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Published: March 1st 2010
We sailed from Komodo Island yesterday evening and there was a fabulous sunset! The sky and cloud formation created a very interesting array of images and colors. Doug had to go up on the top deck and capture it. We’ve shared a few of them with you.
And P.S. from Komodo Island…BIG NEWS. Greg Newman, Annette’s son emailed us with the news that only a few days after we left, a Komodo dragon attacked one of the rangers on the leg. As the ranger screamed, other rangers came to his rescue and beat the dragon with their poles until it released his leg. The ranger was immediately taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. And to think we turned our back on them for a photo. Guess we got out just in time!
Lombok, with a population of almost 3,000,000 people, is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, very close to Bali. It’s almost circular and has a total area of about 1,825 sq.mi. The provincial capital and largest city is Mataram.
The island’s topography is dominated by the centrally located volcano, Mount Rinjani, which
An interesting dark cloud formation begins forming in the upper right.
rises to 12,224 ft., making it the third highest in Indonesia. Its most recent eruption was in May-June, 2009, which was a small oozing eruption. The volcano, and its crater lake, ‘Segara Anak’ (child of the sea) are protected by a National Park established in 1997. The southern part of the island is a fertile plain where corn, rice, coffee, tobacco and cotton are grown.
The island’s inhabitants are Sasak, whose origins are thought to have migrated from Java in the first millennium BC. The other residents include 10-15% Balinese, with the small remainder being Chinese, Arab, Javanese, and Sumbawanese. Since the Sasak population typically practices Islam, the island is punctuated with mosques.
Its proximity to Bali is a blessing and curse. Although they are only 25 miles from each other, they are in fact worlds apart. Lombok is not “an unspoiled Bali”. Lombok has retained its more natural un-crowded and underdeveloped environment. But if you’re looking for the nice hotels and what that environment offers, Bali has it over Lombok. We didn’t find Lombok to be as clean as Bali.
The Dutch first visited Lombok in 1674 and settled the easternmost part of the island, leaving
The Finger of God
The dark cloud begins to form the finger of God as it comes down from the heavens.
the western half to be ruled by a Hindu dynasty from Bali. The Sasaks did not do well under Balinese rule, and a revolt in 1891 ended in 1894 with the annexation of the entire island to the Netherlands East Indies. During our stay, the guide(s) on our tour were definitely trying to encourage us to recommend Lombok to our friends over Bali.
We arrived about 8:00am and are signed-up for the Historical Lombok and its Market tour that departed about 9:00am. As we departed the ship, we were met by local musicians and young dancers doing their traditional dances.
Our coach took us first to the Lingsar Temple, the most important temple for the Balinese and Sasaks who adhere to the Islam Wetu Telu religion. The main temple, built in 1714, is divided for the two religions, with the Balinese sector located on the upper level. There are two small ponds at the entrance of the temple and the lake just below the temple complex. Here, sacred eels are kept and hand-fed eggs. They had locally-made handcrafts and we tried to support it a little.
We then went to the Mandalika Market. Wow! Mandalika is Lombok’s
The Blue Divide
The blue sky widens and creates another look.
largest public market, offering a wide array of goods like, vegetables, spices, meats, sundries and souvenirs. We arrived late in the market day so much of it was over, but it was a sight to see. The building had about three floors of different vendors. It was very crowded, quite dark, and not very clean.
Our final stop on this tour was to the Mayura Water Palace, built in 1774. This palace was once part of the Balinese Kingdom’s royal court in Lombok and used as a meeting place for Hindu lords. Its main feature is a large artificial lake with a floating pavilion, or Bale Kambang, located in the center and connected to the shoreline by a raised footpath. The surrounding park features other shrines and fountains.
We then made our way back to the ship. Tonight we will enjoy a big barbeque on the pool deck under almost perfect skies.
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