Lombok – Part II – the Lazy Leg

This leg (i feel i’m stretching the term a little here) of the Lombok trip had a slightly more leisurely feel to it. To say the least.

Not that our friends Mick and Claire could be called lazy in any way. No more than we could, of course! It’s just that the atmosphere of the Gili Islands slowly crept over us and, by the end of a week there, we had been fully subdued by the sunsets, the views, the strolls, and of course, the fresh air.

When my belt buckle began to repeat its old London trick of disappearing whenever i sat down, it became clear that we needed to heave ourselves off those infernally beautiful islands and get back to the grind of life in Bali.

Here are a few shots i managed to bestir myself enough to take.

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at one point, Egg was the single most active person on Gili Air

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Uncle Mick graciously passes off brownies for Birthday Cake. Dumpy was maybe a little less inclined….

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Uncle Mick: “Here’s one i prepared earlier…”

Egg: “Rubbish. that’s not a cake, it’s a beer”

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Our local volcano dresses up for dinner….

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….but spares no blushes later

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the choices were: get seasick or go to sleep

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Tash was relieved to discover that our ferry catered to the directionally challenged

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Cirque des Clunes, everyone. Cirque des Clunes

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Monkey Tennis

(couldn’t resist the double Partridge)

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the end of another crap day.

Lombok! (part I)

Our circumnavigation of Lombok is nearly complete. Here come some lessons from the journey so far.

Don’t:

  • go any further than it takes to three-point turn yourself right on out of there if you encounter the beginnings of a bad road. no matter how much quicker it looks on the map, or what your sense of adventure is telling you; chances are it won’t improve. we discovered this the hard way, after forty jarring kilometres on a road that was more like peanut brittle than any kind of thoroughfare. our car, an otherwise sturdy Avanza, let us know how it felt with a double flat tyre combination as soon as we got back to smooth tarmac. Cue lengthy wait while the first person to stop — a saintly man by the name of Carti — helped to remove both wheels, then rode off into the sunset with them while we spent two pointless hours on the road making smalltalk with a crowd of passerby who clearly had nothing more pressing to do than sit around, drink our juice, eat our chocolate and look at Tash’s legs.
  • bother with Kuta on the south coast. unless you want to join the ranks of smirking australian developers who sit in the cafes doing property deals with the locals in gleeful anticipation of the new, mega-airport opening in six months time. the other qualification required to enjoy your time in Kuta is at least a decent command of SurfSpeak. beach breaks, reef breaks, left handers. you know the bobby. sitting in a bar after the family had gone to bed, and faced with few alternatives, i was forced to bank the only real hangover of the Indonesia trip thus far just to get conversant in Surfanese.
  • succumb to the urge to have even a single Bintang (beer) after a few nips of the local spirits (see preceding point). this relatively innocuous combo can bring down the wrath of the Hangover Gods in such force that only three paracetamols and and an extra sixty minutes of darkness can make driving possible. they say beer after liquor, never sicker. reduce the quality of both ingredients, and you’ve got a recipe for a congo chorus played by giants on the inside of your skull. thank god we only had to drive the length of the island, then halfway up Indonesia’s second highest volcano afterwards.

Do:

  • get yourself up Rinjani. the aforementioned volcano, which, for some reason has become mount Arugula in our family parlance, is a spectacular realm of beautiful scenery, huge waterfalls and well-preserved Sasak culture. although even i couldn’t bring myself to make the family wait the two days it takes to hike up to the crater rim and back, it is by all accounts an incredible trip. there is a lake inside the crater, fully stocked fish with volcano-powered hot springs. the very brave take another day to climb to the peak, which stands at 3780m above sealevel. i was graciously allowed to take a 10k walk at around 800m, where, along with two lovely schoolteachers from France, I checked out a local village, and swam under a massive waterfall. brilliant.
  • go straight to the Gili Islands on the west coast. courtesy of Uncle Cory, i’ve been hearing about this fabled paradise for nigh on ten years, and, having only been here a day, i’m inclined to say: believe the hype. no cars, no motorcycles, just the odd horse drawn buggy. views back to Lombok, with Rinjani front and centre, a very laid back vibe, and a constant parade of blissful people wandering and cycling around the island. now if only i could shift this case of Lombok Lurghy, Bali Belly, whatever has currently set my guts to rumbling, then we could get on with the blissful walking. maybe even some snorkelling. looking forward to seeing our friends Mick and Claire, who happen to be in the neighbourhood and will be dropping in for a couple of days. you should too. in fact, if you don’t fancy putting the rest of the advice to the test, do not pass Go, don’t collect your two hundred rupiah (it’s worthless anyway), just come straight to Gili Air. you won’t be disappointed.

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Setting off. The beginnings of a Sometimes Great Adventure.

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the view back to Bali from the Slowboat to Lombok.

Should really be called, the ‘Standing Room, Smoking Only Boat to Lombok’

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Roadside and hopeful for the return of Carti and both our rear wheels.

note slightly lecherous look of passing truck driver

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outside the Last Room in Kuta

(what you can’t see in the picture is the fact that it sits in the middle of a parking lot directly beside the main road)


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Sunrise on Rinjani. The peak on the left is the summit.

Only a few people have fallen off it…


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local Sasak woman.


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the biggest waterfall on the mountain. it’s local name means: ‘Windy Rockpool’.

although, after swimming pretty close to it, i would venture: ‘Watery Piledriver’


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the view back towards Lombok from outside our bungalow on Gili Air.