Sunday, August 16, 2009

Off to Lombok and really, really good waves

So anyways, I had to split because at that moment I was going to sit or heave. Pick one. I shot back to the room, took an immodium and a tradol, laid down and pulled a little shao-lin don't puke focusing. Don't move a muscle cause the medicine will come up and we'll be at square one again. I woke up a few minutes ago and was able to walk here without any stomach drama. I hope it was just the greasy chicken carbonara I ate last night topped off with a chocolate and a vanilla shake. I'm crossing my fingers. So last we spoke I was just getting my debit card sorted out. I had purchased my earplugs and the guys at the hotel gave me a ocean and earth boardbag that fits the 6'2" I bought used. I had to get a new plastic zipper put on but that $5 saved me $40 off of a new one. I picked up a new long sleeve rash guard off of Poppies also. I saw something cool at the Hurley store, where I stopped to look for the earplugs. Little Scott Stopnik was posted up on the wall in an art exhibit they put together on the second floor. I took a photo for ya. I told one of the girls who works there I knew him and she gave me a kiss. HA! Nice to see someone I know here even if it is just a photo. Carito had called the hotel the night before and told one of the three guys at reception that she would be arriving the next night so I waited for her to see if she wanted to shoot out to Lombok by rickety auto ferry and on to Kuta Lombok by mini-bus. She showed up and was all for it. As long as she was back by the 17th to split Bali to meet her guy somewhere, she was on board. We hit Legian street, which is the other main drag that cuts across Poppies II to make a reservation for the ferry and for pickup the next morning at 6:30 a.m. Got the pickup with no snags. We were driven in a cramped 8 person rickety minivan to the nearest port and waited on the street with a crowd of about 600 people for the ferry to start boarding. I didn't sleep very well the night before so I wanted to try to get a sleeping berth from one of the ferry crew. I had heard a rumour that I could ask anyone in a uniform for a berth and they would rent their own bunk out to you for a small fee. There was a big crowd forming on the dock as the ferry dropped it's roll-on auto ramp. Carito is a charger so she jumped into the middle of it waving our tickets and as they decided who was going to board this grossly overloaded ferry, she cajoled her way past the crowd and freaked the gate guy out with her broken columbian/english. She got thru and somehow I shimmied past all these yelling people and made it thru the gate, up the haggard looking auto ramp and up into the gaping maw where they park the cars. I felt like I wasn't doing my part so I hit up the guy for the berth and he led us up to the wheelhouse deck and into a 4 berth cabin. 100,000 rupiah was his first offer. Carito stepped up, being the brutal negotiator that she is and got it knocked down to 50,000 rupiah, or $5. We each had a bunk to ourselves plus two to spare so of course, she bolted out to try and sublet the other two. She dragged two super hot French girls in to look at the cabin but they balked so I calmed her down and told her to look at the bright side. At least if the ferry rolls over, it will be a quick death for us. Everyone else was piled upon each other in the aisleways and on anything they could stretch out on. It was wild. They would be tossed into the sea and devoured by sharks. We always had the chance of getting Poseidon on it. I would play the part of Ernest Borgnine, of course. So we got comfortable and woke up 4 hours later sweating and half boiled alive from the humidity in the cabins. The ferry arrived in port and we were off to find our shuttle to Kuta Lombok, another 2 hour ride across the island. During the ride we got to talking to a New Zealand couple who were on vacation from their boutique winery. Rough life. Very nice people and they had the same list of hotels we had so we searched the small town of Kuta Lombok together for pair of rooms or a room to share since every place was booked solid for the next week. We finally found a place called Kens Hotel. They were willing to rent us the employee quarters. Dirty but accomodation nonetheless. There was only one and of course Carito was first to the desk and had the transaction on lock within moments at a reasonable price. The New Zealanders were assed out by the other crowd that arrived in a shuttle moments before. We offered to split the room with them and they accepted. After a moment getting settled, the hotel opened up one of their nicer rooms for them so they hopped on that and we continued on in the employee quarters. That night the New Zealanders came out to dinner with us. We found a place called Lombok Cafe, right on the beach where they offered a Baracudda steak with all the fixins for 45,000 rupiah. Needless to say I ate that all three