We arrived in Lombok quite late. The journey to the hotel took around 90 minutes with a cabbie that spoke little English except "David Beckham" but told us at least 10 times per minute that we were headed to Senggigi.
The hotel was nice and quiet, set in lush gardens and about 10 minutes from the beach. Perfect.
By the time we'd reached the room, we'd been up for 18 hours, we'd climbed a volcano and were simply exhausted. Night night.
After a good night's sleep, we had a leisurely walk around town, there wasn't much to see, a temple that was on a small peninsular that looked out to sea, a few restaurants and mini marts and that was about it. It does have miles and miles of often unspoilt, deserted beach. The sand is mottled black and white making it look a little dirty but far from it, it is free from junk and free from crowds. The beach we walked to had a small group of locals who played in the surf, fully clothed and a football team that trained on the long stretch of sand. Occasionally, a group from the surf would peel away and come and have a look at us interlopers, give a smile, shout something in English, collapse in laughter and walk back.
We had just got into the sea (fully clothed too) when 50 metres or so along, a local fishing boat landed. A man hollered at me to go and help and I was on my way. The 'leader' pointed me to a position under one of the outrigger arms and we heaved the boat a little higher up the beach. The fisherman had had a good day, 500 mackerel was the estimate. Once the net and bottom of the boat had been cleared of fish, the leather-skinned angler rewarded each of the young lads a couple of the greeny-blue fish as thanks. The boys looked absolutely thrilled and each ran off with their hard earned bounty.
There was no fresh fish for me, instead, we were asked if we wanted to have ours grilled as a BBQ was just being put on. Neither of us can stomach mackerel and so we very politely and regretfully declined.
We arrived back at the hotel to find a tiny kitten asleep on our drying washing, well that was him adopted for a few days, we went and bought some milk and made a bit of a fuss of him.
Being on the west coast, we were privy to some pretty amazing sunsets. It was so nice walking up to the viewpoint on the bend of the coastal road, sitting with the locals, a freshly barbecued corn on the cob and a drink in hand, watching the familiar, yet unique scene unfold. These small things have made our trip, the times when we have blended in completely, when no one's interested in what we're doing or who we are. It's then that we feel that we're experiencing 'real' life rather than simply observing it.
We're headed to the diving Mecca of Gili Trawangan for turtles, sharks and manta rays.