Day 7: Lombok
I would love to say that I slept late, lay in bed listening to the sounds of the ocean and enjoyed a leisurely start to the day. That didn't happen. Another hot day, another hot run. I ran the other way down the main road, to mix things up a bit. No goats this morning but plenty of cows and children heading off to school. One young girl stopped me to ask my name in English. I responded, to which she started a lengthy one-way conversation in her local language. I smiled, shook my head and ran off, leaving the school girls giggling behind me.
As I was descending a gentle hill I felt a sharp twinge in my lower back. It immediately reduced me to a walk. I rested for a few minutes, hoping whatever it was would disappear as quickly as it had appeared. A short jog told me that was not the case. It was a slow, 30 minute walk back to the hotel. This was the last thing I needed the day before I started trekking up a volcano, and only a few weeks out from the marathon. Doubts and fears danced around my mind, but I tried to remain positive. The massive buffet breakfast waiting for me assisted in brightening my spirits.
Passing by street markets on my early morning run.
The Gili Islands were located off the northwest coast of Lombok, and they were calling our names. We scootered up to the ferry terminal and jumped on a boat as it was leaving. Half an hour later we were strolling on idyllic Gili Trawangan, with no cars or scooters in sight. The beach was lined with cafes and dive shops, and the paths were filled with hippies. It was definitely a tourist hub. It felt more island-like than Lombok, with a plethora of water-based activities and everything within arm's reach.
We hired snorkeling equipment and walked down to the beach, assured that there was plenty to see up and down the coast. Danny had taken two steps into the water when a small but strong wave crashed on the beach. In an instant, his snorkel had disappeared. We searched for ages but came up empty. In the end we took turns with the remaining snorkel, swimming in multiple sites but there was almost nothing worth seeing. We returned the equipment and grudgingly paid for the missing snorkel.
The popular beaches of the Gili Islands.
It was mid-afternoon before we caught the return boat to Lombok. The coastal drive back to Mangsit was stunning, reminiscent of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. At the resort we jumped straight into the pool, making sure we didn't miss out on our swim-up cocktails today. All pools should come with bars.
At night we hit Senggigi again, due to lower prices and a larger dining range. While sipping a pre-dinner drink we started chatting to an Australian man (Australians are everywhere - you can't avoid them) who spends much of his time in Lombok. He recommended a restaurant down the street, and as we hadn't come up with any plans as yet we followed his advice. At least this one didn't have live seafood sitting out the front. It was simple, family-run, and we both of us ordered Thai curry. We felt a little bad for not experiencing the local cuisine, but loved every bite of the coconutty-goodness. Perfect fueling for our big adventure tomorrow.