On our first morning in Kuta I dragged myself out of bed early to sieze the day for the first time since I don’t know when. I have definitely been taking advantage of the option of sleeping in lately, I feel like a Uni student again where I have the option of when and whether or not I should get out of bed or not. Oh how I’ve missed those days!
However, the day didn’t start off too well. As Steven and I pulled out of the driveway of our homestay on scooters, seconds later I found myself and the scooter on the floor. After a few seconds of laying there as my brain tried to work out what had just happened, I looked up to Steven looking back at me from a few yards away with a puzzled ‘what is she doing now?’ face and the sound of the homestay owner laughing whilst picking up my bike.
“What are you doing Anne? Did you break with your right hand?” Shouted Steven over… arrogantly. It seems I might have missed that bit of advice in all my scooter lessons… Oh yea, I haven’t had any!!! At this point I had the option of jumping on the back of Steven’s bike or jumping back on. I got back on my own bike.
We had planned to conquer four beaches that day all on the south of Lombok. The first destination was the furthest one away, Selong Belanak beach. The ride over
was beautiful, it one of those journeys where I wish I had a camera strapped to my head, but even then I doubt it could capture the views, the fresh air, the early morning sun, I was in awe of everything I was seeing. The roads were narrow and all around us were green hills, rural villages, cows, dogs and goats in and at the sides of the road (hoping none of them would run out). When looking around strangely it felt like an exotic version of the Welsh countryside. I was glad to be able to enjoy the views at my own pace – a steady 20-30mph. Life is good, it felt very free!
Selong Belanak beach was completed deserted, maybe it was the early time of day. The only other people there at this were a few kids who had raced me down the path. What I initially loved about this beach was that there was no coral!!!! Yay! One of the things that really bothered me about Gili T was that you couldn’t walk or run into the sea. You had to hobble carefully so you didn’t cut your feet on coral and rocks washed up on shore. But here in Kuta the beaches were just grains of sand. I’m clearly becoming a bit of a beach snob.
Beach two, Mawun Beach was the one we decided to spend some time on…probably because we had to pay 10,000 (50p) each to park. But the sun was out, we hadn’t really seen it during our week on Gili. The shape of the beach was a little cul-de-sak and the waves were really intense but not enough to surf on. And the hills around us…well it looked like we were in TellyTubby land (first description to come to mind, not an intelligent one)!
A few hours on the beach, reading, swimming, people watching in the sunshine was just what we needed. As the day got on more and more people arrived and by midday it was a very busy beach of Indonesians. What struck us as weird was that all the children playing in the water were doing so full clothes, many in jeans and the girls in their burka’s. It was nice to be amongst the locals on a Sunday. Once again everyone was friendly waving hello at us throughout the day. Personally it was nice to see kids playing in the sea and genuinely having the best time jumping the waves, playing with their friends, running about. Kids being kids in the great outdoors… not on tablets and smartphones! 🙂
After a few hours here we headed off to beach number 3. At this point we noticed Stevens ridiculous sunburn. As he was only wearing factor 30 and it was ridiculously scorching hot. It’s his unlucky day as earlier during Stevens early afternoon ride, he too had an accident on his bike dodging a “six foot long lizard” and falling between the road and bushes. I am pleased to report that Steven and the Lizard survived and are doing well.
Beach number 3 was Warung Beach, the main beach in Kuta. We’d passed this the day before but avoided it due to the rain. This beach was the most popular for tourists and had a strip shops and homestays across the road. On the beach, right in the centre was a giant rock collation and locals fishing.
The last beach of the day was Tanjung Ann. This was Stevens favourite one of the four. The beach again was busy with locals, many stunned and happy to see us. But the beach was huge so you could walk down further to get your own quiet space. The sand was almost white and so soft and the sea a lot calmer then any of the others we’d seen. The perfect spot to relax. The kids playing here were so cute and so eager to interact with us – they followed Steven and I about and any time the camera came out they all came running out of the sea for photos. It was my favourite part of the day.
At this point we agreed that we wanted another day in Kuta, we really liked it here and Steven was eager to go surfing for a day.
We ended the afternoon the same as I do most days, at a little café called Drop In. It was extremely overpriced for the area but so pictureque with the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. Highly recommend if you’re ever in the neighbourhood.
The second day wasn’t as great as the first… I pattern I’m noticing is that whenever I extend my stay I lose a bit of love for the place. This was one of those days and poor Steven had to deal with my rotten mood as the day progressed.
Today I managed to pull out of the driveway fine, I was actually feeling more confident on the bike (Winston) now. But as we pulled up to a beach, there was a herd of cows up ahead that I became cautious of. And one of those cows decided that it was his time to go, and decided to commit suicide. As he came out into the road towards me I came off my bike, again. Damn cow!! I was fine… a bit annoyed and on this occasion I was a bit cut up with a few flesh wounds, but Steven had bandages. Why he had so much first aid stuff with him I don’t know but I was thankful.
Sadly Steven found no beaches to surf on. If you want to surf in Kuta you need to pay a boat to take you further out to sea and extra to rent a board. Another negative to the day was the amount of kids selling bracelets… yesterday there were none. It’s just something that bugs me about places because it’s sad that these kids aren’t at school, instead they’re out selling to tourists.
I have nothing more to tell you about this day… sadly I couldn’t enjoy much of the beaches because my wounds stung waaay too much to get in the sea. But we’ve booked our Ferry for tomorrow. We are heading to Ubud in Bali to reunite with the lovely Gill who we met on Gili. First thing I’m doing… treating myself to a massage, my first South East Asian massage of the trip.