Snorkelling in Labuan Pandan and Senaru


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Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Senarau
July 17th 2018
Published: July 31st 2018
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After a great sleep overnight with quite a quiet call to prayer from the local mosque we had breakfast and set off for the local market which was 5 minutes down the road to buy fish for the BBQ we would have on the beach that evening. We walked through the market feeling oddly, a little bit like a celebrity. As we weaved along the small passage ways in the market we were stopped by locals asking for a selfie! Apparenly, they like a photo with white people to post on Facebook - oh how the world has actually gone bonkers!!

Our guide found a few stalls where there was a huge selection of fish and different seafood. He selected snapper, squid and tuna and bags of veggies, all selected from different stalls to spread the money round a number of locals rather than just using one. The skill employed by the market workers when it came to prepping the fish was something else. With the most ancient, oversized knives they managed to deftly gut and fillet the fish in a matter of seconds. With the hunter gathering finished, we returned to the bungalows to get ready for our snorkelling trip.

We selected a mask and snorkel (no fins for me as they didn’t have enough smaller ones) and we all got on the boat and set off to our first of 3 snorkel sites. We arrived and all jumped off the boat, following our guide. The sea was a bit more choppy than I would’ve liked and I quickly realised my snorkel was leaking. I carried on and just held my breath a bit. The amount of fish was phenomena, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve only snorkelled in Cuba and there weren’t so many fish when I did it. They were beautiful. After a while we all headed back to the boat and I swapped my snorkel for one that wouldn’t leak! We set off on the boat again and stopped on a small white sand island, it was tiny, but beautiful. The colour of the sea was something I’ve never seen before. We took some photos and went to a large island where we were to snorkel again.

I got out of the boat and we walked down the beach to a place our guide said we could get in the water, there was a lot of coral close to the shore. We went in and soon after getting in I realised just how shallow it was and just how close to the coral. I floated and let the current take me out to where the water was a bit deeper... not without cutting my hand several times on the coral though. Again, it was beautiful, a large coral reef close to the shore and when I got a bit further out it just dropped off and got loads deeper, the current pretty much took me back to the boat having seen angel fish, clown fish and many more.

We took a short boat ride to another tiny island and ate lunch all cooked by the mother of the man who ran the beach bungalow resort. We had fish, veggies and a huge pot of rice. There was a small hut on the island so we could get a coffee and then we went to snorkel again. We got in at the side of the boat and let the current take us to the end of the reef, I was so lucky to see such beautiful fish. There was an enormous puffer fish, I seriously didn’t think they got that big! But apparently they do 😊

After snorkelling came to an end we got back on the boat to go back to the bungalows shower and have a BBQ on the beach. The guide lit a fire on the beach and the guys working at the bungalows took the hot embers and placed them in the BBQ to grill the fish and seafood we’d been to get in the morning. There was SO much food and It was all really nice, a beer and an early night were in order after a full on day.

The next morning we set off for Senaru to stay overnight, Senaru is in a hilly area of Lombok and there are some fantastic views there. We dropped our bags and set off on a walk that would take a couple of hours to Kiu Kelep waterfall. The walk took us directly from the hotel on to a footpath and series of steps down in to the valley and then headed back up again towards the waterfall. To get to the waterfall you have to walk through the river which is pretty fast flowing and really rocky and slippery. There are dozens of kids standing in the river at different points where you can cross to give you a helping hand all of them asking where you’re from and eager to practice their English, they were so cute. After a bit of clambering and slipping about I made it to the waterfall, it was really beautiful with quite a drop and loads of spray. We spent some time there to take photos or to have a swim for those brave enough to get in the icy water we then headed back up the steps to the hotel to relax for the afternoon.

The following morning, I woke early to catch a glimpse of the sunrise over the hills, it was beautiful. I’m so glad I got up early to witness such a beautiful, perfect view. When it was a more reasonable hour, we ate breakfast and set off on our journey to Gili Air a place I’d been very excited to get to!


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