● For full details on our route, transport info, hotel details, etc, look at our Google Maps page

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Sengigi, Lombok

24th - 27th September

Our final destination in Indonesia was to be Sengigi, on the Lombok mainland. The Lonely Planet does a great job on making Sengigi sound like a destination not to be missed. We picked out a recommended place to stay – the Pondok Siti Hawa – named after the owner - and settled in for a few days. Siti Hawa cooked up a feast for us on our first night, and we learned a lot from our hosts about the island and the projects that they were involved in.

Sengigi was pretty deserted, with few tourists and lots of empty restaurants and bars – we didn’t really sample the nightlife her as there didn’t seem to be any! The big draw of the area is the beaches, but they did have a problem with litter and weren’t as picturesque as those we had come across on the Gili Islands.

We hired a motorbike for a couple of days so that we could head into Mataram to sort out our onward travel arrangements, and take a ride father afield to the north of Lombok.

As we said, Siti Hawa and her husband, Hussein, do a lot for the local community, including organising litter patrols on the beaches and developing new ways for the local people to make the most from their land. Hussein (an ex-pat from NZ) has invented a way to use old plastic bottles to irrigate the land so that crops can be grown year round as opposed to only during the wet season. We rode up to one of Husseins pieces of land where he is trialling his inventions, and were given a sack to bring back some samples of the produce that was being grown.

The ride back with Ady, Sam and a huge sack of vegetables on a small scooter made us blend in with the locals and their overloaded two wheel vehicles. We also nearly ran out of petrol so Ady had to ride at a snails pace in order to make it back to the petrol station! On the way back to Sengigi, we wound our way past a number of beaches – some deserted, others lined with boutique hotels. We stopped off at one such hotel owned by a friend who we’d met on Gili T. The place was amazing – a far cry from any place we’d stayed at for the last six months! Our friend was out of town on business but we were shown around by the receptionist and arranged to come back and meet later in the day.

When we headed back later in the day we were treated to cocktails in the bar and then given a tour of the private villa complex near the hotel – another amazing place that we wouldn’t have expected to see in this location. We were invited to come back and use the pool the following day – unfortunately it rained very heavily and we ended up having a swim in the rain, not quite the last day in Indonesia that we had expected!

No comments:

Visitors Since 19th May 2009...