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Senggigi

INDONESIA | Thursday, 27 November 2008 | Views [1373]

I took the boat back to Lombok at 8 AM (its a 30 minute ride). Unfortuently, my boat was going to Bansal instead of straight to sengigi (there was another boat that was going straight there, but I had my stupid booking with warren wanaka). After arriving in bansal, there was no bus. I was told that its located 1 KM away and these stupid horse drawn buggies were charging people $2.50 to go 1 mile (thats about the same price as a cab all the way 20 km to the airport). As I had just hurt my foot, I took the buggy. Then I was told to go into a bus that was going to the warren wasaka office in mataram, which is 10 KM past senggigi. I said I was not going there, I was booked to senggigi. They eventually put me on another shuttle, and told me to call there office to tell them what hotel I was staying at for a 2PM pickup the next day.

As there was a swiss couple who was planning on going to the senggigi beach hotel, and I was interested in staying there also, I went there as well. The bus driver wanted to take me to this other place that kept getting 2 star reviews (out of 5) on the internet, so I knew not to go. The senggigi beach hotel is a beautiful old hotel, on a narrow peninsula in the middle of senggigi. There are beaches on 2 sides which are pretty empty. There is a nice pool, nice grounds and a few resturants, and lots of beach chairs. I was charged $65 US for the room, but I felt liked splurging 1 night, and it seemed like a very nice place. As it turns out, the swiss couple (who got 2 breakfasts instead of 1) was only charged $60. Actually, when I said $65, thats not quite true. When I tried paying with credit card, they first converted the $65 to rupiah using a high exchange rate (by about 10%), and then charge me that amount. I soon worked out that paying with a US $100 travelers check, and getting change (at a lower exchange rate) was a much better deal. And in any case, I got to get rid of one of my traveler''s checks.

In any case the hotel was nice although the walls to the rooms were paper thin. I would go back there just for the location.

I called Nyoman who I had met the day before and he came by on his motorbike 30 minutes later. We then drove back to his families place back in mataram. I met his mom, younger sister, brother, and pregnent sister in law (I think I got the relationships right), and a few of their neighbors. There were nice rice fields nearbye and they had a mini temple in the back (they were hindus) and had some cocks for use in cock fights.

The plan was for me to give some money to nyoman's brother to go rent a car. I gave him 300,000 ($25) (they said thats what it cost, so it probably was, but who knows), and he and his mom went off on a motorbike and came back with a car and the motorbike. Nyoman, his mom, sister and brother and I then drove 2 hours to Seneru in the north of Lombok. We had to drive through a few small towns, over narrow roads, that were a bit muddy on the sides. But there was great scenery, including some close to completely empty beachs. monkey's on the side of the roads, tropical trees, mosques, and people just living there lives. At seneru, I paid an admission fee for nyoman and I go go hike to a waterfall, as the others stayed at the car. The waterfall was stunning, and we showered under it and played in the water, and swung on the vines that hung down from the jungle (Tarzan!). It was a great spot. This is also the spot which most people use as a base for trecking mount ringini, the big volcano in lombok. Sadly, I did not get any good views of the volcano.

In talking to nyoman I found out:

a. he was halfway through an internship at the resturant/hotel on gili trawanan and they only pay him $1/day plus tips during this period

b. The resturant bills include 21% for service and tax, but he doesn't see a penny of that....

Yuck. The things people have to do to get a good job in underdeveloped countries. the capital Mataram, is not right now a very nice place. The people are great, but it is dirty and under developed. They are in the process of building an international airport there (right now you have to fly to bali first) and when that is done (2012?) there will be major changes in Lompok, as development comes, jobs are created, and probably some of these perfect empty beaches are distroyed. Its always an imperfect trade.

On the way back we saw a wedding procession. First the men marched in white, right behind the women marched dressed in black, and at the end there was some drummers. that was cool to see. I was told that the wedding ceremonies are different in different parts of indonesia.

We stopped off and picked up a batch of bannanas (10 small one for about 40 cents) and a bottle of liquid from a tree (its used to make a local alchoholic drink as well.) It was very sweet, and actually exploded the next day since it started to ferment in the bottle. But it was tasty.

Nyoman invited me back to his place for dinner, but I had a headache, and didn't want to ride the motorbike anymore, so I asked to get dropped off back at my hotel, and said goodbye to my friends,as Iarrived just in time for sunset. Sadly, I could not see the volcano inbali, but sunset was nice anyway. I ate at the resturant onthe beach at the hotel, got 2for 1 drinks thatdidn't taste that good, but enjoyed hanging out there and chatting with 2 americans who were living in hong kong now.

The following morning it rained all morning.  I did have a great breakfast thatcame with the roomand sat on a beachchair underneath some think trees. Well there was a short breakin the rain, but   during that hour I was told that I needed to wait by the office for a delivery. I waited 1 hour, and a guyshowed up at noon on a motorbikewith my ticket and wanted me to come with him tothe airport . I said no, I was not going to take my bags on a motorbike, and Iwas not suppossed to leave until 2. Isaid I would take a cab. 2 hours later I called a cab, and 2 cabs showed up,1 sent by wannen wasaka (ok at least they were going to transfer me after all). Ipaid the other 1 dollar and apologized. . Of course after the ride,the cabbie asked for money. Once again I said no, I already paid, talk to wannen wasaka, he did, and it got cleared up. Finally, I made it back to Bali,again without a room reservation (I tried booking a room from thesengiggi hotel but they would only book me in expensive places...)

Lombok was a great place. It deserved more time.

Tags: senggigi

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