5/11/18: Getting The Princess Treatment In Lombok

Anne and I woke up pretty well-rested in our little bungalow (at Pondok Guru Bakti) in Senaru and went to get some breakfast around 8.

We first stopped by the reception to try to extend our stay one night, but it was fully booked for the night. We’d have to find another accommodation.

We walked around to find a restaurant, and ended up finding one with an amazing view of the rice patties around the village.

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So beautiful

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Kids playing in canal

I got some veggies with rice and tempeh, which came with an awesome chili sauce and was surprisingly good and filling.

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Ginger coffee!! Really good actually

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After we ate, we walked further down the street to find a trekking agency for Mt. Rinjani.

We first went to Green Rinjani, but it was way too expensive for our budget— they were asking for almost $250 for a 3-day trek.

We walked back toward our hostel, and stopped by a random tour agency called Mr. Din on the way.

We asked for the price of a 3-day trek, and the guy sitting there (with 5 of his friends) asked us to wait for his boss to come. He made a phone call, and we waited about 5 minutes before a guy on a motorcycle pulled in.

He gave us the lowdown on the trekking— we could do budget, standard, deluxe, or VIP.

With the budget option, they wouldn’t give us gloves, a hat, a jacket, and the drinks were more limited.

With standard, we could get all the warm clothes, better drinks, and a chair to sit on while we eat (lol).

The budget one would be 1.3 million (about $100), while the standard option would be 1.5 million (about $110).

The guy seemed really genuine and trustworthy, so we told him we’d think about it on our way home and tell him in the next hour if we want to book.

He told us his office was near our guesthouse— the place we were at now was just his partner’s place.

As we were walking back, he pulled up on his motorbike and told us he would take us up to his office if we wanted.

I got on first, and we drove a few minutes up the road to Abul Trekking.

He showed me the room, which was next to the office, that we would be staying in tonight— it was pretty basic but clean.

I sat down at the office while he went to pick up Anne.

Once we were all gathered together, he did a thorough overview of the three days, pointing to a map and showing us exactly where we would be going, how much walking we would be doing per day, what we would be eating, etc.

After that, we both felt pretty good about the whole situation and went ahead and booked the trek.

He told us that another girl was paying way more than us, and to tell her that we paid the same amount as her if she asked us how much we paid.

I thought it was pretty funny that he wanted us to lie about it, but it’s also understandable. He doesn’t want her getting upset that we paid less. It’s like an, “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” kind of thing.

We told him we didn’t want to walk up the hill with our big backpacks from our old guesthouse to his guesthouse, and he told us he would get two guys to take us on their motorbikes. So nice!

Anne and I got on the backs of two guys’ (I guess the trekking guy’s friends) motorbikes and rode to our guesthouse. We packed up quickly and then got back on the motorbikes.

We dropped off our stuff in our new rooms and headed off to the waterfalls. Senaru also happens to be the same town where the best waterfalls in Lombok– called Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep— are, so we wanted to check them out.

As we were walking, we kept getting approached by guys telling us we needed a local guide to the second waterfall.

Whenever people say you need a local guide, you usually don’t, so we were skeptical.

We walked to the entrance, paid 10,000 IDR, and walked to the first waterfall.

On the way, we saw a few monkeys and even a small snake.

We were suddenly a bit scared to go to the second waterfall, Tiu Kelep, on our own— maybe we did need a guide.

The first waterfall took about 10 minutes to get to; it was just a short walk down some stairs.

There were WAY more people there than we expected. I hadn’t seen a single other tourist since I got here, so I had just assumed there weren’t many.

However, there were at least 20 people at the waterfall.

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Crazy people under the waterfall 

As we were standing around looking at it, a guy asked us if we wanted to tag along with the group he was guiding. He was taking a German couple to the next waterfall. I asked him how much it would cost, and he said he would take us for free. Oh!

We agreed to follow them, and a few minutes later we started walking to the next waterfall.

The couple turned out to not be completely German— the guy is Brazilian, the girl is German. They’re both doctors and living in Germany.

The walk involved going up and down some steps and through the river. There were a bunch of little kids waiting for us in the river. They took our hands and helped us get through the slippery rocks and on to the other side.

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So.many.people.

This happened every single time we had to cross the river, which was at least 3 times. I couldn’t tell if they were doing it for money or just because they are nice.

We got to the waterfall, which was MASSIVE. We got into our bathing suits and headed to the main bit, but the water was way too cold to swim. Instead, we took pictures. :)

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At one point, I was taking pictures of Anne and wanted to move onto a rock next to me so that I could block out the head of someone in the water.

However, the rock was slippery and my feet slid right off… and down I went.. and down… and down. I fell down about three layers of rocks.

It was a bit scary, but to be honest I was more worried about my phone dying than me dying. Sad? Yes.

But I got up unscathed, phone unscathed, just a bit embarrassed. I fall WAY too often.

We headed back, but this time was a bit different.

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My shoulder blades are frightening

We crossed the water the same way and went up the same stairs, but then we got to the entrance of a canal/drain tunnel. Our guide told us we could walk through it as a “shortcut.”

It looked dark and a bit scary, but we agreed to follow him. For the experience!

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Skeptically entering

We walked into the tunnel, which was dark and cold. There were spiderwebs everywhere, and the Brazilian guy was SO afraid of them, it was hilarious. The spiders were just minding their own business, spinning their webs, but he FREAKED the eff out every time we walked by them.

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We eventually got out 10 minutes later, slightly confused about what we had just done. Like, did we really just walk through a tunnel like a bunch of escaped prisoners? I really felt like Tim Robbins for a sec.

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Survivors

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We parted ways with the German/Brazilian couple and walked out of the park.

We walked into a restaurant on the main road called Warung Senaru for lunch, and I got stir fried veggies with rice and iced tea.

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We weren’t sure what to do with the rest of our day since the main (and pretty much only) attraction of the town is the waterfalls.

We decided to find a pool to chill at, and we found out there was an infinity pool at a nearby hotel, Rinjani Lodge.

We went back to our hotel to grab some stuff for the pool, and asked Abul if he knew if we could go to the pool. He told us we just needed to buy a drink and we could spend the day there. Perfect!

We walked about 5 minutes to the hotel, ordered smoothies, and found some sun beds to lay on. We of course also took pictures of each other by the pool. No one was using it, so it was pretty amazing.

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This guy was doing weird tai chi-esque moves on the edge

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When we got back to our sun beds, our smoothies were casually placed on top of them. We are being treated like princesses here!! I love Lombok.

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Bliss

After a few hours of swimming and tanning, I decided to head back to the hotel around 3 because I wanted to work on the blog and podcast before I was off the grid for 3 days.

Anne came back around 5 and showered. Once we were both ready to go out, we walked around to find a place to eat. Everywhere seemed completely empty– it was a bit spooky. We finally found somewhere with at least one another customer in it, near the entrance to the waterfalls at a restaurant (I can’t find the name of it anywhere).

When we went to pay the bill, we needed 40,000 IDR back but the woman working told us that they only had 30,000 in cash. She instead gave us the option to buy something worth 10,000 at the adjacent shop. We bought some sweet potato chips, but I mean… food is not payment. I really don’t understand how this is an acceptable practice– this is the second time this has happened to me in southeast Asia.

We went back to the hostel and got ready for bed. We had an early wake up the next morning to start our big trek to Mt Rinjani.


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