after gili trawangan, we came back to Lombok. as soon as we got off the boat we were swarmed by people selling cheap necklaces, watches, and glasses. they followed us around and wouldnt take no for an answer. eventually though, we escaped and got a bus to sengigi. we spent two days in sengigi. we rented a scooter and used it to get to the nearby towns which was a lot of fun. blazing down the road, dodging other scooters, horse carts, guys pushing fruit stands, cars, etc. at first it was a bit scary to deal w/ so much traffic etc, but i got the hang of it after a while.
at one point i was going down the road when all of a sudden a large insect slammed into my face. crap! but to make things worse, it somehow got wedged between my helmet and my face. the next thing i knew i felt a sharp stabbing sensation in my cheek. yup, the insect had been a bee and i had gotten stung in the face. it sucked hardcore. after i pulled over i had to pull the stinger out of my face. sheez, i have such crap luck.
one of the places we stopped at was a balinese temple at Lingsar. this was supposed to be one of the most spectacular things around that area, but honestly it wasn’t all that impressive. one of the cool things about that pace was that they have this pool of water w/ “holy eels”. you can buy eggs to coax the eels to come out. we bought 3 eggs, and the guy working there slowly put little pieces of egg into the water. nothing happened. then he put an egg on a stick and swirled it around. nothing happened. no matter what he did, no eels. in the end we left dissapointed. we began to wonder if the “holy eel” thing was a scam just to get you to buy eggs. did they really exist? who knows.
carving at the temple
we also stopped by a remote village so caryn could buy some Ikat, the traditional weaving that people do here. well, in the end she wasn’t really able to find anything that was exactly what she wanted. a lot of the traditional weaving and threads had now been replaced by synthetic stuff. we also decided to get some massages. caryn had a good one and really enjoyed it. mine was horrible!! everything the girl did was really painful. it didnt feel good at all. i was literally wincing in pain and when i asked her to ease up a bit, she just tried to tell me that she wasn’t pushing very hard and that i should drink more water. riiiiight.
oh, and the roosters in this town. holy crap. the loudest roosters of all time. they were just driving me nuts and were crowing at all hours of the night. i just dont get what’s wrong with those damn birds. do they just sit there bored out of their minds in the middle of the night and just think to themselves “hrmmm. mighty bored. cant think of anything to do. wait… i know!! i just had a great idea. how about i just start yelling as loud as i can for a long time. that sounds like a good time!”. after a while i started concocting plans on a new device that i could sell to travelers.. a rooster muzzle. this could be the next big thing!
anyways, sengigi itself is a nice little town.. but also kind of a sad scene. it obviously was meant to be a big tourist center. tons of hotel, tons of restaurants, tons of tour companies, nice beaches, great weather… but no tourists. because of that, everyone there is just desperate for business. as you walk down the street people are constantly running up to you trying to sell you junk or offer you a ride, or whatnot. empty restaurants blast music to nobody while the waiters sit around inside looking bored. the whole town was like a huge party where none of the guests showed up. and because there were so few people, the touts outnumbered us by a lot. on one hand, it was soooo annoying to deal w/ people constantly interrupting our meals, walks, everything by trying to sell us junk, but at the same time i really felt bad for these guys. how many 5$ watches were they really gonna sell in one day? 1 maybe?
after 2 days, we took a ferry over to bali. just as the town of sengigi was, the docks were also full of people selling stuff. here it was mainly fried rice, fruit, and ramen. vendors were pushing each other out of the way and scrambling just to sell a bit of their stuff. competition was fierce. i ended up feeling bad everytime i told someone i wasn’t hungry. the instant noodles here are excellent by the way.. they’re called “pop mie” and they’re damn good.
after an exhausting 5 hour ferry ride (the boat trip was actually only 3.5 hours, but then we sat around outside the harbor for 1.5 hours till we were able to finally dock), we arrived in bali. we were gonna stay in kuta just for a day until our flight to tokyo. in kuta we hung out w/ caryn’s friend becca and her boyfriend which was cool. kuta is INSANE. so damn touristy. there is like 100 mcdonalds, 50 starbucks, 40 kfcs.. etc etc. ok, maybe those numbers are a slight exaggeration, but really there are so many of them. this place is like spring break waikiki style or something. totally not our scene and we’ll be glad to get out of it!
looking down on the beaches of lombok
palm lined streets in lombok