Our plan was to get to Lombok. And as we were located in Candidasa, we decided to travel to Lombok from Padang Bai. Padang Bai is a small town that has a harbor with a little pier from which many boats and ferries depart to Lombok. There are many options there for you to travel to Lombok and the famous Gili Islands. It all depends on your budget. Just keep in mind that travelling by ferry to Lombok can take more than five hours.
Padang Bai is also a quite famous Bali scuba diving destination. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to try it out this time, as I wasn’t feeling too well. Hopefully, I can return here to explore the underwater world some day.
We went to Lombok by using the Gili Cat fast-boats. Around 07:30 in the morning, a driver from Gili Cat picked us up from our Puri Bagus Hotel and we were brought to their office at Padang Bai. Check-in was super fast as they only had to note our names. And once we arrived there, we received our tags and waited for our departure, which was at 09:15.
The Gili Cat fast-boat is kind of a large speedboat. It held quite a lot of people (I think more than 30), but was still quite comfortable. Early in the trip the crew handed out bottles of drinking water, which was nice. The trip to Lombok was relatively smooth and took about 1,5-2 hours. The waves were not too high so the ride wasn’t too rough.
The Wallace Line
To reach Lombok from Padang Bai, you will have to cross the Lombok Strait. Besides being two separate islands, the sea between the two islands also forms a frontier on a biogeographical level. This scientific occurrence was first discovered by Alfred Russel Wallace and is now named the Wallace Line. He was one of the first biologists noting the differences between fauna found on Bali and Lombok. He later found out this was due to isolation. When the sea-levels dropped during the ice ages, the strait between Bali and Lombok remained deep so animals could not move freely from one island to another. This in contrast to the islands of Java, Sumatra, and Bali, where animals could move around during that time. That is the reason why the fauna found on all those islands share similarities. While the animals found on Lombok evolved from Australasian fauna and are different.
We arrived in a very small harbour in Lombok called Teluk Kodek. I’m not sure if you can even call it a harbour as it is just a bunch of boats anchored together. It was a bit exciting exiting the boat as the jetty at Teluk Kodek just consist of a bunch of floating barrels barely held together by some rope.
Once we arrived, a driver picked us up and brought us to the Rinjani Mountain Garden hotel, our accommodation in Senaru, which was a solid two-hour trip by car through the beautiful Lombok countryside.