A ROADTRIP IN LOMBOK

When you spend several weeks on a small island as Gili Meno, you might want to go for a roadtrip somewhere. Me and Ofick decided to rent a scooter and spend a day in South Lombok, which is still an island, but compared to the Gilis feels like being on the mainland…!

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Ofick made my delicious cup of Lombok coffee, while we were having a look at our map. 7 am and it’s already so hot: the first boat will reach Lombok at 8am so we had to leave pretty early in the morning.

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We got the tickets and waited for everyone to get on the boat: in this way we will be the first to get down when we get to the harbour!

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Ofick called a friend who could get us a scooter for hire at lower price: 70.000 rupees (3.5£) per day ain’t bad if you ask me!

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We do this every year: it’s just great to leave the quite and sedate environement of Meno and go back to the civilization: we can use our horn here!

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Let’s fill the tank at a little petrol pump and we are good to hit the road!

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Lombok for me is so much better than Bali: still relatively untouched from mass tourism, yet full of lovely sights. Conservative and probably a bit less confortable if you don’t speak any Indonesian, but so much rewarding if you’re looking for a genuine local experience.

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We both love our local food, so the first stop is ar a small rumah makan to sample some delicious sasak recipes. The traditional food of Lombok is more spicy than Balinese one (Lombok meand chilli), but with a strong love for fresh coconut.

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While outside the temperature is rising we enjoy the refreshing shade of the warung and the warm hospitality.

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On the way to Kuta beach we met a dvd seller: he built his own shop on wheels and he goes from village to another selling movies. You can even try the dvd’s before buying them, simply playing them on the dvd reader mounted on the cart!

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We decide to stop in Kuta for a coffee: even though is still years away from the madness of Kuta in Bali, Ofick who has last been here 5 years ago, noticed big changes. I’m sure Lombok is the next big thing for mass tourism, especially since the new international airport is ready and Airasia is flying straight to and from Australia several times a week.

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Despite being the most popular beach on the island, the few foreigh visitors have to get some shelter under a palm tree, as the beach is still quite wild!

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The southern coast of Lombok offers some of the world’s best waves: pros from Australia and Hawaii often come down to enjoy the breaks!

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If surfing is not your thing, you can always chill on a desert beach, all day, from sunrise to sunset!

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We keep driving through some amazing green landscapes: whereas Bali is the last piece of Asia, Lombok starts looking more and more like a pacific Island. The Wallace’s line that divides Asia from Australasia runs just between Bali and Lombok: the differences are sudden and quite huge.

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Indonesian scooters have quite small tanks so we had to stop and refill several times. This lady was selling petrol in Italian olive oil bottles!

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On the way back to Gili, we enjoyed our last bits of traffic: some workers were having a nap on the truck on their way home!

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We always stop here to admire the 3 Gilis islands from a distance.

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While we wait for our last boat to arrive (there are only 2 a day to and from Gili Meno), we enjoy a bowl of bakso, the local soup.

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As the light starts to turn to amber, we are on the boat that will take us home; it’s so nice to leave the world behind and go back to Meno!

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We could spot Mt. Agung, the main Bali’s vulcano while our boat was getting closer.

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The tide was too low around the harbour, so we had to get off on the other side of ther island, carefully pushing the boat to the shore…!

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