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Senggigi to Bangsal. Stage four  

Arrival on the large island of Lombok has a distinctive rhythm. The mule drawn cart, food vendors, religious style, and music. The first section of the ride featured road side stalls which gradually gave way to a plethora of larger stores, with more complex architectural designs upon entered Lombok’s capital of Mataram. The central district even had familiar fast food outlets, fashion, and a host of cosmopolitan pursuites that contrasted with its rural periphery.

 

As the ride from the central precinct drew to a close there appeared again a pastoral sense of place. Though this rural scene gave way abrubtly to a tropical wall of rainforest that pressed on each side of the road. Cylcling towards the Pusuk Pass with a load of about forty kilograms had to be walked in some parts, though there was a pleasant distraction with many a road side refreshment vendor. The decent into Bansal Harbour was exhilirating after a light afternoon downpour.  Cycling through a sented haze of equatorial happenings, such as watching monkies feed on fallen forest fruits along the road side made the up hill slog worth while. It was late afternoon when I arrived in the busling port town of Bangsal. The guest house in this town was run and owned by a Dutch ex pat who was very forthcoming with his knowledge of the region.

The following morning the bike and gear was hauled on a long boat for Gili Air that is one of the three tiny coral islands just off the coast. This island has its own hype. Its very tourist oriented, though has a genuine timeless charm. The excellent fresh fish cuisine, the themed cafes, handy crafts, dive operators, therapies, and an array of hedonistic distractions seem all to be at the periphery of a core activity. The simple pleasure of off shore snorkelling that gives a counterpoint to the usual terrestrial modes of perception.

First stop at the Senggigi

Modes of communication.

Exotic tropical fruits

Set near the recently constructed four lane highway that runs through Lombok.

Central Mataram

Begin the ascent to the Pusuk pass

 

Refreshment stalls

At the pass

Edge of Bangsal

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Bangsal taxi rank

Bangsal street art

Themed cafe at Gili Air

Long boat

A typical cafe by the beach

A not so typical cafe by the beach

   
     
     
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