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Lombok

Indonesia

sunny 30 °C
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Lovely Lombok, the emerald island off of the Gilis, surrounded with turquoise bays, sandy white beaches and superb for surfing.
You can spend your days riding the surf breaks, relaxing on the beach, trekking or riding a scooter around the island, chasing waterfalls unlike TLC.

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Lombok is big like Bali but not as developed. It is quite difficult to get around the island without a scooter, which I seem to have great trouble learning to ride. Crystal and I stayed at Sengiggi to start with, which wasn't massively touristic and was a lovely break from the usual hustle and bustle of being surrounded by rowdy tourists wanting to get f'd up. We had only stayed there for 3 days, and two nights. During that time we visited a few nice restaurants, bars that play live music such as Happy cafe and hit a few nightclubs, Sahara and Marina. We got to know some of the local people who were lovely and so welcoming and super talented. We tried rice wine, cocktails that were on fire and spent one of the evening's having a lock-in, singing and playing guitar with the Happy Cafe staff.

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It was such an advantage getting to know the locals, they know all of the 'happening' places to go. Even the security guard Big John from Happy Cafe took us on his bike to one of the venues, just 'cause. The nightclubs in Lombok were interesting to say the least. They had raunchy dance shows, with pole dancers dressed as nurses, swinging around on poles while all the guys cheered. This was supposedly a normal Saturday night at the club. It was all fun and games before Big John got a bit handsy and was told where to go. We couldn't return to Happy Cafe after that..

3 Days later we moved on to Roy's homestay, just outside of the town Kuta. To be able to get around the island a little easier from Roy's, I decided to try to ride a scooter again. One of the guys working at the hostel attempted to teach me, getting me to the smooth part of the road for me to practice. I was a bit wobbly to start with, accelerating too much and very off balance whenever a car came close. After 5 minutes of my pitiful practicing; the locals already bored of laughing at my pathetic inability to balance, I was finally able to ride in a straight line without flapping and putting my feet down in a panic. I thought I was finally getting the hang of things until I decided to try and turn the thing, accidently accelerating into a side road instead of breaking and almost ended up in a ditch. It was that moment, I decided that riding a scooter just wasn't for me. I didn't want to spend the rest of my travels with an injury, broken limbs or worse, dead. That was when I heard the advice for the second and final time, "you're too dangerous to drive the scooter!". It really wasn't worth it, so I left it as that.

Roy's homestay was a short walking distance to a small beach which was ideal without a scooter. We chilled on the beach, eating curly cut pineapples and sipping out of coconuts thanks to the cheeky children in Lombok. Their little faces are so hard to say no to, but I really don't agree with exploiting children in this way. They don't really understand ''maybe later'' as a 'no' like us brits, so when they did come back later, with big hopeful smiles, it was such a yank on the old heartstrings. The local people were lovely, very welcoming and curious to get to know us. And so it began, people coming up to us; including the police, asking to have photos and selfies, one lady even handed me her baby for a pic. I've never felt like a celebrity before, maybe this was what it's like.

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And what do I take photos of? A goat drinking from a coconut.

What I really enjoyed about staying at Roy's homestay was experiencing the different culture, living with families of Muslim religion. They had a large family and friend network that would all meet up on a Sunday night, pray together and eat together. The purpose of the weekly meetings was also to discuss the pros and the cons of the week prior and what positive changes they could make for businesses and other issues. The family worked collectively to problem solve which is a very different culture to what I am used to. I found the culture fascinating and was always respectful of the differences.

That was until I got sick, I'm pretty sure I ended up drinking tap water or something which had been bottled up and sold to me as mountain water. I was sceptical at first, asking the lady who sold it to me why the "mountain water" had bits in it. She told me that it was just how their bottled water was. So I drunk it, stupidly. I've never been so sick in my life. I suffered with the worst D&V for the next 2 days and my bowels did not quite recover for the rest of my trip! It wasn't until I went to see a doctor in the Philippines, that I found out I had a parasite. I was quickly given antibiotics which made me feel a whole lot better. I mean, I'm not pointing fingers but I did get sick right after I drunk that bitsy water..
On a positive note, I did lose about a stone!

Unfortunately I didn't get to experience a lot of the nightlife in Lombok because I couldn't go further than 5 meters from a toilet. I did manage to spend my last night in town in Kuta. The nightlife was really rowdy, lots of bars with live music, restaurants that served my favourite Indonesian dish, Nasi Goreng, karaoke and crazy dancing. The Bintang was flowing and even the dogs wanted to be involved in the festivities, propping themselves up at the table with us. Everyone enjoyed the fun atmosphere, locals partying with foreigners until early hours of the morning, when we had to scoff down the homestay banana pancakes with honey before getting the taxi to the airport.

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Posted by sun_chaser 05:28 Archived in Indonesia Tagged beach surfing waterfall sick dancing coconut lombok homestay scooter goat kuta_lombok sengiggi roys_homestay happy_cafe

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