Well guys/girls we all know quite well the island of Lombok, which is only around 50 odd miles east of Bali, has been undergoing a bit of turmoil from time to time. Apart from reading about incidents and actual happenings I didn’t know what the real situation was like. I had not heard from one person or even knew of one person that had been staying on land and not lazing about on charter boats. So the only way to get the facts was to head over myself and maybe get some of those uncrowded waves.
Because of the little spare time that I do have, I opted for the fast 40mtr cat for my means of transport (US$25). I mean, there are other slower ways of getting there, but they are pretty hard core for such a short distance. For my money I got to sink back in an airline style seat (with hostess’) and watch a video on one of the many screens placed around the boat.
The boat pulls into Lembar which is just north of Banko Banko, better known as Desert Pt. From Lembar I took a driver down to Kuta which is pretty centrally located on the south end of Lombok. Once again, I could have gone for the cheaper/slower bemo/bus ride, but no thanks, I’m on a research mission remember!. It’s about an hour and a half ride the way I chose to go, and the scenery all around is pretty breath taking at times. Lombok is very mountainous all around most of the coast line (from what I saw anyway). The traffic is a welcomed relief from the bussle of Bali’s roads, the only thing to look out for is the many horse and carts which are still being used as taxi’s. One other thing, I didn’t see one other tourist the whole time from Lembar to Kuta/Lombok.
I settled into one of the two hotels which do offer all levels of accomodation. This process did take a little longer while I had to go through the routine of “Sorry Sir, but we only have the first class rooms available at the moment.” But as soon as I mentioned that I might have to go and check the other hotel out, a room to my liking was found, especially as I didn’t see any other guests around anywhere.
Ok. the bags are in the room, where’s the waves? A quick walk down to the beach revealed around 4 ft of swell out on the reefs, great at least it’s not flat. Back to the hotel to find a driver, no worries, the boys were fighting for the buisines (almost). My friend quickly filled me in that Maui is the place to go. When we got to Maui there was a nice 3-4 foot right hander screaming through, only short but very sweet and shallow. There were two other surfers in the water and the guy’s reckoned that they had had it to themselves since they arrived a week ago!!!. But now that I had turned up they were off somewhere else. Sweet this will do me for my short time I’m here. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough of that precious stuff that we call time, or other wise I’d have joined the guy’s that were at Maui and headed off looking for more uncrowded waves.
There are so many good breaks over there, access to most by car is possible. But I would certainly recommend hiring a 4×4 for the job. It only takes a couple of hours rain to close off most of the dirt roads/tracks. I was there in the middle of the dry season and there was still the afternoon shower everyday, so the wet season would be tricky indeed. Anyway I was content to stay and surf at Maui for the 4 days I was there so I didn’t get to see that much of the place. As far as trouble goes on the island, I didn’t see any, but like anywhere you go in the world if you leave something of value lying around, well…… The people in some areas still need a little more education in the value of tourism on a poor island that is loaded with a fantastic natural resources – WAVES. At the time I was departing to come back to Bali the locals were talking about a meeting to take place very soon with all the heads of the island trying to work on a strategy to make things more safe for visitors. But all the same if your planning a trip to Lombok for the first time make sure you are prepared to go back in time.
Well I enjoyed my short holiday anyway! I made some new friends in Kuta that took good care of me. For sure I’ll be going back again, there’s too many waves over there!!!!
Drop me a email if I can help you with any more info on LOMBOK