Google is wrong! Well, maybe not in general, but regarding the geolocation of Dalam Loka, a historic sultan’s palace.
But in order: We managed to do as we set out to and pack up early enough to get on the road before the heat is too unbearable. Nina wanted to see the weaving of traditional cloth, called ikat by the lonely planet, first hand. We have seen woman dying cloth and weaving in mountain villages on Flores, but did not stop to take photos or have a chat. Going into more and more developed parts of Indonesia, this felt like one of the last good chances to do so. But alas, the geolocation demons struck again. The directions in the lonely planet were sketchy at best, the open street maps has the village mentioned in the wrong place and it was Friday early morning in an Islamic part of the country. We did not even find the right village in the end, but the round trip on beautiful back roads through lush green rice paddies was worth it none the less.
With that first failure under our belt, we decided to give the sultan’s palace a go. Google said it is 20 km south in the mountains. It was also a point of interest on the OSM map, so we let the GPS guide the way. Turned out we ended up back in Sumbawa Besar after all – within walking distance of our hotel …
The palace was a nice photo-op but not much more, and we decided that it was time to head east for good. When we came upon the fork in the road, leading either south to some more Sumbawa surfer beaches or east to the ferry to Lombok, the discussion was a short one. Although we met amazing people, we never really warmed to Sumbawa and we went towards the ferry. We are here to enjoy ourselves after all.
The ferry was quick, painless and reasonably cheap. The sea was roughest of all ferry rides so far though and poor Rocinante got a good spray of salt water on the way. Well, at least it was quick this time.
On Lombok, the route was pretty clear: North, up the mountain where it is nice and cool. And green, oh such sweet green. I can honestly say, I am over savannahs. Too dry, too hot. And gosh, Lombok delivered. Lush, green rainforest enveloping the beautiful, winding road. Vistas, monkeys. Our spirits sored. Nina got fresh strawberries in a mountain valley! Although, we got more than a little homesick for New Zealand at this point.
The accommodation was good, much better than what we got for that price so far, and the climate really suited us. We booked a guide for tomorrow for a half day track through the surroundings and two waterfalls nearby, since Gundung Rinjani (the big volcano on Lombok) was still closed for all climbers due to its recent activity.