Lombok 1-3 Feb '14
Sat 1 Feb 14 - Mon 3 Feb 14 27 °C
After the fun of Yogya, we headed on to Lombok - the first island of Nusa Tenggara. Lombok is easily accessible from Bali, but is really quite different in character - it is much much less developed, more villages and chilled out, and far far fewer tourists. In Kuta (the other Kuta, not the famous Aussie filled party one in Bali), the "amenities" are there (Western food, laundry, souvenirs, ATMs and much surf gear), but they are not the whole of the town. Kuta (Lombok) is pretty small and pretty relaxed, and full of surfers. Almost everyone at our homestay guesthouse was a surfer, and off they all trekked with their surfboards strapped to rented motorbikes.
Kuta beach itself was a long stretch of golden white sand, punctuated by washed up coral and overhanging trees, and framed by dramatic rocks tumbling into the sea. Unfortunately it wasn't the cleanest in parts, and very busy down one end - I settled down with my book and was immediately surrounded by 20 kids asking questions and wanting photos. Needless to say I ended up back in a dirtier part of the beach, where we only had to put with hawkers trying to sell bracelets continuously and a herd of buffalo, and later on persistent showers.
We also encountered rather too many bugs in our room. Our skills at catching them became legendary, but how to explain the three bags outside our door - two containing ants and one with a cockroach in a toilet roll tube? Just when we thought it was safe - a giant dragonfly. Safely captured and released into the wide world, but not what you want flying round when you try to sleep.
All in all Kuta was a pleasant place, and the food was excellent - I managed vege Indonesian food for everything but breakfast (the regular pancake) - it seems only Yogya that can't oblige. We even ended up in a reggae bar again. Oops.