Traffic here in Bali is way over-the-top! If they don't solve the transport situation soon other than private vehicles it's going to kill the golden goose. But then we've been lots of places where the same can be said...!, including the US!
The slooow ferry tickets we purchased through Beach Bungalow included the transfer bus to Mataram ferry terminal. The view from the ferry of Bali really did remind me of the movie, South Pacific, with harbor and beach and kind of rainy/fuzzy mountains in the background - I could hear the song Bali High in my head! Incurable romantic, ha! Clever folks these transfer bus operators...with a captive audience once we got off the feet and again shuttled to 'Lombok Wisata' Shuttle Division office the guy in charge made a sales pitch for onward transport (4 of 6 of us going on to Gili Islands) and all 4 bought tickets. Then he got to us...Bon is nothing if she's not efficient, logical, and budget-minded when it comes to travel! We had been talking to a German gal (Ellie) who let Bon see her LP. After checking the pricing in the LP for going independent piecing together our trip tomorrow - granted it's 2011 LP - for ferries, taxi, etc. and figuring some inflation and taxi ripoffs, we'd save $4 US going on our own. We've become lazy over the years I guess, and opted for his services as well, especially when he said he'd take us to our accommodation - one he suggested and we'd read about in the LP - Okay Home Stay, and pick us up in the morning to take us to the bus. The shuttle guy was very optimistic about bus travel overland so we were confident our trip during daylight would allow us to see the sights along the way.
The folks at this homestay were very kind offering welcome tea and because we are leaving very early, an earlier than usual breakfast - tea, omelette, and toast.
Bon has observed what our friend in Todos, Moonstone, recognized and that is the 'tribal' nature of travelers in recognizing one another. I've come to see this as also the way locals categorize us as well, although, a traveler is NOT a traveler is NOT a traveler. Tourists come in all forms and the countries they originate from have a great deal to do with how the locals treat them. We are separate from locals in most ways and are looked upon more or less the same way - big dollar signs on our backs. But there are differences and some are not so subtle- Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Israelis, all travel with a different point of view from say Europeans or Americans. And even these nationalities have upper and lower classes of travelers! But to us 'travelers', the tribe, suits because it is an opening to conversation which is not possible with locals. Kind of like the 'bubble' we travel in as well, separate yet a part or apart of/from the environment we are moving through.