We left the peaceful island life of Gili Air to head down to the southern side of Lombok and the town of Kuta (Lombok). Kuta Lombok is a smaller coastal town, which is currently full of Europeans aspiring to learn how to surf.
We rented a scooter and joined in with the rest of the surf-seeking Europeans and headed out to the small village of Gerupuk, where you can take a boat out to a nice and slow surfing wave at an outer break. The coast here is nice and the inland areas are very arid with many of the smaller villages in the surrounding areas growing tobacco. Other areas had huge piles of watermelons next to the fields they had been harvested from.
We saw many colorful and finely decorated mosques as we drove from the northern part of Lombok down to the south. Lombok is busy building an international airport and is eager to skim some more of the tourism money that the Hindu island of Bali has enjoyed. While we were in Lombok, we learned of a bombing of two luxury hotels in Jakarta. We aren’t in Jakarta and don’t stay at luxury resorts and all the local people we met here are not happy about the bombing, as they are trying to benefit from tourism and this is not the image they want their country to have. Indonesia just recently had a smooth, clean and peaceful election in which they reelected their former president Susilo Bamban Yudhoyono (SBY). We were here for the election, and it was very civil and exciting experience for the Indonesians we met here, so this event has has been a bit of a downer for them and they all know it will impact tourism for a while (which is a big part of the economy here).
We spent a few days in Kuta Lombok to go surfing and then we headed back to Bali.