Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kuta Lombok wrap-up

Lombok is the next island over from Bali.  I spent the last few days in Kuta, a beach village on Lombok's southern shore.  There's not many visitors here besides some die-hard surfers. It's probably about as far off the beaten path as I've managed to get during this trip, and it was great.  

They've been saying that Lombok is the next Bali for years now but there's never really been more than trickle of tourists here.  Apparently they are constructing a new airport that would be Indonesia's largest, set to open in 2012 (of course this being Indonesia it's anyone's guess when, or if, it will ever be finished).  I can't help but imagine how different everything will be once that airport opens, which makes me especially glad that I was able to visit now.  

On Sunday we rode out to watch a surf competition for young surfers under 16.  The only way to get there was to take a motorbike and so I checked out a motor scooter and rode for the first time.  It was awesome - the scenery was stunning with rolling green hills and volcanic cliffs jutting out over the lush blue sea.  We had to dodge chickens, cattle, goats, and even some children on the road.  I could not have picked a worse possible road to ride a scooter for the first time, though, as much of the steep road was unpaved and full of big rocks and even the paved sections were riddled with potholes.  I managed to break a piece of plastic shielding off the bike, but the parking attendants (paid them 50 cents to watch the bikes) patched it up nicely.  I met a guy who bloodied up his toe pretty badly on that ride, so I was lucky.  Trying new things is fun.  I'm thinking of getting a motor scooter now.  Don't laugh, I'm serious.

We also tried to go out and surf on Monday but there were no waves.  Truly tragic, actually, that I came out to one of the world's best dive areas and the weather was not in my favor.  

I was walking along the beach and a small group of Indonesian girls invited me to  join them at the top of  a big rock and being curious as to how the hell they managed to climb up this big rock, I did.  Then the girls (9-12 years old) proceeded to speak with me in stunningly good English for 10 minutes or so about America and Barack Obama and all that good stuff.  The girls had even give themselves English names - Lucy, Linda, and Claudia.  When I remarked, skeptically, that  "your name is not Lucy..." the girls energetically retorted "it's my business name!"  Then when I was sufficiently buttered up, they ambushed me and tried to sell me their bracelets.  I kinda knew this would happen, so I can't really complain.  At that point a bunch of other kids appeared out of nowhere and climbed up this rock so I was surrounded by like 10 kids trying to sell me bracelets....so finally I bought a few bracelets...

Lombok is very rural...

View of Gunung Agung, the highest volcano in Bali, from the Lombok Strait 

Leaving Indonesia to fly to Bangkok tomorrow and then night train to Chiang Mai.  I've loved every minute of Indonesia and I'm pretty sure I want to come back here and spend more time exploring the country.  With 17,000 islands and 200 million people, there's a lot to see...

[I have only a week left in my trip and I'm beginning to find blogging a bit laborious so updates from here on out may be brief if I post them at all, sorry...]

1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed that you managed to post as regularly as you did. Glad you found an island more to your taste!