Monday, 17 September 2012

Lombok (Days 2-4)

Hi everyone,
We've now been at Medana Bay Marina in Lombok for four days.  We spent Saturday cleaning up the boat, arranging laundry and replenishing water and fuel.  On Sunday and today (Monday) we went on day tours in a nice air-conditioned people-mover, both with Graham and Anne from Kakadu.

On Sunday we went to the town of Senggigi, a Hindu temple and the monkey forest.  The drive to Senggigi was along north-western shore of Lombok and very spectacular.  It was nice to be in amongst the greenary for a change.  The number of different crops was amazing, including rice, coffee, cocoa, cashews, peanuts, tobacco, coconuts, palm oil and many more.  At Senggigi we found an ATM, a small supermarket, pulsa (credit for mobile phone) and a great restaurant for lunch.

After lunch we visited a Hindu temple sited on a small rocky headland above the beach.  The statues are quite intricate, with several clothed and most carved with wonderful expressions.

Hindu Temple
Hindu Temple
We then drove up into the hills and through the "monkey forest".  There are certainly plenty of monkeys.  Where we stopped they are very used to people feeding them but don't grab.  One even drank a bottle of water - "down in one"!

Today we went on a tour to two waterfalls inland from the north coast of Lombok, in the foothills below Mount Rinjani.  We stopped briefly at the local market to buy fruit and veg.  The drive along the northern beaches was interesting, with an equally diverse array of crops.  There was plenty of activity in the fields, with rice paddies being weeded and peanut crops harvested.

The walk up to the waterfalls took about 40 minutes with much of the walking alongside water channels which carry water down to the farms.  Each tributary is individually opened by a large gate.  One of the most interesting parts of the walk was crossing over a 20m high aqueduct with the water channel only half covered and a very low handrail on one side only.  Getting to one of the waterfalls involved clambering over rocks in the river downstream of the fall.

The waterfalls themselves were both very spectacular, throwing a mist of water into the air around them.  We had expected to swim, but the mist was thick enough to cool us off completely!
Interesting bridge on the way to the falls

After the walk back from the waterfalls we had lunch at the nearby restaurant.  Twas an excellent lunch and the restaurant has great views of the falls and down towards the lowlands.

On the drive "home" we came upon a traditional Sasak wedding procession.  Very colourful costumes with everyone (except it seemed the bride and groom) dancing to live music blasting out from a massive boom-box.  Some of the party acted as traffic controllers when not dancing.

Sasak Wedding Procession
Before leaving on the tour this morning we moved Zen Again from the anchorage in to a pen in the marina.  We found a spot where the boat would fit but which wasn't occupied, and negotiated to move there.  It's nice to be able to step off the boat and walk ashore for a change.

After returning from the tour we handed in our passports for renewal of our Social Visas.  The marina staff are acting as our agents and the process will take about a week.  We hope to spend several days exploring Bali in the mean time, leaving the boat here in the marina.

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