A lot of surf, nature and traditions: Lombok Island

  Marica&Sonia   |     31/08/2017

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We reach Kuta, south of Lombok island, in a shared shuttle where we meet a local guy who immediately invites us out with his friends. We read few reviews on the web and decide to stay overnight at Diyah homestay
Here everybody is extremely cute and helpful and it is easy to make friends even if they do not speak English very well. Our homestay is about 20 min walk from the main street of Kuta village. The room is basic but the atmosphere is super familiar. We pay around 11 euros per room per night and even rent a brand new scooter for around 3 euros a day. Breakfast includes a banana and chocolate pancake or an omelette.
We immediately feel at home, pampered in a real family.
There are also many nice foreign guys including Italians, Spanish and Germans.
But our real friend here in Lombok becomes Kim, a 27-year-old boy who works at the Kiena warung (restaurant) 300 meters from our homestay. He is part of the same family and speaks English very well. In the evening, in fact, we like to go to eat his delicious food and stay to chat with him listening to his stories about this beautiful land.

One of the reasons we decide to stay on the island for 10 days is surfing. Here, in fact, there are beaches for all tastes: from the Caribbean like Tanjung Aan to those of more experienced surfers like Mawi, to those for beginners like Selong Belanak. In fact, we took some lessons when we were working in Peru and we try to put into practice what we remember.
So we rent a surfboard in Kuta centre for about 2 euros a day and take it to the scooter through special side hooks. We go every morning to Selong Belanak about 35-40 min by scooter from Kuta. Here there are several surf schools and you can also rent the surfboard for a slightly more expensive cost. The beach is huge and really beautiful.
Despite the numerous tourists taking surfing lessons, there is always enough space for everyone. We stay at the beach every day until the early afternoon, or until we run out of energy. The waves are quite low and break immediately because they form close to the shore, but it is still really funny. The beach is also equipped with bars, restaurants and beach umbrellas. We prefer the shade of the trees and the company of some local friends who now know us and look forward to it every morning. Important to use 50+ protection and a t-shirt if you stay all day under the scorching sun.

Everything seems just perfect and we do not want to leave this small village. Finally, something really special happens: the owner of the homestay we are staying in invites us to his nephew's wedding. In fact, the wedding has been going on for three days in our neighbourhood.

The whole family gathers and brings giant pots where they cook for everyone and dance and sing and pray all day long. An endless party! The third day is the one in which the groom's village, that is the one in which we find ourselves, goes to visit the village of the bride in Praya. We are invited exactly during this occasion. The owner's daughter lends us a pair of her ceremonial dresses and makes us make up for the party with a strictly white face. After saying goodbye to the couple, we set off for Praya.
It takes us about an hour and a half to reach the village, trying to keep up with the other guests who are darting by motorbike in the traffic jam. All along the way, we realized that everyone keeps staring at us and laughing. At first, we think it is because of our traditional clothes which are worn by Westerners. Maybe it is also for this reason but mostly they are laughing because we are wearing a helmet! Yes, here as in many Italian cities, the helmet is an option and woe to wear it if you go to a wedding.

Once in Praya, the ceremony basically consists of a kind of procession in which men and women are divided and accompanied by a band. Women invite us to join them and everyone looks at us as if we were two aliens. They get excited even if we smile and they constantly ask us to take a picture with them, repeating that we are beautiful with these clothes. We really feel like two VIPs and it is very strange feeling. Our friend Kim then explains it is a village that sees very few tourists and it is an honour for them to have some Westerners at their wedding, mostly dressed and dressed up for the occasion.
It has been a crazy, exciting and educational experience. We feel honoured to have been able to take part in such an important rite for this people and to have been treated as two of the family.

Lombok is a rather large island and besides beautiful beaches, it offers waterfalls, trekking in the mountains and visits to typical villages like Sade village. The latter, in fact, is located near Kuta and is a traditional village where you can stroll and immerse yourself in the culture of this people.
We have spent here incredible 10 days and the island definitely deserves more time to be explored far and wide. But it's time to leave for the next adventure!

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