From Senggigi on the west coast of Lombok, you can explore most of the island in short journeys. On Monday, I hired a taxi to take me to the northern part of the island, to two waterfalls near the volcano Mount Rinjani.
Wayan, my driver, drove in a typically maniacal style that I have become used to in Asia but with added quirks. He was constantly pointing out things along the way “look moss-key! (mosque)”, coming to an emergency stop when I wanted to take a photo, or making jokes “Look, Muslim hotel (cemetery) – only checking in, never checking out haha!” then reaching down for a couple of unnerving clicks of the handbrake button.
We got to the village of Senaru eventually and I got a local guide to lead me to the waterfalls. A short walk down the path and you get to Sindang Gila, a lovely little waterfall that the locals like to visit on weekends.
Walking further on for about 25 minutes we got to the massive Tiu Kelep, a very powerful 50 metre waterfall with a swimming hole. I didn’t go in but got soaked anyway from the clouds of spray.
It was a lovely walk down, the path has been purpose built so although it was rocky in some places, it was easy enough. We had to cross the river barefoot at one point, so I was very glad to have a guide to hold my hand.
Driving back it was getting really humid and finally it rained in the night, clearing the clouds. It’s supposed to be wet season at the moment but it is winding down so it only rains now and then. Like typical island weather, everything blows over pretty quickly anyway.
Yesterday Wayan picked me up early and we headed south to the beaches at Kuta and nearby. While the beaches on the north coast have black sand, in the south they have large grained white or yellow sand.
Our first stop was Tanjung Aan beach, a stunning cove that split in half by a grassy hill. On one side there is yellow sand and the other side has powdery white sand. It was completely deserted save for a few surfers.
Five minutes further west we stopped again at Segar beach, a long stretch with big grains of white sand that is quite difficult to walk on. The waves were crashing in and even just dipping my feet in the sea was difficult in the strong waves.
Last stop was Kuta beach, the most developed in the area, where there are loads of surfers hanging around. All the buildings are set back from the beach so you can get a good sense of the bay. It was lovely and quiet, not a soul on the beach!
I’m leaving tomorrow, heading east to Flores but I have loved it in Lombok – highly recommended!