Day out with Eddy Lombok

Trip Start Nov 18, 2009
Trip End Jul 08, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , Nusa Tenggara Barat,
Thursday, June 17, 2010


Had another great day. Hearty breakfast to get us going and then down to reception to wait for our man Eddy to turn up for our day out. He arrived exactly at 9am. Eddy introduced himself and apologised for his poor English. We assured him his English was 1000% better than our Indonesian….he relaxed and we chatted whenever we were in the car, which was for a good few hours. We learnt many things about Eddy, his family, his religion, religions on the different islands, marriage between religions etc etc. Here are a few facts:

Eddy and his family (wife, father and 3 sons) have an area of land called an R (we think is the right terminology). This area measures 10 metres x 10 metres. On this land he has built a three roomed house, where each room measures 2.5 metres square. These are living and sleeping areas. The other 2.5 metre square is an area outside for cooking. He said this was quite a big house and he was meant to report it's building to the Local Authority but didn’t. If he had he would have to pay a tax.

He also explained how people get their marriage partners and it was very confusing as there are Hindus, Muslims and Christians on the islands. He said the Hindus do not really mind mixed religion marriages but the Muslims do not. He spoke of young men getting their friends and family members to help him "kidnap" his girlfriend and then negotiate a deal or dowry….it all sounded friendly enough but confusing, however it seemed to lead to a marriage.

We arrived at Lendang Bajur for the town market. It was heaving and we illegally parked as Eddy wanted to walk through the market with us. It was fabulous and a real frenzy. The stalls were in rows but the rows were so close together that only one person at a time could get through. Eddy was great as we stopped at all sorts of stalls to ask questions about vegetables, meats, fish, spices and local crafts. There were beautiful spice stalls and next door was a woman hitting big freshwater catfish over the head with a rock and then gutting them, shoving the guts into a bigger and bigger pile, which the flies loved. It is so surreal but you get into the whole atmosphere of the market and these sorts of things are just normal here. Eddy explained that most people in Indonesia do not have any means of keeping things cold and definitely rich people were the only ones with freezers. Therefore all women go to different markets everyday for fresh produce for each day’s meals.

After this we drove to Baun Pusuk, where the monkey forest is. We thought we would have to trek to see them but there were loads just sitting by the roadside hoping to be fed. We stopped three times and we had bought some peanuts at the market that the monkeys loved. They were so gentle taking the peanuts from your hand and they even selected the best and biggest nuts first. We were told never to bring bananas as the monkeys go into a manic frenzy, because they like them so much. It was good to see so many babies and they all looked to be really healthy.

We then had a long drive to reach the waterfalls. We ended up at a café just outside the area where the falls are. We bought a drink from two young lads aged about 8 or 9, who then scooted off to find us our guide. We were told that you need a guide which is not really correct. As it turned out it was a good investment on our part. Our guide was a young man in his 20’s whose name was Full. He took us to a chart and explained the route we would take, which mostly followed an irrigation channel that was working and had originally been built by the Dutch in their Colonial days. The channel was about one metre deep and the water in it was about ˝ metre high. The channel ran alongside the mountains and hills but occasionally disappeared into tunnels that had been cut through the mountains to make long tunnels….this is important to know for later!!

Along the length of the channel were people sitting in the water, having a wash and lots of kids jumping in and having a ball.

The first fall was called Air Terjun Sindang Gila. It was about 40 minutes walk and climb to reach it and many local people were there before us as it is used as a picnic spot for the kids and also has the benefit of being a natural shower. The water however tumbles down from 40 metres and hits the rocks below at a thunderous speed. There were some areas where the water landed that nobody dared go to. We just enjoyed watching the kids play and then went off hiking to Air Terjun Tiu Kelep, the second fall with a swimming hole. This was a bit of a climb and you needed to cross the river or streams at different points. Our guide Full was a real gent offering Hels his hand when we reached difficult or slippery areas or areas with steps that were hard for people with shorter legs.

As we approached these falls the noise was horrendous and the mist was being blown down the valley. The wind was only coming from the force of the water coming over the cliff. We got close enough to get into the water which was not that cold but you were being sandblasted by the water droplets in this wind. It quite took Hels breath away. Full managed to get a couple of photos before he was soaked, and he was hiding behind the rocks. Just a few local courting couples here as this is more difficult for their parents to reach. Great, great fun.

When we wandered back, Full asked if we wanted to walk in the irrigation channel and into some of the tunnels….he explained that they were pitch dark in places, the floor sometimes had big holes in. the spiders would only be small and at the entrance and exit, that the water would be running through very fast and that the tunnels were roughly hewn through the rocks so there could be narrow areas and a need to mind ones head. Helen said yes lets have a go!!! No hesitation at all, so off we went. It was good fun but a bit scary and Tony was very surprised at Helens enthusiasm.

With that fun over we walked to meet up with our driver and settled our bill with our guide. We gave him a tip to buy something for his 4 month old daughter, and thought he might actually do it.

We ended our trip by driving back along the coast road to Malimba where we could take some photos of the Gili Islands in the distance. Then back to our hotel and time to say goodbye to Eddy, who had been good company all day.

In the evening we walked to the town and went for eats at Bumbu restaurant. Had some good food and so much cheaper that at the hotel. Collected our laundry all washed and pressed and wrapped up. Clean clothes for our next and last hotel where we are blowing the last of our monies so we can sponge on Helens brother when we hit Dubai. Hope Andrew and Amanda do not read this.
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