Monday 9 Jan, 2017. Sumbawa Besar to Maroak. 20th cycling day. 6 hours 4 minutes. 110 km. Average 18.2 km/h. 380 metres up, 371 meters down.
I slept beautifully, thanks for asking. The rooms of Hotel Tambora, all air conditioned, are tucked away, off to the side and around the back and I was disturbed by neither mosquitos, traffic nor roosters.
Nasi goreng and coffee for breakfast at 7am and then it’s time to hit the road, and after a few hours of solid pedaling it’s time for another meal. Lilian asked about bakso earlier, the photo below is a bakso shop front and then a bowl of bakso – add tomato sauce, a salty dark (oyster perhaps?) sauce, and chili as desired. The three meals I’ve had most often Indonesia have been fried chicken and rice, nasi goreng (fried rice), and bakso. While they have been similarly presented each time, there has been a differentiating factor, the homemade chili and lime hot sauce. My goodness there have been some doozies. I don’t think today’s was anything too special.
The Indonesian military, perhaps 30 of them, all armed joined me for the ferry ride to Lombok.
The north-east of Lombok is underdeveloped. I cycle to a group of three hotels/guesthouses marked on maps.me and check out each. Only one seemed interested in providing a reasonable quote, the Dewi Tuning Biru Hotel. I check in and then get down to the beach for a swim. Bliss.
Cycling around looking for some sort of food outlet, not much around but a minimart also seems to do food and the lady provided me with another double serve of, yup, nasi goreng.
Tuesday 10 Jan, 2017. Maroak to Senaru. 21st cycling day. 4 hours 51 minutes. 52 km. Average 10.7 km/h. 966 metres up, 571 meters down.
Another good night’s sleep in clean sheets and air con, and another banana pancake with black coffee for breakfast.
I don’t feel like I’ve given out stickers on fake money notepaper for a while, and I have quite a few left so I find a school to say hello and reduce my stack. Not everyone got one, and I started packing up when the boys started asking for money.
Nice scenes to my left of the impressive Mount Rinjani, the peak of which I didn’t see because of the clouds.
I’m coming to the end of my trip (so sad) so I’m thinking of things I want to remember but haven’t yet mentioned. Photo below shows what I’ve had for snacks along the way. Little parcels of rice, egg, meat and veg in greaseproof paper that are available to buy only in the mornings for 5 or 10 thousand rupiah. I try and find a shop selling them each morning and carry them to have for lunch, or snack later in the day.
The road to Senaru is steep, as you leave coastal roads and start climbing Mt Rinjani. I would imagine this place is buzzing during the peak season but the motels and restaurants along the road in town are pretty quiet today. It’s illegal to climb the peak at the moment, wet season and chances of landslides but that doesn’t stop unscrupulous tour operators from signing tourists up at the port towns when they arrive in Lombok. An American couple at the hotel I was staying at had paid 1.6 million each (AUD $ 175) in a package deal that included transfers, a night at this hotel, a hike with guide and one night camping at the crater rim. They were worried though because the hotel manager said a French group was turned around by park rangers that morning. He was offering them a refund but only half what they had paid!
I instead paid 10 rupiah and walked a few kilometres in the jungle finding the two waterfalls in the area. The first was impressive and the second even more so. An exhilarating swim. The rubbish though! Plastic bottles especially, on the walking tracks, by the water, in the rock pools.
Two fishermen at the base of the second were hunting eels, HJ and van der boys, thought of you.