Ever since we’d left Hawaii, we never really got our “beach” time. We had spent some time in the China Sea while in Vietnam, but after crossing Java we were really looking for the clear waters, sandy beaches, coconut trees and sunny weather Indonesia has to offer. And we liked what we found in Lombok!
East of Bali, the island of Lombok is about the size of Long Island, NY (or l’ile de France). It has an extinct volcano called Mount Rijani (12200 ft/ 3700 m) that people hike. We had looked into the 3d/2n trek but the weather on the island was very clouded around the volcano, with frequent thunder storms so we stuck to the coastal areas.
We set our basecamp in a cozy hotel in Mataram, the largest city of the island, and rented a scooter to avoid wasting our time with the non-existent transportation system. From there, we could easily explore the various parts of the islands and live the beach life for a good 8 days.
Any good beach bum needs to find its daily fix: a beautiful beach, preferably not too crowded, and a whole lot of nothing to do.
To get to these postcards beaches, we sometimes stopped at a fancy resort, bought a couple coffees and spent several hours on the private beach or in the pool.
Some other times we would drive quite far from the towns and villages to find the perfect spot and claim it our own.
Not doing much
The best part of the day. Grab a book, go for a swim, listen to the sound of the waves, repeat until dusk/dawn
Surf, Snorkel and Scuba Diving
Scrolling through this article so far, you might really think we are a lazy pair. While this is partially true, we nevertheless did stuff. But beach stuff.
Kuta Lombok is the mecca for surfers. The best breaks are off-shore, meaning you have to get a boat to take you. I was quite fine with the baby waves on the beach.
There was also this tiny island full of coral we went to on a fisherman’s boat and did some snorkeling around with a group of local teenagers. The best part was that they could hardly swim without their life jackets on.
On Gili Air we treated ourselves with a few fun dives and explored some of the reefs around the island.
Even if some of the corals were dead (bc of the still recent practice of dynamite fishing..) we saw a bunch of colorful fishes and many turtles!
The beach life is full of small treats. It’s all about living the moment right? And you know us by now, this trip isn’t really set on any diet..
A no-brainer beach meal is a whole fresh fish – red snapper, tuna, parot fish.. grilled in front of your eyes and served with an amazing garlic sauce and chili sauce, but there are many other kinds of snacks and finger food that local stalls and street vendor have to offer: grilled corn, fried chicken (ayam goreng) and satay.
Our favorite this time goes to the indulging Martabak and its sweet counter part the Terang Bulan. We had been looking for it for a few weeks now and stumbled upon the best stall of Lombok.
Martabak is a egg-veggie-sausage mix, very similar to an omelet wrapped in a brick sheet that is then deep fried. It’s like a spring roll filled up like a quiche. Definitely delicious!
If Martabak has a million calories, Terang Bulan is definitely off the charts. It’s a very large cake (butter butter butter) topped up with liquid chocolate, condensed milk and peanuts. OMG.
As you can imagine, we visited the stall several times.
Sunrise and sunsets
We catch sunrises while other are still asleep. I like the quietness of the moment, and the energy that you get for the rest of the day. And often, sunrises are prettier than sunsets.
Sunsets on the other hand are the star of tourists. We like them too, for their comforting colors after an intense day at the beach 🙂