I woke up at 5:40 am to the sounds of the porters chatting. I got about 10 hours of sleep, and I felt really good.
I opened up our tent to see the sunrise. I could only see a bit of it since our angle was a bit off, and the sun was hidden behind the mountain in front of us.
I was super sore: in my thighs, hips, and chest. I haven’t been sore in a while, so it felt kind of good.
We got breakfast, which was the same as yesterday: honey sandwiches and a banana pancake.
We got ready to start our descent around 6:50 am. We had to walk 7 kilometers to the bottom. The first hour or so was in the forest, and then we entered the jungle, where we stayed for the rest of the trek.
There were a lot of people running down the mountain with theirs guides. It looked fun but also a bit dangerous.
I slipped a bunch of times, but only had one bad fall where I fell on my wrist, but my backpack luckily helped break the fall and saved me from getting injured. The perks of trekking with a backpack!
We got to our lunch spot, just outside the park exit, around 10:30. It was supposed to take us 5 hours to get all the way down, but it only took us 3.5.
The guide gave each of us a can of Coke– I was so happy. I don’t even drink soda, but just having a sugary drink after so much exercise was so nice.
Our lunch was noodle soup. Anne didn’t eat most of hers so I had a lot of hers as well. I am a human garbage can!
We walked about 10 more minutes to the exit, took some pictures together, and then walked 30 more minutes to our truck.
This trek was definitely one of the highlights, if not the highlight of my trip so far. I haven’t pushed my body and mind as much as this since the marathon. It was all just amazing– the challenge, the views, the sunsets and sunrises, the camping, the company.
We got on the truck and thought the ride would be long because the one on the way to the mountain was, but in just five minutes we were back at our guesthouse in Senaru.
We immediately washed our hands and feet at the guest house since they were covered in dirt. A car service to our next destination was included in the tour price, so we told the driver where to needed to go and got in the car. Anne and I wanted to go to Kuta, all the way in the south of Lombok, which was a bit too far for the driver. We told him he could just drop us off at Stephanie’s hotel since Kuta was only a 20 minute cab ride from there.
We picked up one other girl before leaving Senaru.
Once we were in the car, we used Stephanie’s phone to book a hostel in Kuta since she had a lot of data.
Some of the reviews on Booking.com were in Dutch, so I had Anne translate. Some others were in French, so we passed the phone to Nancy to translate. Another was in German so we passed the phone to the German girl. It was such an awesome experience, being in a car with so many mixed nationalities, everyone able to translate for us. It was honestly one of the coolest moments of my travels.
As we were driving through Lombok, I realized it reminded me more of the rest of Southeast Asia than Bali did. I think it’s because it’s way less developed than Bali, and I found comfort in that. What’s up with that? Why do I prefer to be in less developed, poorer places? Why do I feel so weird traveling to places like Bali that clearly have more money and tourism? It was strange to realize this.
We first dropped Nancy off at the harbor, then the German girl at Mataram, and then finally about 3.5 hours later we got to Steph’s hotel near the airport.
We were all starving, so we went to the hotel restaurant for a late second lunch. I got veggie-stuffed fried tofu, and they got burgers. I had never had anything like that before, so I really liked it!
We said bye to Steph and then called a cab to take us to Kuta.
We got to Sawe Homestay and were immediately greeted by a guy who knew my name from my booking. It was nice to be greeted so warmly immediately! They then brought us tea and bananas.
We took showers, rested a bit, and then left to get some drinks in town.
We weren’t quite sure where to go, so we just walked on the main road.
We walked by a place called Palate Cafe that looked busy and fun, plus they were having live music and a fire show, so we walked in.
We were greeted by a man named Harris, who immediately asked where I’m from. I told him I’m Japanese, and he told me I look Indonesian. This is becoming a running theme in my life!
Anne said it’s really different traveling with me than with Jill, who she was traveling with before, because with her they just ask to take pictures together and with me they just ask me where I’m from all the time.
We got a comfy spot on a couch, ordered drinks, and started people watching. There were a bunch of couples, some who looked more comfortable than others, so we started making up stories about them. One looked like they were on a Tinder date, one looked like they had just gotten in a fight, and one looked totally comfortable around one another. It was fun to just sit there and analyze relationships.
Harris brought over complimentary popcorn, and it was so good! I haven’t had popcorn in so long (I used to eat it everyday) and I was really happy.
Anne and I got to talking about how backpackers always say they’ve “seen it all” and tend to compare wherever they are with somewhere “better.”
I realized I was doing this with Bali– instead of taking Bali for what it is (touristy, big, busy, trendy), I was comparing it to all the other place I’ve been and enjoyed more. It’s a slippery slope, and I really don’t want to be one of those perpetually dissatisfied, snobby backpackers who believe their favorite places are the best places.
The live music at the restaurant was honestly incredible. It’s better than any other live music I’ve listened to. The band was so good that we may as well have been at a concert.
Two drinks later, we were hungry so we ordered some food. I got a tofu burger and Anne got a tuna sandwich.
My burger came with melted cheese, which I was able to scrape off pretty easily with my knife. Other than that, the burger was actually really delicious. It had a really good smoky flavor.
Once the band was done, they were standing near us so I told them how good they are. The singer asked me where I’m from (of courses). I told him I’m Japanese. He told me, “I could tell in your face.” As if he’s the first one to ever notice that I look Asian.
A few minutes later, a fire show started. At first it was just a couple guys doing the usual twirling fire batons and eating fire thing, then a girl came out and did a cute fire dance… and then it got crazy.
A guy came out with trippy image-changing batons. Then two people came out, got out a saws, put dubstep on, and then proceeded to make sparks with the saws and dance around. It was wild.
Anne and I were done with our food, and Harris came back over to ask us our plan. I told him we had just gotten back from trekking and were tired. He then grabbed my leg, slipped off my flip flop, and proceeded to massage my foot and then my calf.
Why do men feel entitled to woman’s bodies? Why do they think they can just grab their body parts? I don’t understand.
The whole thing made me so uncomfortable and mortified. I asked for the bill and we left pretty shortly after that.
It was such a surprisingly fun night, just sitting there at the restaurant and having all these great performances, but then Harris sort of ruined it. Ugh.
I talked to Adrian on the phone for a bit once we were back at the homestay, and then went to bed.