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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Scooter Kuta.... Lombok, Indonesia

I really enjoyed my time here. Maybe it was the great beaches, being back on a scooter and cruising the open roads through the hills and paddy fields dodging buffalo, goats and chickens or having a reasonable choice of decent food. In any case, there were more white people than I'd seen in a long, long time.....I must have been close to Bali. Lombok is only a 20 minute flight from Denpasar if you don't circle the skies three times like our plane did - it wan't an issue as the views of Guitung volcano above the clouds were stunning. The other plane below us doing the same loops was curious.....anyone thinking Die Hard???

Kuta Lombok is centrally located on the south coast and is more than likely the most developed town to base yourself to explore both east and west. Just about everybody rents a moto for US$4-5/day. Check them over carefully as many are death traps and arguments upon return just waiting to happen. I got mine at a small shack just past Sun Set Cafe on the left. Good tyres, brakes and it ran well. Trifekta! I believe manuals are slightly cheaper.

Most people visit Kuta to go surfing. The majority of motorbikes/scooters are kitted out to hold a few boards. The popular surf spots are between 5 and 30 minutes ride away. More advanced surfers head to Gerupuk, Mawi, Mawun and Seger beaches and catch boats out to the reef breaks. Beginners flock to Selong Blanak to learn on the gentle beach break that was also the nicest beach I had seen in a few months. The frustrating thing for me was not being able to surf due to an aggravated back. Really annoying. So Plan B was to just visit all the best beaches, chalk up a few miles on the scooter and indulge a little on the local seafood. Mission accomplished if you ask me.

Sun Set Cafe - An incredibly friendly and reasonably priced restaurant that gives back to the local community as well. Perfectly cooked fish. Icy cold beers. Fresh ginger tea. Heaven. Try the local style soup that I forget the name of. Delish.

Warung Turtle - Nasi Campur was ok. A little more pricey than I expected given it was a basic shack on the beach but they do serve you your food and beers at the sun lounges and cabanas right on the sand if you want.

The Spot - One of the more fancier places in town. Meals were good, of a decent size, but a little pricier than other places. Worth a try but equivalent quality can be found for less rupes.

Ashtari (9-6pm only) - Moroccan themed vego restaurant. Tasty but exceptionally expensive salad for the size. For a mediteranean salad it lacked mediteranean ingredients. The dressing was the saviour. Great views of Kuta from the balcony. Menu was a little boring and was scarce on Moroccan options.

There is another very popular vegetarian restaurant in town that is always full of an evening. It rates very highly on Trip Advisor. I gave them a go twice. Each time it was ok but I was left unfulfilled by the hype.

Main beach at Kuta Lombok

West of Kuta Lombok

Kuta Lombok from the hill nearby

Seger Beach.....barely another soul in sight

Warung Turtle, Pantain Tanjung Aan

Selong Blanak

Great location to learn to surf

The coconut shack at Selong Blanak

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