From Gili Air our next stop was Lombok island and with the advice from The Lonely Planet, Sengigi originally sounded like our best bet. However after a discussion with the locals at the bus station our itinerary had quickly changed as we were advised to ditch Sengigi and head to Kuta for a nicer beach scene instead. This was one of the best travel decisions we have ever made. I find it hard to put into words just how amazing Kuta Lombok really is. Here we formed some amazing friendships and extended our original four day stay to two weeks. For the first time on my travels I really felt like I could live here as all my worries in the world no longer existed. We truly left our hearts in Kuta Lombok and haven’t stop talking about it since.
Being a small coastal town in the south of Lombok, the scenery is to die for with spectacular beaches surrounded by cliffs and mountains to create awe-inspiring views and landscapes. With a great swell and surfer friendly vibe, Kuta has some of the best surf in the world with its pristine white sand beaches and transparent blue-green water. In comparison to Bali’s ‘boho man-bun’ Aussie surfer types, Kuta Lombok holds some amazing local surf talent with frequent competitions. Upon arrival we were immediately adopted by the local surf boys and taken under their wing- without them I feel like our impression would have been totally different as they gave us the true Kuta Lombok experience day and night. It began on arrival when we were dropped off by the bus – with no where to stay some of the locals offered to show us various guesthouses in town on their moped. Being cynical we asked if it would cost us but they immediately insisted it was just a friendly arrival gesture to help us on our way. How nice is that? Indonesians are seriously the nicest people I have ever met and they really know how to have a laugh. After looking for some guesthouses, our soon to be friends, Eddy and Cody, drove us to ‘Full Moon Guesthouse’ off the main strip over looking the ocean. The rooms were basic and slightly on the smelly side but the restaurant was great, wifi fantastic and we paid £30 for 10 nights each. It soon became our home away from home.
Cody was one of the first surfers we met as he later came to visit us at our guesthouse to arrange a surf lesson. The following day we were picked up in the car with his brother Martin and driven to Selong beach- a beginners beach break 45 minuets away to the west of Kuta Lombok. We were all slightly nervous about our surfing abilities but we all surprised ourselves as we managed to stand up and score some waves, India being the Alena Blanchard of the group. Cody and Martin made us feel immediately comfortable and we were constantly laughing and singing as we bobbed in the sea. The main form of transport in Kuta is moped so they also immediately pressed the importance of renting a bike to see the sights. With all of us unable to drive, we were slightly anxious about this but they insisted they would give us a lesson and we would be good to go. This is where my love for driving a moped began as I was zipping around town with the wind in my hair and one of the girls on the back.
After our first surf lesson Martin invited us to Bobby’s surf shop for drinks where we met the rest of the crew and our future brothers. After a couple of drinks we found ourselves rather drunk and the guys had us in fits of laughter as we joked, sang songs and drank rice wine. Shipwreck bar on Kuta beach is where it all happens and we made some hilarious memories here. If you are there during full moon there’s usually a happy live band. However that night Martha did end up having to rescue a dead cat – Dana ran over a cat with his moped and Martha being drunk and unaware of what had happened thought she could nurse it back to health. Cradling the tiny cat she ran over to tell me it was sick before it’s tongue suddenly fell out of it’s mouth and it became limp in her arms. We all started to panic and quickly put it under a tree before running down the beach shouting about the dead cat. Dana and the boys then gave it a burial service to ensure good karma and in mid party the boys wrapped the cat in Dana’s shirt with some money and started to dig a small grave on the beach. We were told a few weeks prior a truck of people ran over an animal and 5 minuets later the 20 people or so died in a horrific accident.
After making friends with the surf gang, we were often picked up and zipped around town on the back of their bikes. Sunset at Seger reef became a daily ritual- the closest break to Kuta Village with a small hill to climb for over lookers to watch the surf talent and surroundings. We would sit on the hill, spectate at the amazing view and sing along to one of the boys playing the guitar. Have I died and gone to heaven or am I dreaming? The reef has some heavy surf conditions and the boys have plenty of battle scars to prove it – a friend of ours from Germany managed to surf Seger but later impaled her thigh with the fin of her board on the way out. The fat and tissue in her thigh was hanging out of a gaping hole in her leg. We were all totally freaking out but the adrenaline made sure she was totally cool as a cucumber, sending us into a further panic! She had to have several stitches and later caught an infection, but she’s given me the thumbs up that all is getting better – you go girl!
After a few nights of dancing the night away, our friends Habieb, Aris, Martin and Jerren picked us up in a car they had rented and took us back to Selong for a beach day. We all split the price for the car and spent the day lounging around, splashing in the ocean, watching the surf and eating Nasi Goreng (Indonesian noodle dish). A week later we had our second road trip for sunrise at pink beach. We woke up at 3.30am and waited on the deserted road for an hour in the dark surrounded by dozens of rabid dogs. Eventually Aris turned up at 5am half asleep as his alarm never went off…yeah yeah! It took us 2 hours to get to pink beach, blaring out music and car-dancing the entire way. The beach has it’s pink sand after ocean bombing during the war – much of the pink coral was blasted to bits and later washed to shore to create the pink stretch of sand that you can see today. After a couple hours on the beach we grew hungry and headed towards the town for some local food and a visit to a set of waterfalls. We bathed in the amazing cascades of water and those who were brave enough jumped from the top of the fall – Martha got a rather big bottom slap.
Our last night in Kuta was marked by Martha’s 19th Birthday and I think it’s safe to say she had the best birthday ever! After a morning of presents and birthday cuddles we drove to Turtle beach and had a couple of afternoon Bintang’s over looking the ocean. We basked in the sun, swam in crystalline sea and reflected on what a great two weeks we had before the party that night. After our last sunset at Seger we headed back to get ready for Shipwreck where we would meet everyone. The live band sang Martha a big happy birthday and we drank plenty of rice wine – a slight bad idea as it’s rather evil…but fun! After a great final bang to leave Kuta Lombok we had to say a sad goodbye to our friends. They joked they would steal our passports and we promised them we would have to return. Do we really have to leave?
The next morning we awoke at 7am for our prepaid taxi to not arrive. In a panic we hopped on the bikes and drove to Cody’s surf shop to bang on the door for an explanation as to why his arranged car had never arrived. There was no answer and we eventually found someone to take us for additional money but we forgive you Cody. India and myself cried the entire journey to the ferry port because we were so hungover, sick and sad to leave. After a panic over missing our boat, we had to wait at the ferry port for 8 hours before getting the boat to Kuta for our flight to Bangkok the following morning. There was nothing good about that day and we all wanted to head back for another sunset a Seger reef.
For those who are planning a future trip to Indonesia, Kuta Lombok should be on the top of your travel itinerary. With something for everyone it would be so easy to never leave – I met an english girl a year older than me who went in her gap year, instantly fell in love and is still there over a year later. Now that’s the life.
Saya suka Lombok Kuta – I Love Kuta Lombok!