Change of plans

Trip Start Oct 03, 2009
Trip End Feb 28, 2010

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Where I stayed
Pondok Indah

Flag of Indonesia  , West Nusa Tenggara,
Friday, January 29, 2010

I continued my journey past Bayan by bemo. This is a local private transport which can vary from a pickup to a minibus. They stop frequently to pick up passengers and their goods and are very cheap, but they are also very slow. I decided to hire one to take me to Senaru which is along the coast and on the way to Labuan Lombok from where I hoped to take the ferry to Flores, and passing Komodo and Rinca on the way. 

We bumped along the coast road and the driver asked my permission to pick up passengers on the way as this was an exclusive hire. It was interesting to see the different people that got on and off. We arrived at Senaru which is at the foot of Mount Ranjani ( 3726 Metres). I stayed in this hotel which had a fine view on the slope down to the coast about 10 kms away. Most people who stay here make the climb to the top of the mountain which takes 2 days there and back with the overnighter somewhere along the way. With my bad knees I took a stroll up the road until it became a track and stopped at the local coffee shop.

This is the rainy season and I soon discovered that where I am staying has its own micro climate with lots of thunder, lightning and rain.  Very irratiting  as further down towards the coast I could see bright sunshine. I decided that the best thing to do was to hire a motorbike and head dwon toward the sea, and sunshine. Because of the slope its not necessary to switch on the engine for 8 out of the 10 kms, but on the way back its a stiff climb for the little engine. 

I went along the coast road for a while and then turned off into a village by the sea. My arrival was treated with some curiosity. Only one man could speak some English and he only came over to find out which country I came from, and then went away. I did my favourite thing and ordered coffee and I was beaconed over by a group of men to sit with then even though we could not communicate. A small crowd soon built up and I could hear the words 'arab'. On this island they seem to think I am an arab, and I usually just say 'Indian' because to say English only confuses them. 

As it happened one of the small fishing boats returned and I watched them unload the catch. As usual all those who helped to pull the boat up onto the beach got a few fish, and the rest were taken to be sold. I sat and watched the v illagers going about their business for a while and then made my way back to the hotel. 

On arrival I was told that because of the bad weather the ferries were suspended and no one was certain when they would start running again. This meant that I could not continue my journey as I had planned and I decided to turn back to head for the Gillies.       
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