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Bangsal to Senaru at the base of Gunung Rinjani volcano. Stage five  


The bars, music, and tropical fish feasts and shallow water snorkelling instantly vanished upon setting wheels on a major road from the port town of Bangsal to Senaru.

The ride was not long under way when I decided to take a detour. After an exhausting ascent through groves of coconut and banana I ventured upon a carved out section bustling with Indonesian families who seemed to be taking advantage of the half price promotion to view endangered species.

It's a genuine theme park with signature rare species giving  human onlookers a sense of a non human lived experience distinct from domesticated non humans, and a poignant awareness of habitat loss for these vulnerable animals due to pressures of human populations. The parody was a performative element of placing rare birds on shoulders for selfies.

It was early in the afternoon that I passed by, what was uncommon in the region after tourist hotspots of the Gilli group. A small enclave of thatched huts that was owner operated by an Indonesian citizen and her Californian ex pat husband. It is situated amidst a backdrop of fishing villages on one side, and agriculture on the other side. I decided to stay the night which gave a chance to explore this region with its picturesque views of coastal bays lined with fishing boats and paths through fields and groves of coconut palms.

Embarking on an early start the next morning took me to another short detour off the coast to explore the hinterland region. A vista of coconuts fields from this perspective was the inverse to the perspective from the previous days ride through the groves.

Coastal towns heading towards Senaru had significantly less infrastructure and development than West Lombok, and no signs of tourist activities. It was by around 3 pm that I had hit the hills for Senaru, and after some step ascents eventually made it to the first outpost signalling I had reached the trekking tourism hub of the region for Gunung Rinjani volcano. The area is covered in rain clouds with frequent downpours, and the relics of traditional houses. The journey is 3726m to the summit, and requires a support crew, and not usually taken in the high wet season.

Life in a theme park

My off beat accomdation that led to explore all sorts of narrow path with little shops selling tiny packets of chips for 10 cents. Eventually I got to a beach where lots of activity appeared to be happening though it was difficult to know what it was about.

A strange monument to to thongs that drifted on the beach by a tea seller somewhere on the way to Senaru. I would have liked some profound reason, but his friend who spoke a little english could only claim it was him. But why? It's him. Ok no problem. I decided to climb his tree assemblage.

Plastic bottles and signs constructed with bamboo

Detour off coast offers a view of coconut plantation

Cloud clad volcano, Rinjana from village of Senaru

Shop side depition of volcano crater rim

Grey monkey viewed from views into the valley.

Rice fields at the valley floor

Typical dwellings

Traditional Sasak heritage village

Afternoon downpour

Hi Italo, I thought I'd try and post a comment. Hopefully you get it. Enjoying the updates - sounds like you're seeing and experiencing lots. Cheers Gina
Post by: Gina
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