specifics of the bathroom facilities, Eryn? Yeah, of course they do…

Needless to say, my phone, although on an international traveling plan, is not getting very good service (could not make 1 call all week… Grrr) as I am so secluded from any major civilization… This is literally a small, secluded island with only 1000 or so local village habitants, so Thelma tells me… I was able to post something on facebook once, but it took almost 24 hours to actually post from when I tried.. And it seems the connection overall is sparse and completely random, so I never know if it will work or not… I have several emails in my outbox waiting to send…  Not sure when they’ll go…  So, just fyi, phone, email, text, facebook, and blog posting, etc. will be limited at least until the 15th when I move to another more connected town. I’m using Thelma’s email to send this post to my mom and am having her post it for me so you guys know what’s up and won’t worry about me…  (Obviously didn’t work out..)

I’m sure by the time I end up in a normal town, I’ll have lots of good stories to share with you… Until then, I’m livin’ primitive style, just hangin’ here, chillin’ with some really cool people….  Wish you were here… xoxo

 

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