Kuta and the southern coast of Lombok
We headed out of Tetebatu in the morning to get a good start on what looked like a long motorbike ride to Kuta. We stopped in Masbagik looking for an ATM but couldn’t withdraw money. Westward we found another ATM and were able to withdraw 2 million rupiah.
We took a random road south in order to get off the busy main road. Past more rice fields, a pretty drive. Ended up going through a small town called Jerowaru in the south east.
PRAYA and a delicious meal
The next stretch was tiring and our backs were getting sore. We were coming into the town of Praya when a guy a little younger then us zoomed up next to us and started asking us “where are you going?” I yelled back to him “warung” (we were getting hungry). He said, “I escort you,” and we followed him to a very nice restaurant. A green garden shaded by potted plants lined the restaurant. I talked with the kid awhile, he was very nice and we were thankful he led us to such a nice place to eat. The food was great though expensive for our backpacker budget. I had a whole fish grilled with a sweet glaze. Plus rice with ice tea and a coffee for 40,000rp. Lena just got Nasi Campur (18,000).
Kuta was only another 45 minutes south. We arrived and began our quest for a guesthouse. After looking at a few place we decided to splurge on Mimpi Manis, a two story house-like place with a bathroom, couch, drinking water jug, and a hot water heater. Plus a tv upstairs next to the bed and a balcony as well. 150,000rp.
In the morning we decided to go find a new guesthouse. This one was too nice (expensive for our budget). We saw some the day before for around 80,000rp, so we looked around town a bit more. We found a decent guesthouse for 90,000rp with breakfast. The G’day Guesthouse, near the main beach with nice rooms and a big clean bathroom. The owners seem nice too.
We ended up staying 6 days in Kuta. We liked it. Not completely taken over by tourists, it still feels like a local village. There are a lot of hotels and tourist infrastructure but nothing too fancy or expensive. It has that Lombok dirtiness with shacks and empty lots. But its the beaches that really make it. White sand punctuated by big green hills.
OUR KUTA DAILY ROUTINE:
-wake up, splash water on face. Go outside and order coffee and breakfast
-I sit on porch with a book or my notebook and Lena soon joins
-coffee and banana pancakes are delivered to porch by smiling lady and we discuss our plans for the day
-we get bothered by flies and bring empty dishes to restaurant
-pack for day out: snorkel/mask, empty water bottles, books, sunscreen, etc
-motorbike east to town, fill 2.5 liters of water (2,000rp)
-backtrack to corner where we buy 1 or 2 liters of petrol (5,000rp a liter)
-buy 2 nasi campurs, to go (5,000rp each)
-head to previously discussed destination
-return and shower and hang up wet clothes
-have coffee, read, write, relax
-take a walk or watch the evening futbol game across the street
-head home, wash mosquito repelant off, read and sleep
After exploring other beaches in the area, this one turned out to be our favorite. From Kuta its a 20 minute drive west, up and down some large hills on a potholed road. They charge 3,000rp to park in the main lot though we discovered a little road that leads to the east side of the cove where you don’t have to pay for parking.
At most beaches, the beach hawkers tend to be a bit hard to take, as they asked over and over again if you want to buy a sarong. You will say no. They will come back and ask you again in an hour.
Selong Belanak Beach
Wasn’t the most picturesque beach but still very nice. Fishing boats on one side and 2,000rp to park. We met some very friendly local guys here who wanted to talk. They were very nice and we all took pictures.
Easy of Kuta are some really scenic coves as well. Further along is Gerupuk, the surfing-oriented town. Lots of surf board rentals, tourist restaurants and hotels.
The locals we interacted with in the areas around Kuta were very friendly. They seem interested in us tourists and will approach you and initiate a conversation. We always had our Bahasa Indonesia cheat sheet on us and people enjoyed looking at it with us and trying to communicate.