January 8, 2012

Beaching it in Kuta Lombok

Walking on the ferry to Lombok
After a night in Padang Bai, a boat town on the eastern side of the island, we boarded what the locals call the slow boat, the ferry to Lombok for the 4-5 ride between islands.

Lombok is one of the bigger islands that make up Indonesia and is located to the east of Bali. We don't have to meet my friend in Bali until later in January, so we are going to spend about 2 weeks exploring Lombok and the Gilli Islands. Unlike Bali, which is predominately Hindi, Lombok is mostly Muslim. It is also a lot less touristy, but still has some killer beaches both for surfing and snorkeling.

Our first stop is Kuta Lombok a small village with a few hotels/homestays and surf shacks. Despite the fact that the typical trash of a developing world village is everywhere on the streets, the beaches are generally clean and nice. This is the town that allowed me to experience my first cattle drive on a beach, while eating killer grilled fish (Mahi-mahi) and drinking a cold Bintang beer (the big one).

This town has the feel of a place that is a newborn in the tourist industry. The locals are starting to figure it out, but still have a feel of being open and welcoming, which is massively refreshing after Bali.

The area is pretty spread out and since I only have about a 1 km range with Jas walking or me carrying her I needed to find alternative transport to get out and see the area. Luckily walking up the beach yesterday I ran into an Australian couple with kids just around Jas' age. So we all rented a car together and set out to explore with the idea that the kids would keep each other busy. Since it was pouring rain all day, our trip was pretty much road trip, with play in the sand stop. Just so nice to talk to grownups and for Jas to have someone to play with.

A note on traveling with the Jasminator. We are doing okay, but I think the extended time together (now going on 14 days) without a break is starting to wear. And when I say without a break I mean the only time we are not together is the hour or two each evening I get when she is asleep before I join her. We even sleep in the same bed, with her touching me. It is starting to wear on me and her. I am now starting to to actively search for a babysitter I can trust enough to get a break, a day or afternoon anything. Though having a playdate and a couple days of hanging with Tess and Xavier, the Aussie kids, has done wonders for both of us.

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