We spent the last few days in the Gili Islands, Lombok. It meant we’ve had front row seats to watch Mount Agung erupt from a safe distance. But … we need to head west and get past that smoking giant. So, today we bit the bullet and sailed towards it. Don’t worry, we’re safe (we think) and still outside the 12 km exclusion zone, in Amed, north Bali.
The short hop from Lombok to the north of Bali was busy to say the least: tankers left and right, a huge approaching squall and an erupting volcano right ahead of us. Now the weather has calmed down and we’re safely at anchor. Hopefully get some good shots of Mount Agung tonight. It’s very exciting and also a little bit scary.
The Gili Islands were super cool. They call it the “Ibiza of Indonesia” and I can see why. There are plenty of stylish restaurants and cool bars, the atmosphere is very relaxed and it’s heaving with young trendy people. You can circumnavigate the island by bike or by foot easily and there are no motorized vehicles, only bikes and horses with carts.
Yesterday, we took a day-trip by car into Mataram, Lombok to renew our visas. The usual monthly bureaucratic hit. Forms, stamps, more stamps, queues, etc. We were told we could pick up our passports in 3 days and nearly choked. After much begging and pleading, explaining our dependency on the weather and our need to continue west asap, we were allowed a brief meeting with the immigration chief who authorised a same day delivery. Everything is possible in this country as long as you keep smiling, have patience and follow the rules.
Now what about that volcano? We will see what tonight brings, if it erupts, we will just lift anchor and keep sailing west and if it doesn’t we’ll have a good night’s sleep and hopefully some great photos to share! Right now we feel very privileged to be here.
Mount Agung this evening
the colourful jetty at Gili Air
bikes and horses on Gili Air
off on a 3-hour tour (RIP Gilligan)
trendy restaurants everywhere
Mount Agung, seen from our cockpit in Gili Air
at the immigration office in Mataram, Lombok
the huge mosque in Mataram
The mosque can hold 5,000 men and 3,000 women
view from the observatory on the 9th floor
view over Lombok this morning
Mount Agung this morning
tanker and approaching squall
tanker on one side, nasty approaching squall on the other and a volcano right ahead
anchored in Amed, Bali under Mount Agung