If Easy Drivers wanted to show us the real Vietnam, we needed no help in finding the real Indonesia. After spending leisure-days in Bali for almost a week we continued to Lombok on Tuesday. We reserved inviting (read cheap) hotel from here already beforehand, and found ourselves in the middle of a town called Ampenan, on the outskirts of Lomboks biggest city Mataram.
Our hotel is a cozy family run business in the end of a muddy alley. The owner is a Dutch man with Indonesian wife and kids.
The room has air-con and pink walls. There’s no shower, but we get to pour water on us with a heart-shaped scoop to wash up. Other guests are Indonesian. When we told the guy who arranged our transportation here where we want to go, he asked several times are we sure. “There’s nothing there. You are the only tourists there. Senggiki is a lot better.” But we were sure.
Instead of a taxi, here it’s possible to choose a cart pulled by a pony and all the kids and most of the grown ups greet with a hello, since we sure are the only tourists here. Prices dropped like 70 percent from those in Bali. Even though I like seeing places that aren’t crowded with other westerners, the first night here wasn’t one of the best. I had been feeling a bit sick already few days before we came here, so a visit to a local market place with smelly fish and rotting garbage around, was hard. I must have looked like a stupid, foolish and spoiled girl for covering my nose so I wouldn’t throw up, but I had to.
When we got back to the hotel I was shivering, and an hour later I already had over 38 degrees fever. So yesterday I spent in the hotel room reading The Girl in the Picture while J stayed beside me, sometimes going out to grab me something to eat or entertain himself. Today he rented a scooter and went to look for monkeys in Pusuki, though we already saw some in Bali. I didn’t feel energetic enough to go with him. Driving on the back of his scooter takes a lot of energy. We tried it already in Bali to get to Padang Padang (the famous surfing camp to get my sports pictures), and I think I still haven’t fully recovered from it…
Since one day was wasted because of my illness, we decided to stay here at least until Saturday. Then, we’ll probably go to the Gili islands, the tourist-attraction of Lombok. If only we had more time, we would like to search more of the islands here, Flores, Komodo maybe East Timor even, but looks like this time we have to leave it to these few. The original plan was to focus on Indonesia and Malaysia, but we’ve become more interested on Laos and Cambodia, so we want to have enough time to explore those too.