nights we were there. It was cooked with some special indo bar-b-q sauce that I could have bottled and sold at home. A few Bintangs and we hit the hay, ready to go exploring by motorbike the next day. The morning found Carito dashing across the street to see if there was any accomodation available at a little homestay/cottage we had been turned away from. Of course, she weaseled us in and we had a very nice room with hot shower and flushing toilet for 22,000 per night with bannana pancake breakfast included. We moved our stuff, rented a motorbike and we were off thru the Lombok hills towards a beach called Mawun. It turned out to be a picture perfect bay with a right and a left on each side of the opening. Not working that day but we were told by some Germans we met who were off surfing around that the next beach, Maui, was hitting and was good. It was getting late so we decided to head back to town and to hit Maui in the morning. We did that and oh shit. Look at the video. I wish I would have had everyone there with me. It was a solid swell so only the left was working but I saw during the smaller sets that on a smaller swell, there was a head high peak that rolled in with a perfect right and left bowler peeling right into the bay. The rights on the other side of the opening to the bay weren't working due to the tide but they were large and breaking a bit like San Ono on a really, really big day. Spent most of the day there and then back down the road towards town. It's a 40 minute ride from Kuta Lombok to Maui beach. The road is half paved, half dirt rutted from ox carts and totally dangerous. I didn't take this road at night but I guarantee someone has died taking one of the hills too fast. There are ruts, water buffalo, chickens, rabid dogs, monkeys, giant rocks, giant holes, and super steep inclines and declines. Add an incredible view everywhere you look and it's almost impossible to keep your eyes peeled for either one of those animals bolting out of the bushes to take you out or riding into a hole large enough to stop you dead in your tracks. Another think I noticed is these Indonesians live way way way below any poverty line we might draw. When we stopped the motorbike for a photo, little kids would come out and ask for water, not money. Every little village we passed thru, groups of kids would gather and wave as we rolled in and out. Everyone smiling and wanting to share the english words they know. Certainly the nicest and friendliest country I have ever been to. We made it back to the hotel just before nightfall and ran over to the restaurant where they have the incredible barracuda dinner. We caught a beautiful sunset, drank our share of Bintangs and took a cruise down the coast for an hour or so towards the largest hotel in town, Novatel Resort. This place is really well designed. Almost like a Gaudi sculpture. Full of spires and high peaked thatch buildings, temples around all of the bungalows..very nicely done. On the road I would get behind a slow moving truck or bike and kill our lights so other than the lights ahead of us, it was pitch black aside from the stars above. More stars here than on a good night in the desert. Breathtaking sky and you could hear the surf pounding on the shore. After an hour of cruising around on the motorbike, we headed back to the hotel. I had purchased the dvd's Ulu 32 and Bruno from Kuta Bali and Carito wanted to see Bruno but we didn't have a dvd or tv in our room. There was one in the hang out area at the hotel reception. We took the video up front and it was packed with all of the backpackers and tourists. There was a long table that seated about 15 people that everyone was sitting at with the dvd setup on a bookcase right at the head of the table. I asked everyone if they minded that I put on a movie and nobody seemed to care. There were about 4 french and spanish girls, 5 german guys, 4 french guys and the whole family who owned the hotel sitting around. I went up and fiddled with the wires, got the dvd in the player and hit play. I took a seat right up front and Carito sat beside and behind me a bit. I hit the volume to drown out the guy playing guitar and oh shit. I haven't been so freaking uncomfortable in a very, very long time. The movie is one step away from a gay porno. At one point it was full frontal dong for about 10 seconds on the screen and I could only guess what the French and Spanish girls were saying as they rushed out irate and swearing in their native languages. These people weren't expecting this. It was so funny, I died laughing when we made it back to the room after it was over. On a side note, the germans loved it. I'm not surprised. That was our last night and we were picked up at 9:30am by the shuttle to take us to the ferry and the ride back to Kuta Bali. We got a lot of icy stares when we were paying our bill. I ended up giving the dvd to the germans. HA! Figures.


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