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Old 12-11-2011, 10:47 PM   #82
The Bigfella OP
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Dooral Dooral, Eastern Oz
Oddometer: 2,289
I didn't really have a plan, but I headed west.... it wasn't supposed to be too far to Poto Tano, where I could decided to catch a ferry, or not. I didn't really stop in the capital, having stayed just east of there. The island on the eastern margin here is Komodo, the one on the western margin is Lombok. This is what Sumbawa looks like




As it turned out, I gave the KTM a gutful of crap fuel on the way... I had to throw in 10 litres from plastic bottles at a roadside stall. The service stations west of Sumbawa Besa were as dry as the hotels. After I'd fueled up, I screwed the throttle open on a straight... and thought better of it... and backed off at 140, rather than detonate the engine. It wouldn't wheelstand on the crap fuel, so I think it was wise to take it easy. I was rather happy when I got to Lombok and gave it a bellyfull of Premium. Its back in wheelie mode.

Not only that... but I hit an oilspill today. I'd seen it and avoided it for miles. Smelt it even.. it was kerosine, or jetfuel I think. It was mainly on right hand corners... and that's where I found it... hidden in a shadow. I hadn't seen it for a while, but zip... When you are leaned over on a bike and the front wheel goes away.... you sure wake up in a hurry. I got lucky and rode out of it.

I guess I didn't want to miss my daughter's arrival, so I headed for the Lombok ferry as soon as I saw it. The ferry between Sumbawa and Lombok was a real rust bucket. I was amusing myself trying to figure out the depth of the rust holes again. It got quite windy out there too. Then it was a 75km blast across Lombok... and it was eat or be eaten on the road. I feel more secure when I am overtaking... and in that 75km, I overtook probably two thousand vehicles of all types... trucks, cars, bikes, horse carts and motorbikes. Coming into the capital, I slowed down... and you would find cars and bikes going past you inches away... on both sides at once. The only answer is to go faster than them.

Here's what the traffic is like




Anyhow... I got to the capital of Lombok, Mataram, but decided to head up to Senggigi. Its a tourist town... a bit of a shock after not seeing a single other westerner for a couple of days. I stayed at yet another cheap hotel... went the non-aircon option again too, but it was fine and even served up a banana crepe and coffee for brekkie.

... and here's another shot from the blast across Lombok. I regretted taking this... because it meant that I met three bikes coming the other way and it was a damn tight squeeze. OH&S just doesn't feature here. I went past one big excavator working on the road the other day and he was rolling a one metre diameter rock down the hill towards me. I didn't hang around to see where it ended up.




I stayed a couple of days in Senggigi, before heading off to Gili Trawangan, the "party island" to meet my daughter. Her coming to town meant something bad had to happen.... (her recent trips have included Mumbai... bombed the day before she got there, Cairo... oops, sorry President Mubarak, Syria... a quick exit to the border - and so on). So, I got a very decent shaking.... an earthquake. Quite interesting actually... a couple of young English girls in the next room were still getting dressed as they came to the door... and heeded my "outside... NOW".

It turned out to be a couple of hundred kilometres away - but it was shaking the bed and the walls here.... it sure made the local lads in reception run.

I suggested we adjourn to a bar - a second floor one, in case of tsunami, which was a good excuse for a beer, or two.

There are more touts (trips, souvenirs) than I'd like to see in Senggigi - and loads of them at the jumping off point for the Gilis. Damn good local band at the Happy Cafe each night, btw.

I had a ride around looking for better accom... but decided to extend here at the Hotel Ellen, as everything was so close by. I could have a beer at night and walk back. One nice thing about being in a tourist town was that I could get a decent massage. The casual reader might think I'm a bit massage mad... but I've had foot leg and back issues for years. One specialist told me "don't walk... don't walk upstairs and particularly don't walk downstairs" Sod that. I'll walk then let someone fix it up afterwards.

I even had one massage down on the beach here. There's a few old ducks wandering around and they are pretty polished at getting a few extra bucks out of you... manicures, pedicures ... that sort of thing. Oh yeah... staying cheap is fine by me, but I'm a sucker for a decent restaurant every now and then... and Senggigi's got them.

Here's the Lombok Ferrari I got driven "home" in after a visit to a nice restaurant a bit further afield.




Well, apart from the earthquake... it was a lazy sort of day. Went up to the temple for a gander and while they were tying on my sash... someone jumped on the bike. Happens non-stop and worries the crap out of me, given the sidestand problems I've had.



Then, all the local tourists asked for a photo with me. A couple of these women had their arms around me... devils in disguise, methinks.... they were from Borneo, and later on, I saw them go past in their tour bus, further up the road... all waving furiously at me....



They went past when I was up the headland, taking in the sunset





While I was up at that headland, a couple of likely looking local lads in a pimped Jeep pulled up... big exhaust, tight tee shirts. One of them started chatting to me, asked a few questions and got his mate to take a phone camera pic of him with my bike. As he was leaving, the guy running a drinks / BBQ stall said "they are police". Yep... undercover cops again. Just as well I'm a good lad eh?

So, after a couple of days I locked up the bike at the Hotel Ellen and jumped on a minibus for about an hour.... then on an outrigger to Gili Trawangan - the Party Island. Its the outer one.



No motorised transport is allowed... and I have to say, this one is definitely NOT off the beaten track. There's a well beaten path to it. I locked it in a few weeks earlier when my daughter booked her ticket to Bali. Its only a 90 minute fast boat ride from Bali.

I checked into a thatched roof room on the main beach... I thought I was far enough away from the mosque... I'd walked until I didn't hear the noise, but it seems it was only a break in proceedings.... never mind, I don't find it too bad. I've only seen locals at my place... $15 incl brekkie... AND it includes a towel AND toilet paper - a very rare occurence so far. There's a pool 10' from my door.... but its under construction. Bugger. My daughter is paying (I hope its her, and not me paying) $120 a night... and she's away from the action - silly girl
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