Staying at the Puri Rinjani Bungalows right across from the beach, we soon fell back into the swing of Indonesian life, lay back and casual. The dining area looked our across the ocean with the surf rolling in the distance, crashing on the reefs. To hear the welcomes of "selamat pagi" and the genuine smiles on the faces of the locals was like a breath of fresh air. We spent the days lazing around the pool, venturing into the village when we got hungry and deciding which of the various restaurants to try for a meal. Lots of good local seafood and lovely cold Bintang!!
Many hours spent lasting around the pool at the Puri Rinjani Bungalows
Kuta is renowned for its nearby surfing beaches, so we hired scooters for a couple of the days and made our way slowly along the badly rutted roads to find some spectacular beaches. Some had the whitest of sand and the bluest of waters, crystal clear and a lovely temperature for swimming. Not huge surf but great for the beginner surfer to learn. A couple of the beaches charged us $1 to enter, then the restaurant would ask $10 to use the sun lounges and umbrellas for the day. We found if we bypassed these and moved a little further along, the charges disappeared altogether and we were far happier to spend our money for beer and food in these 'less greedy' spots. Of course, you still have to put up with the various cries of "you like sarong?" or the children with boards of hand made bracelets pleading with their big brown eyes to buy a piece - so hard to resist.
Filling up at the local BP servo. Idyllic Indonesian beach
One such young boy on approaching us with his board asked us where we came from. On telling him England, he responded with "capital is London". What followed was 10 minutes of us naming about 12 countries and he responded correctly every time. We are so impressed that we bought a bracelet then paid him double for being so good with his Geography. He wandered off with the biggest smile you have ever seen. Maybe this was his practiced routine for getting money out of tourists and it was all a well rehearsed routine - who knows.
Easy to reach swing at high tide - low tide was another matter
The week in Lombok was relaxing and we enjoyed both the beaches and the pool at our bungalows. It was grand finals week back in Oz, and knowing that Queensland was well represented in the NRL finals, we found ourselves a bar just down the road an sat back to watch the Broncos v Roosters semi. With the majority of spectators at the bar rooting for the Broncos, it was a successful and satisfying evening.
Another beautiful Indonesian beach, just a few locals fishing for dinner
Time to pack up and head back on a late evening flight to KL for 2 nights before starting our holiday in Vietnam. We opted to try the Tune Hotel at KLIA 2 airport as we were having such a short stop there, and the hotel was a pleasant surprise. Only a 5 min walk from the airport, quick check in and up to the room. Not huge, but very clean and modern and a 7/11 in the foyer - it had all we needed. The airport itself has a huge number of eatery options for dining and there is a free shuttle bus hourly to the nearby Mitsui Outlet Park where you can while away a few hours wandering around. Not a bad play to stay at all.