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Published: December 12th 2010
I hope you’re all doing well. Unfortunately, it seems the internet connection is still too slow to upload photos to my blog, I've been trying for hours and hours. I was really looking forward to showing you some photos of all the places I've been but I do promise to set up a great slideshow that I'll be happy to show to anyone who is interested when school starts aain next year.
Well, I finally managed to leave my little tropical island of Gili Air and jumped on a small boat that took me to the neighbouring land of Lombok where my adventures have continued. Lombok is the island to the east of Bali and almost two thirds of the island is one huge volcano called Gunung Rinjani. It’s really, really big – almost 4 kilometres high which means it’s the second largest volcano in all of Indonesia.
After arriving, I spent a night in a small beachside town called Sengiggi with my friend Michael who I met on Gili Air and I mentioned in my last blog. But then he was heading off to Bali while I was excited about exploring Lombok so we went off in different directions. He was a really nice guy though and I’ll be sure to stay in touch with him. I then hired a motorbike and went straight down to a little place called Kuta Lombok. It’s a tiny little village right on the south coast and the whole area has the most beautiful coastline and beaches. Many people come from all over the world to go surfing as it has some of the best waves anywhere in the world. As I’m not much of a surfer though, I spent the next few days just cruising around on my motorbike and exploring the coastline of amazing beaches and the most beautiful turquoise water and all of these tiny little villages where the local people are mostly fishermen and seaweed farmers. I know it sounds strange but they really do farm seaweed! You see, parts of the seaweed are actually used in all sorts of foods, even in ice cream! But while it was beautfiul, some of the riding was really hard going. As it’s been raining a lot, some of the roads have washed away and are basically muddy tracks now. There are also bits where the rain has gathered in pools that are more like lakes. You have to ride really carefully and go slowly so as not to fall off and get covered in mud!
The local people on Lombok are called Sasaks and they are really friendly people, always with a smile on their faces and eager to have a conversation. They are mostly Muslim and throughout the day the call to prayer would echo throughout the villages. After a few days at Kuta Lombok, I decided to head north to a tiny little village called Tetebatu. Because it is on the slopes of the volcano and high up, it is much cooler (I actually had to put a long sleeve shirt on!) and as it’s the rainy season, it gets sooooooo much rain. Since I arrived it’s been dry for around five hours this morning and it’s rained for about 24 hours. And the rain is so heavy that in the middle of the storm, you can barely see more than a few metres ahead of you. I went for a hike today with a local guy called Her, which you pronounce ‘hair’. Luckily, we chose the five hours when it didn’t rain and we went for an eight kilometre trek through hundreds and hundreds of rice paddies. It was so beautiful and I stopped to wave at all of the local villagers who were harvesting the rice. Finally, after walking through the jungle where lots of black monkeys scampered through the trees overhead, we arrived at a huge waterfall which crashed down into a small pool and was surrounded by jungle. I would loved to have gone for a swim there but because it rains so much it was way too powerful and you couldn’t get anywhere near it. It was such a beautiful walk that I’ll remember for a long, long time and I’ve got some great photos to show you all next year.
So now I’m sitting in a little hut drinking a cup of coffee and looking out over the rice paddies as it pours with rain yet again. Later today I’ll head to the port of Lembar with Her before I get on the ferry back to Bali. I’ve really enjoyed my time in Lombok but am also looking forward to exploring more of Bali over the next ten days or so. There’s a huge Hindu festival all over Bali in a few days time which should be pretty amazing to see and I’ll make sure that I take lots of photos to show you all.
Now, on to your questions. No, Fahmi I’m not going to Java on this trip but am saving it up for a later time. I’m really looking forward to it though and can’t wait to see the temples at Borobudur especially. Thanks Mohamed. Well, I did have a great weekend but because I’m on holidays, everyday feels like a weekend at the moment! Hey Magma. No I didn’t know that you were going to Megamind. As you’ll probably get this on the 13th of December, I hope you have a great time there and I can’t wait to hear all about it. And yes, our house did have electricity. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to use a fan and I think it would be really hard to get to sleep as it’s so, so, so hot here. Hi Arshiya. Thanks for the congratulations although I’m starting to miss Jane as she is back in Melbourne now while I’m here. And I can’t wait to hear about all that you did in India and how the wedding went. Saskia, I’m very well thank you for asking and of course I’m having a good trip. Every time I get the chance to explore some new part of the world, see new things and meet new people I’m happy. Hi Deeksha. I can imagine that the weather is becoming hot but I see that you’ve also had quite a lot of rain. And believe me, it’s hotter here. Isa, of course you are asking about the soccer game! Yes we did win 4-2 but I didn’t score any goals this time, although I set one up. I think the local guys are more used to playing in this heat than I am! Saeed. Welcome back little man. Like Arshiya, I can’t wait to hear about all that you did in Lebanon. And as I said before, I’m having a wonderful time traveling to all of these different places. It’s so interesting and fun. Hi Zaynab. I’m just about to leave Lombok and head back to Bali. On this trip, I’m only going to visit these two states but as I like Indonesia so much, I’ll be visiting many more in the future. Well hello to you as well Cash Man. I bet you are excited to be moving to Grade 5. It’ll be lots of fun I’m sure. And I miss you all too Nawal. And right now, I’m finishing this blog and watching the rain pour down in the rice paddies which I’m looking at as I type. And finally, a great question Sibel. I’ve seen all sorts of flowers – white, yellow, orange, purple and red, but the most beautiful were probably the ones I saw in Ubud. They were this amazing blue and green colours and they sort of looked like lots of curved triangles stuck together. I’ve got a picture that I'll show you soon.
Anyway, that’s it from me. Be good, work hard and I’ll be in touch again soon. And of course, feel free to email me any questions.
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