7th January: Back in Bayan
After the delayed arrival of a friend coming from Surabaya, I’ve finally made it back to Senaru and the office. My prolonged stay in Mataram was a tad boring, but useful at the same time. At the moment Mataram still feels more like a town than a city, but I think this will change in the next few years. New high-rise buildings seem to be springing up everywhere; new hotels, new malls, new Mosques. This may be due to do with the new (and massive) Islamic Centre that’s currently under construction, or the fact that neighbouring Bali is over-crowded. I tend to stay in Lombok Garden hotel when in Mataram. I’ve tried a fair few other (and cheaper) hotels, but for an extra 100,000 rupiah, I think it’s a hassle free and comfortable option. It’s also walking distance to Mataram mall, and my favourite Padang restaurant “Asano”.
Panorama Walk, Senaru
This morning we explored some of the traditional villages that are dotted around the surrounding area. The most easily accessible one of these is Senaru. Starting off with some coffee and breakfast at the house of Aldo, a friend & RDA guide, we proceeded down the hill through the various “gardens” local residents use for sustenance.
I use inverted commas for “gardens” as my friend Natalya remarked that had she not known, she would have thought it was jungle! There is an abundance of fruit in this area – mango, banana, coconut, pineapple, and much more. The soil is fertile, and the climate good. As we passed further down the hill, the forest opened up to a picturesque view of the sea over terraced rice fields. The walk back to the office was a pleasant one, following the contouring path of an irrigation channel.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures can organise day-trips to Senaru, including transport. The itinerary usually includes seeing parts of traditional life with a local guide, walking amongst the gardens and rice-terraces, and visiting Sendang Gila and Tiu Kelep waterfalls. As well as snacks along the way, we also include some traditional Sasak food at our office in Senaru, prepared by our resident chef and cook, Nurr.