Around Senggigi, lombok Indonesia
After visiting the Gili Islands, Lena and I wanted to get off the beaten path and explore the island Lombok. We found ourselves in Senggigi and were looking for affordable guesthouses but most were too expensive or full. We didn’t really like the vibe of Senggigi anyway so we decided to rent a motorbike to help our search for a guesthouse.
We found a place on the main street in Senggigi, and agreed on 30,000 rupiah a day. Now with transportation, we explored further south to look for a guesthouse. We eventually found a guesthouse on the beach called Pondok Siti Hawa, owned by an expat New Zealander named Hussein and his local wife. This would become our homebase while we explored the island and Hussein turned out to be crucial in providing information to help our travels through Lombok.
A row of bungalows just off the beach and only 10 minutes south of Senggigi, this was just what we were looking for. Pondok Siti Hawa is the type of place that gives you a jar of tea, a jar of instant coffee, a jar a sugar and a large thermos of hot water. I was happily drinking tea all day. Breakfast was sweat pineapple chunks and fluffy banana pancakes.
Before we began our motorbike trip we spent a few days at Siti Hawa swimming, reading and checking out Mataram and Senggigi. We found a hole in the wall lunch place in Mataram that was cheap.
Time to head to senaru
We ditched anything unneeded and put them in a backpack for Hussein to hold for us until we got back. I drove and Lena sat behind me, with our one backpack between us. We began by heading north from Senggigi. We took a slight detour to check out the Sira Peninsula , following a potholed road. We found a large golf course, a fancy hotel and a fishermans beach where we stopped for Nasi Campur and a coffee.
Back on the main road, we rode another three hours and began to get a little saddle-sore. Finally we arrived in Senaru. Just a little villiage, there’s not too much here except for some guesthouses. We were here just to look at the Sendang Gila waterfall. But this is also the popular starting point for the trek up Mt. Rinjani, in the Gunung Rinjani National Park.
Turns out there was a government convention of some kind in town and most the accommodation was full. We checked almost everywhere and then headed further up the hill past the waterfall gate. We found a place, looked normal enough but felt a little strange. Emy’s Guesthouse. Lots of guys hanging around. But it had a new paint job and was a two story building. Top floor cost 100,000 and bottom floor was 80,000, including breakfast. There were a lot of young men playing cards at the restaurant when we arrived. The menu looked like standard overpriced tourist fare.
The hotel turned out to be very interesting. We decided that we didn’t like it. The food wasn’t very good and the guy who wanted to be our waterfall guide told us it cost 25,000 to enter the waterfall though it was really 5,000. After dinner, one of the guys came upstairs very intoxicated and pestered us for a half hour till we hid in our room. He finally went away only to go downstairs and try to get on his motorbike. I heard a crash and saw him struggling with it. Next moment he was on the ground next to the bike. Luckily someone heard him and helped him.
In the morning we woke up to sounds of a dog howling and crying. Sounded to me like it was dying. I go out to see. Turns out a stray dog wandered into an empty room and the guys are trying to get it out. Eventually they do- by pushing it with a broom and beating it with a stick.
After the usual breakfast of a banana pancake, we headed out to walk to the waterfall. We decided that we would do it without a guide. We walked down the steps and checked out the first waterfall. I stood in the spray zone with my rain poncho and felt the power. This is the point where it is a little unclear where the trail to the main waterfall is. I asked a lady who was setting up a refreshment stand and she pointed us in the right direction. Back up the stairs and to the left, over the bridge. Then keep on past the dam and to the river. Then you walk across the river until you see the path again. And that leads you to another very nice waterfall.