Final days in Indonesia - Sumbawa - Lombok - Bali


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October 29th 2011
Published: November 10th 2011
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Final week in Indonesia

Flores - Sumbawa - Lombok - Bali

One of the many fine beaches at Kuta, LombokOne of the many fine beaches at Kuta, LombokOne of the many fine beaches at Kuta, Lombok

Remarkably, the grains of sand were, to the human eye, spherical.
From Flores we made our way back westward, over six days, through Sumbawa and Lombok, to Bali, for our flight to Darwin, Australia.

The most notable aspect of our short time in Sumbawa was Ben riding on the roof of a mini-bus for two hours, with about 15 locals, none of whom seemed to speak any English. Sadly, no photos are available. Only the mental scars.

After an arduous 27 hour journey that took in two ferries, the aforementioned minibus, a comfortable coach and a bemo (a mini-mini bus - often found providing transport to the Indonesian public), we arrived in the chilled out coastal village of Kuta, Lombok.

Some of you will know Kuta, Bali. The Lombok namesake could not be much more different. It is wonderfully traffic and trouble free. Whether this will change with this month's opening of the nearby new international airport, time will tell. We wanted to see Kuta 2011, just in case.

Our appetite for beaches sated, and with the prospect of Australian heat to come, we took the ferry back in Bali and headed to the hills of mountainside Munduk, towards the north of the island.

We had Balinese massages, which for Ben seemed to involve the infliction of mild pain on all parts of the body, one by one. Mina found the hour long experience more relaxing and therapeutic.

Nuwan, a quiet, knowledgeable thirty-something local man, with a large smiley face, guided us through a maze of rice fields and forests, past coffee, cocoa, clove, banana, mango and vanilla crops, around isolated houses, to a series of waterfalls. They roared continuously, despite the wet season having not yet begun.

Nuwan and his extended family work the fertile, but onerous local land, which was owned by someone else, with whom they shared the profits. As with many Indonesians, the Munduk locals were keen to develop other talents that they could put to profitable effect with visitors such as us, with Balinese cookery, craft and music courses offered alongside the walks and massages.

Despite these attractive distractions, Munduk felt pleasingly untouristed, clean, relaxing and welcoming.


Additional photos below
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Beach hawkerBeach hawker
Beach hawker

T-shirts for around £2. Locals trying to sell us things was a regular minor irritation on Lombok beaches. This guy was good to chat to, though.
Balinese Museum, DenpasarBalinese Museum, Denpasar
Balinese Museum, Denpasar

Balinese culture, history and art at this wonderful museum.
Mountainous MundukMountainous Munduk
Mountainous Munduk

The view of northern Bali, from our room in Munduk.
LoadedLoaded
Loaded

Heavy work in Munduk
Dried leavesDried leaves
Dried leaves

Providing shade for clove saplings
Ben and the waterfallBen and the waterfall
Ben and the waterfall

Waterfall = air terjun
Spice you likeSpice you like
Spice you like

Sold metres from where they were harvested.
Small shrine in the hillsSmall shrine in the hills
Small shrine in the hills

A common feature in Bali


10th November 2011

You take any of those courses? Can we look forward to a balinese meal when you get back?
11th November 2011

Courses for horses
We found out that our flight to Darwin had been moved forward by 24 hours, which left us with about 30 hours to get back to southern Bali! So we didn't have time for the courses in the end. We'll do some next year, hopefully. Hope you are enjoying the blog - we're in Adelaide now. It's got a great food market.
11th November 2011

Final days in Indonesia
Wow. What a lovely way to end this part of your journey. It looks so beautiful, peaceful and 'untouristy'. It's wonderful to see the mountain view from your window that you told us about. Wish I was there!

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