We arranged with a local company (Bery from Wanen Wisata)for our transfer by boat to Bangsal harbour and then by car from there to Batu Bolong near the Senggigi area where most of the hotels are to be found. We did not want to take the public ferry leaving at 8.30am and arranged for a boat at 10am and were asked to be there by 9.45am. The cost was 300,000 rupiah about $30 for the entire transfer which I thought was reasonable. We part paid for the trip and arrived as planned. By 10.30am there was no boat in sight so I walked back to our accommodation and they finally found Mr Bery who then informed us that the boat would leave when there were enough people to fill it. This he omitted to tell us previously. We didn’t however have to wait too long and with some help from a very nice trekking
guide from Lombok we found our driver and arrived at “Sunset House” where we were greeted warmly by the staff who remembered us from previous years.
One of the nice waiters Ryan had died of an illness the previous year which was very sad as he was only 28 years old and his wife had given birth to their first child after he died and had gone home to her family in Java. Another waiter Charles had moved on and started his own transport business so we were able to give him some business during our week’s stay.

Given the direct flights from Perth we expected Senggigi to be busier than in previous years but this was not yet the case.
The Senggigi area had not changed a lot in a year with the same restaurants and bars and tour companies selling trekking trips to Mt Rinjani and trips to see the Komodo Dragons on another island.
Lombok is very rural in nature even near the towns and the main city of Mataram which has one large mall and a lot of government buildings.
We spent the week walking and swimming in the ocean and pool and made a couple of trips via the interior to the south coast where the most beautiful beaches are found especially one called “Tanjung An”. We saw only one upmarket resort and several home stays and a few restaurants in the vicinity.
There were apparently some foreign and local built structures built very close to the beach at Kuta Beach but these were not supposed to be constucted on the beachside of the road and so the authorities had them all demolished. Unfortunately the remnants and rubble from many of the buildings remain which is not such a pleasant sight.
The trip through the hills to the south coast was a quiet one with very little traffic of any kind on the road and villagers were harvesting and threshing rice. We stopped for coffee at a very high point with a spectacular view of the coastline at a yoga/restaurant centre called “Ashtari”.
There were bunches of soya beans and rice drying in the sun as well as bright yellow corn and in one area there was a small version of an open cut gold mine and many small holdings where the large rocks where being broken down by old hammermills.  We also passed many small brickworks along the roadside.   We were told that 10,000 bricks cost around 700,000 rupiah or about $68.

The burial structures in the Chinese cemetery are very ornate, some with figures in front of the “armchair” style graves.  Most are well tended and the cemetery is quite large and  on both sides of the road.

Another day Charles who is from Flores island suggested we take a trip to Gili Nanggu off the south western tip Lombok. We took a very nice lady Lisa (who was staying at the same hotel) with us who had been a few days previously and who had thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

The drive took us about an hour and a half and then Charles organised us a local boat to take us to the island.
We had snorkels and masks and we filled several empty plastic bottles with bread and sea water and took them into the shallows. When we squirted the mixture into the water the fish appeared from nowhere to eat the bread.
We then went snorkelling and saw a wonderful variety of colourful tropical fish and a fat, bright blue starfish. The coral there was largely dessimated but there were a few patches colour still to be seen. The island has one small bungalow hotel but they had a good outdoor area and for 5000rupiah (50cents”) we could have a fresh water shower and change before we went back to Lombok. We saw several pearl farms in the distance on the way back.

The taxi ride from Senggigi to Lembar harbour took about an hour and before the taxi had stopped the porters clammered around the vehicle to try and carry our bags. We gladly obliged them for 20,000 rupiah because the steps up to the passenger deck on the ferries were very steep. The hawkers also come on board selling everything from rice meals and snacks to t-shirts and pearls. They all scurry off the ferry once the horn sounds three times. There is an area where you can hire a canvas covered
mattress and sleep for the entire journey which a lot of the locals seem to do. There is also a snack bar on board selling mainly crisps and cool drinks.
We departed from Lembar harbout at 9.10am (precisely) for the 4-5hour ferryride back to Padang Bai and Candi Dasa on the east coast of Bali. The ferries are not the Queen Mary and there is no airconditioning however for only $4 it is a leisurely trip. We sat in the shade on one side of the boat and there was a lovely breeze all the way. There was a bit of a swell for some of the trip and we rolled a bit but it was a lovely day and the ocean was sparkling.
Several of the locals had fishing lines trawling behind the boat but we didn’t see any fish caught. We did see a very large pod of dolphins on the way.
I used the time productively writing the blog and sorting photos and the trip went surprisingly quickly and we arrived in Padang Bai harbouron the east coast of Bali four and a half hours after we had left Lombok. We were picked up by our friend Wayan who broughtour larger bags which we had left in storage in Ubud and he took us to “Pondok Bambu” in Candi Dasa for our 10day stay.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.