Satays, Beaches and More Beaches

Lombok Island is one of my favorite destinations in Indonesia. The first time I landed in Lombok was a little over a decade ago.  I was amazed. I decided then that I will come back. Well this time was the perfect time to do that and see how things have evolved.

Instead of flying to Bali I flew directly to Lombok airport and then find a transport to the Gilis.  After finding a couple of willing passengers to fill out a private taxi, the negotations began. You see, my Bahasa consists of 5 words. Thankfully one of them applies to ’empak orang’ and IDR 250.000 (IDR250.000 for 4 pax in a taxi. Get it?) After some haggling, off we go.One of the passengers I found out was spending only the weekend on the islands so I offered to share my cottage. Boat transfers followed and then before we knew it me and my new found friend were gulping down cold Bintangs on our side of the beach in Gili Trawangan.

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For over a week and a half a pattern has emerged – eat breakfast (pancakes), swim/dive/engage in some water activity/walk/bike, catch sunset and then the night begins.

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my home in the Gilis

Diving and snorkeling is the most popular activity on this island (apart from drinking obviousballs!). I’m a fan of tropical fish and corals so I made it a point to do a couple of diving. It did not disappoint. The green turtles are my favorites.

When you are feeling lazy there is always the chilling at the beach thing.

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Bikes abound to explore the rest of the island. I found the norther side to find the nicer beaches.

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Since most are based in Gili Trawangan, then you can always hire a boat to chill or snorkel at the other Gilis which I absolutely enjoyed doing.

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sunset point

As soon as the sun sets, time to ditch the bikes and find your way to the night market for some delicious meal.

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the famous night market

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fresh catch every day for dinner

Once the belly is full, then time to party!  Every night, a different venue will host the main party (that doesn’t stop you from picking your own bar/spot). Then before closing time which is usually 1AM, ask the locals where the after party is.

Okay I have to say that being a connoisseur of underground dance music, I find the sets a tad too Top 40’s in most venues. The exception is the Sama-Sama reggae bar and Ombak Bar that really does beach party music with good fire dancing even.  Anyway, make sure you are fully inebriated before going to the after party which will usually the Top 40 music. The party comes to a full stop on the island before the morning prayer.

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one of the mosques on the island

The Gilis of today has certainly changed from what I saw a decade ago. It has become a hectic island from numerous bikes, the depressing state of of the horse drawn carts and tons of people. The irony of mosques blaring calls to prayer while the island is surrounded with people in various state of undress and under the influence. Will I return again? Hell yes. To party.

After a week and a half of partying non stop it’s time to get out from lalaland and do some actual surfing. I based myself in Kuta in Lombok in a nice Balinese villa. Kuta is tame compared to the Gilis. It is something I needed after the craziness a few days before.

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the rare Balinese themed villa in a predominantly Muslim area

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pool a few steps from my room

I got lucky to meet some crazy local surfer dudes who took me to the nicest spots around the mainland. Of course mad driving was part of the adventure. Luckily no animal or human was harmed and lots of laughter and fun was had.

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one of the popular surf spots for beginners and intermediate level

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In between surf breaks, the beach which was a few minutes away from my cottage was a perfect spot to read a book and just chill.

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Overall I had the best time in Lombok. I wish I had more time to explore more of the island. That would be another reason to come back no?

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Octoberrificc!

I think I’ve already mentioned this in a previous post that I always look forward to October when I am on the tropics. This is that time of the year when the typhoon season is at its tail-end and the rains are getting fewer. Skies are clear and the sun and moon gets fuller and bigger. Sadly, the climate change is changing weather patterns so there is no guarantee of this always happening. Remember Haiyan last year? The good news is that some really nasty typhoons this year decided not to come through the Philippine area of responsibility so let’s count our blessing and be grateful.

Now if there is one thing that will never change regardless are the beautiful sunsets. Give us a clear view and we can always see it setting over the horizon. It is just the middle of October and in between heavy rains and beautiful weather, we’ve been blessed with gorgeous sunsets.

Why I love them so much? It is nature. It is free. It is one of those beautiful gifts the universe has given for all of us to enjoy. Also, we have been blessed with gorgeous beaches that makes it almost a religion when you live on the island to do sunset watching. Preferably with a cold beverage in hand.

So enjoy friends.

The perks of living on a tourist island? You get to do sunset sailing. And yes, that cooler is full of the aforementioned cold beverage.

Here we go…

It’s always been a favourite past time of mine to watch children use the beach as their big playground. I’m no parent but it seems like this is the best way to raise kids – big spaces, no TV, nature, water, physical activities. Sure they are oblivious to the beautiful sunsets but I am pretty sure when they grow up they will remember this with fondness. And when they eventually end up in different parts of the world they will start missing it. Just like me.

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Oh hey look, we do get up on daylight!

Only to reconvene for more sunset watching.

Then the real day begins…

Summer Sunsets

I am still in love with sunsets. And there has never been a good time to get the best ones but right now – hot and stinky summer. But yeah, I can’t complain. I get a lot of play time on the beach and this, baby!

Let me tell you a secret. The best part of the sunset is not when it is going down. Sure it’s pretty and awesome too. But what truly takes my breath away is when the colours explode into the sky right after the sun went down. Unfortunately this is also the time I put the camera down and just appreciate the moment.

I could see myself doing this as  habit in my golden years (if I make it that far given my penchant for alcohol). I would call it the sunset habit. Grab a drink, grab a seat, grab your love one/s and enjoy the show.

Now when was the last time you saw a spectacular sunset?

 

 

Happy Days!

One thing I like about living in the tropics is that you get to see something like this:

 

It is that time of the year when the monsoon is gone, typhoons are getting fewer, skies begin to clear up and the sun is bigger.

There’s no question I love sunsets. Nothing like ending a hard working day looking at the sky changing colours and a full sunset. While I would prefer viewing it from my favourite spot on the beach while sipping mojitos, I will endure this view from the concrete jungle for the time being. You know, count your blessings and all that.

This is also the time when my winter based friends flee to this part of the world. Exciting times ahead. Can’t wait to go out and play!

HELLO LOVELY PEOPLE!

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It’s been a while huh? Yeah, I know.

Well, let’s just say the party has really started. I’m talking about the little project that me and my friends has been planning for some time in between sessions of mojitos, rum cokes and margaritas. I may have mentioned it here. Well, it is now up and running.

beach time is a must regardless how sleepless and busy I am

As usual I was given the task of researching. Suffice it is to say that I have been making the rounds along the party circuit here in the city and in Boracay (the party island). It’s a tough job I tell you but somebody has to do it. As a result I am not able to spend some time around here.

I miss the days when you simply put your feet up on the table (I do, so sue me), open WordPress and read witty articles and/or admire photos while enjoying a bottle of wine. Instead every second I can get for myself, I spend it catching up on sleep.

I am not complaining much. Our little project is making leaps and bounds considering the challenges we’ve met. And I will get some me time very soon! Meantime I will now put my over-danced feet up and catch up on what you guys have been up to.

down time