Day 213 to 214 – (4th Apr – 5th Apr) Lombok

15 04 2011

We were glad for the 6.30 pick up to get out of Southern Bali for the much quieter island of Lombok. We had been recommended a stunning retreat located on the side of a volcano nestled in amongst an area of terraced rice paddy fields. The view out over the lush green slopes from our wooden lodge was incredibly peaceful, idyllic, I might even go as far as to say spiritual….

We had a great home cooked lunch and make ourselves at home, then went to explore our surroundings and say hello to the neighbours. It was a half hour walk through paddy fields and along mud irrigation channels to the local village. Here we met dozens of villagers, mostly highly excited children full of smiles and waving frantically. They loved having their photo taken and must have followed us back to our accommodation as later we spotted about a dozen of them hanging out of a tree less than 100m from our lodge.

The following morning, at 5am, the only thing that broke the piece was the lmam of the local village mosque calling people to prayer – this was fine it is a Muslim country after all. But5amin the morning… come on! I guess if you are going to pray five times a day you need to get one in early. Why can’t you just have one big pray..? Maybe even just do once a week… Or like a lot of Christians in the UK do it once a year, say, at Christmas. Yeah, this is quite a religious country. Not just Muslims, but Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

In Indonesia, the start of April marks the end of the rainy season, unfortunately no-one told the weather. It has mostly been overcast and there has been some rain every day. This therefore meant our planned trek to the top of Gunung Rinjani volcano was off. Instead we had to settle for the shorter waterfall walk, not offering the same panoramic views, but yet a nice walk through paddy fields, villages and jungle.

We could have spent a very long time at the mountain retreat. Unfortunately we only spent two nights before starting our epic journey to Gurung Bromo volcano. We had been hoping to continue our journey east along the increasingly quieter and beautiful string of Indonesian islands toKomodoIsland, home of the infamous Komodo dragon. Unfortunately as well as being a giant poisonous cattle killing lizard, it appears that the Komodo dragon can also kill people without a single bite. Boats to the island frequently sink and planes occasionally fall out of the sky. This is definitely one of those to be left to the BBC and David Attenborough.





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