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kuta lombok region. Stage seven  

 

Arriving in Kuta early evening in light rain, looking for accommodation had that nostalgia, with its trendy backpacker hostels, those drab regal functional lodgings that resonate a colonial charm, stalls dotted along the main drag in a hodgepodge fashion, and the throng of people darting from dim alleyways, all occurring amidst the ominous voices blaring from loud speakers.

It was after trudging from one backpacker lodge to the next that I eventually came across a colonial style building with none of the surf beach style flare. However the manager was friendly, with a ‘no worries, pay tomorrow’ style, after some polite conversation, it came to rooms, which was the top floor for myself. ‘Great I’ll take it’.

Next day was spent cycling to the headlands and around Kuta. A plethora of surf shops, motor bike rentals, bars, and clothing stores. It all pulsates with an exuberance of a vibrant surfing lifestyle that manifested last millennia in high modernity, continuing as a surfer utopia of surf, surf. It’s a unique solipsism.

However close to stealing the show are they who arrive on buses, descending briefly, maybe only to capture their image in front of the large Lombok Kuta sign painted in bright red. They present in a formal tone, with the aura of corporate culture has come to Kuta Lombok. Is it they who dream the dream of dreamers?

Then there are the local sellers of wrist bands and sarongs who with grace and humility present their varied selection, usually as the unsuspecting tourist is gorging their meal. The reactions I observed showed tourists do consider social justice, and the humanitarian as part of destination tourism.

 

Cycling through the Kuta precinct offers plenty of visual novelties including fine street cultural works of art, and perspectives from various angles of the beach, as well as the cultural malaise. This is when its all compressed instantaneously into a small area of intense transitory social and commercial activity.

 

After spending the second night in Kuta, I hit the road for the most difficult stint of my Lombok cycling odyssey. In order to complete the circumnavigation of Lombok, the coastal route was to be taken through rugged mountain ranges that weaved along the tourist beaches of West of Kuta, including the beaches of Mawan and Selong Blanak. The most difficult stretch would begin by crossing a series of more remote villages in the hills, and along a sparsely populated coastal strip. The destination being Lembar harbour with its huge ferries that tower the string of ramshackle tin roofs and bamboo walkways, all to be demolished if the development of a new harbour precinct goes ahead as advertised on large billboards. This is where my bicycle tour began and closes for the Lombok chapter.

top floor for myself

typical scene in Kuta with board on bike

Surfer scene

street art

Contemplating a dirty hippy mushroom pizza

cafe art

street art

surfer culture

Some place to stay above Kuta

View of Kuta from above

Fringe of Kuta presinct

Kuta beach

Surfs' out there

   
     
     
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