Lombok by bike

Trip Start Sep 02, 2009
Trip End Dec 16, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Evening all,
Having left the Gili's I wanted to see a bit more of Lombok as it was more appealing to me than Bali so decided to head to Senaru which is a small village at the bottom of the Gunung Rinjani volcano. I made it back on to Lombok after a very pleasant final night on Gili Meno with everyone I had met during my time there but was out of cash and the only ATM was the opposite way to where I was heading. So rather than spending a couple of hours getting to Senaru it took the best part of a day with the visit to the ATM - not ideal.. On the plus side it did however mean I got to see a lot of Lombok which is a pretty beautiful place. 
Getting around on public transport in Bali and Lombok is a bit of a pain as the whole system is on its deathbed. The problem is that it is so cheap to use a motorbike out here that most people opt to use them instead meaning the majority of people using the bemo's are the elderly and mothers with young babies although we did have some goats on the roof of the bus at one stage which is another first for the trip
I was hoping to try and organise a trek up the volcano when I arrived in Senaru but it was going to cost to much money so I just took a guide the following morning to go and see a couple of the waterfalls nearby. Its a pretty beautiful setting and the waterfalls were cool so had a dip and power shower in the second one before heading back to the village. 
After another public transport mission to get from Senaru to my next destination I finally arrived in Kuta a couple of days later which I really liked. Essentially its just a small little surf town with a number of bamboo shacks scattered around providing food, accomodation and the odd handicraft. With miles and miles of coastline either side of the town and a huge number of bays and coves I decided to hire a moped the next day to go exploring. Now I could be all manly and keep quiet about this but it was quite amusing even if I didn't think so at the time.
So I arrange with a local to use his bike for the day opting for a manual rather than an automatic which I didn't think would be rocket science given I've seen 12 year olds driving around on these. The dude gives me a brief explanantion on how to use it and it all seems relatively straight forward although the combination of brakes and gears on the pedals alongside another break and accelerator on the handles starts to get me and my co-ordination slightly concerned particularly as its 8 in the morning. He explains he has no insurance so I cant crash it which I say is cool and give the thing the once over just to check for any existing dents and scratches.
Anyway I say I understand and its all fine and dandy, jump on the bike and get it started which is all straight forward enough. I then back it up and am facing the car park exit ready to roll. I put it in gear and move forward a couple of yards, again all fine. Now I'm not quite sure what happened next but I obviously accelerated a bit too hard and before I know it I've lost control and am heading straight for the gate. Before the brake I use takes effect its already to late and I've smacked the thing right in to the gates to the amusement of the small crowd of adults and kids that had gathered. There's no damage done to me but my main concern is the bike as the last thing I need right now is a huge bill for a vehicle that I dont even own!
Fortunately there are no marks or dents but we decide maybe an automatic is for the best so with that his mate happily gets his one out and I'm ready to go. This time I pull away without problem and am on my way with the owner not even knowing my name, where I'm staying or anything about me - If only all service bookings were that straight forward! My previous company owners could learn a thing or two from that and could have saved me a lot of time and effort on contracts and their t&c's in years gone by!
Thankfully there were no more incidents and the day was a big success. I covered a huge distance along the coast and got to see some really beautiful beaches while travelling through all of the nearby villages and seeing the locals go about their daily lives. The people here are fantastic and unbeleivably freindly and with the kids all shouting hello and holding their hands out for high 5's as I went past it was a lot of fun. I just had to be a bit careful not to go past to fast and accidentally clothes line them..
I spent the following couple of days chilling on the beach in Kuta and doing a spot of reading which was cool. I was hoping to have a few lye in's while here but the local rooster population ensured that was not going to be the case by having a 'cockle doodle doo' off between 4 and 6 every morning - cocks.. 
Having spoke to a few locals and already seen construction happening it seems Kuta will be changing pretty drastically soon as an international airport is being built and the land all along the coast is being advertised for sale. I really hope it doesn't get to over developed as I have seen elsewhere in Asia as its a really cool little spot, I hope..
Tomorrow I will head back to Bali and then on to Java. I was going to see a bit more of Bali buthave decided against it am not massively keen on dealing with hoardes of tourists again and don't really want to go to the really quiet spots on the island just on my own so maybe another time.
Will update as and when
- Until I get my camera fixed all photos I'm taking are done so without the screen so hopefully there are not to many wonky or out of focus! Pics for Kuta on next entry..
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