Thursday 13th September 2018
As we secure the last few lockers, finish a raft of maintenance and cook enough meals for a week at sea, around us the marina has emptied of Oyster rally boats and then refilled with boats from the World ARC.
Raya and 20 World ARC yachts.
Making the best use we could of the few quiet days between the rallies, we managed to refuel, get the laundry completed and take a trip into town to provision. Town is the capital of Lombok, Mataran, which is 20miles and an hour and a half drive away.
This was not a prospect we relished with memories of the hot bumpy rides we have had so far in Indonesia. Saturdays journey started with a short boat ride over to the mainland and here we immediately realised Lombok was a bit different from the other islands. The ever present scooter drivers were actually wearing helmets, our driver put on his seat belt and the road was smooth, newly laid tarmac. The views from the window however were chaotically similar. The first third of the journey we wound around the turquoise coast dotted with a few small resorts and passed through ramshackle villages and farms.
Farm buildings for cattle and goats
We entered a more built up area, a beggar sat on a stool in the middle of the road, perilously close to the traffic, school children filled the pavements and horse and carts risked life and limb cantering between the cars and scooters. We crossed a tumble down bridge in the middle of being replaced, mosques appeared around every corner and as we entered the city rice paddy fields incongruously filled the land between buildings
Schools out, half days on Saturday
We turned into a large car park and suddenly the noise and bedlam of Mataram disappeared. The large, western style shopping centre, shiny, quiet and modern felt like it had been dropped from outer space. It took a moment to get over the culture shock and then it was straight to the supermarket to stock up for the next couple of weeks.
Water taxi delivered us and our shopping back to the marina
With all the boats on the dock there has been a friendly atmosphere, everybody helping each other out. We were recommended a restaurant over the hill. A short walk, with a steep section over rubble and mud, followed by a badly crumbling path but it was well worth the effort. Perched on a slope, draped in bougainvillea it was completely charming, the food was good and the prices reasonable. Just don’t forget your torch for the walk back!
Crumbling path to the restaurant
And so our Indonesian foray comes to and end, we have after a few days of delays our exit papers and tomorrow we will set off on the first leg across the Indian Ocean. We should reach the remote atoll of Cocos Keeling in 6-7 days time.