Monday, March 23, 2015

3/9/15 Day 417 Lombok: Martabak in Mosques on Beaches

We exit Gili Air heartbroken and already missing our island paradise. The adventures however must go on, we slip onto a shared boat, this time sneaking by with the same green tickets that got us to the islands saving ourselves an extra 2$ for lunch. Upon our delivery to Bangsal port on Lombok we found a Bemo for 15,000 rupiah (1.25$) for the hour or so it took to drive to Mataram, the centralized capital of Lombok. We found a room near the main night food market area for 100,000 with all day all you can drink tea and coffee, the room comes complete with unwarranted loud squawking wake up calls in the wee hours of the morning. We rented bikes and wheeled our way as far to the southeast as we could get to Pantai Pink, the beach of pink sand. Just about there now they tried to charge us entrance at a jerryrigged bamboo gate but we simply told them we had no money and they reluctantly let us go through. The 74 kilometers took a real toll on our legs and glutes and walking barefoot in the soft sand felt amazing in the clear waters. We spent another 90 minutes traveling to Kuta beach, a known surfer haven and completely unaffiliated with the Kuta beach of Bali. Driving under the gate we are greeted by...trash, a lot of unexpected trash. We park our bikes, look past it and make our way to the beach where there is no swell whatsoever, it seems to be a fishing village and also a bad option for a swim with the visibly shallow reef. The boats are very pretty but it is not quite what we are looking for this day. We mount our bikes and head for the next beach on the itinerary, Mawun. It is a long crescent of white sand framed by rolling green hills, also with a makeshift toll lane at the top of the drive. I feel like we are back in Italy the way we are being forced to pay for the beaches (lidos). Routes aimed for home  we got sidetracked by one last beach opportunity. The dirt track seemed to be heading towards the sea, passing a farmer we asked, "pantai?" (beach) pointing down the road. With a nod and a smile we didn't need to think twice, we found our way to the small village leading to a pristine beach where the locals inquisitively followed us to our spot on the beach. Gracie who we have been traveling with for the last few weeks offered a piece of plastic cheese leftover from her lunch and the reaction was proof we probably shouldn't be eating this food ourselves. The little boy ran down the beach waving it like a trophy and when he brought it back the mama tore off a corner and tried to squeeze the malleable solid out like a Go-Gurt, feeding it to the little boy who then shook his head in disgust and went running down the beach yelling something in Bahasa. Gracie then showed her the correct way to eat a Kraft Single, folding open the plastic wrap. Upon tasting the cheese mama folded up the piece and shoved it in her breast pocket. Clearly in this tiny village they prefer something more like a sharp cheddar, me as well!

The majority of Lombok is covered in mosques and Muslims
Collecting money to build more mosques in this fashion is common throughout Indonesia
There are a few Hindus on the island almost 10% of the population
Road conditions in the southeast

On our way to the pink beach

Chips and (Kraft) cheese baguette 
Beach Buffaloes

The security gate

Kuta beach needs a waste management system 

Boats and dragonflys on Kuta Beach

Beautiful Mawun Beach

This young lady took care of our petrol needs, filling us up from an Absolut bottle
Should have splurged for the Jim Beam petrol
The secret beach we stumbled upon Tampah beach

With its amazing rounded sand
The learning curve, plastic cheese

Home cooked meal in exchange for a slice of plastic cheese
Soft bread bun with fillings: chocolate, pork, chicken

Martabak is amazing
This cockatoo woke us up every morning

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