After some lazy days on Gili Air and an even lazier breakfast I tried to make my way to the harbor to head to Tetebatu, a small village in the mountains close to Mount Rinjani. A nice girl I’ve once met on a party close to my hometown in Germany had helped build a bungalow with some locals over there and her brother had suggested I should go and see it.

Both had seemed so nice, I thought I’d give it a go.

So far so good. I had already been 2 hours late and had no motivation to walk any faster. I put my backpack on, said goodbye to Ash and Reli and walked towards the pier.

As soon as I made it down the muddy roads towards the ocean, I was told a fast boat was ready to leave just at that moment. I quickly paid 85000 Rupiah and hopped on the small blue boat.

I wiggled my way through a lot of people and found a free seat next to an older Indonesian lady. Not even 5 minutes later she gave me half of her breakfast: some bread cake thing she broke in half and handed it over to me.

“Ah damn I can’t eat it if there’s wheat… well fuck that, she wouldn’t understand” I thought, took the bread and started eating it. It tasted of ginger and turmeric and I liked it.

“Saya suka! Baik baik” I said complimenting the food, which set her off handing me more and more and more …

“Well, let’s not complain about a second breakfast I thought. I’ll have a hell of a ride coming up- this might come in handy”, I figured with an aching stomach.

Some 15 minutes later we arrived in Lombok where we jumped from our boat onto another and then walked across the pier.

I had my scooter parked in a small garage that cost 10k per day. I paid the dude, walked between some chicken and mud puddles and got on my scooter.

I switched on maps.me to guide me to Tetebatu and off I went.

The ride was beautiful and the landscape even better. There were so may Monkeys on the road I was tempted to stop several times. Being on the road sometimes is one of the best parts while traveling. Since I don’t have a driving license I always love taking long rides on a scooter in Indonesia.

It’s also easy to bribe the cops: just give them 100k and they’ll let you go … or as a local told me “just confuse them with English and they will be so annoyed they let you go. As long as you’re wearing a helmet, they’ll let you go.”

I drove along the road and saw some dark clouds coming up. Damn! Had I left earlier I would have made it without rain! I stopped at a gas station to buy a raincoat: jacket and trousers for as much as the boat ride, put it on, hopped back on the scooter and was covered in water 5 minutes later. It was pouring down so badly I wished for windscreens on my sunglasses.

I had to stop. I drove a bit further until I found a small roof at the side of the road where I parked my scooter. Four Indonesians had been waiting for the rain to stop aswell. I sat down on the floor and waited. And waited and waited. Until I realized the battery of my mobile had almost died. No navigation anymore- I had no idea where I was.

A friendly guy right next to me smiled and handed me a power bank!

Thanks man!! This is perfect! I started to talk to him about Lombok, the Gili Islands and chicken.

The rain stopped after about an hour and I went on with my scooter. After half an hour driving through roads that would not be classified as such in Germany I reached MATRA Bungalows, the place I wanted to be.

It’s a nice homestay run by the funniest locals I have ever met. Hery the owner greeted me with a coffee and set up my place to stay. It was a nice bungalow with a balcony, hammock and an open shower. Love these- especially when it rains! This night I went to bed quite early and slept like a baby.

The next morning I got up early for a day trip around the rice fields and some waterfalls. The first one could only be reached by climbing down some bamboo stairs into the water, through which we waded. Of course I slipped and fell into the water. I can’t do two things at the same time. Recording with the GoPro and watching the stones in the water was not possible. But since I hadn’t done any laundry the days before I had already been wearing a bikini and didn’t care about being soaking wet that much. HA! 😉

We soon reached a cave and saw one of the nicest waterfalls I had seen for a long time.

On our way back we ate some raw cacao beans and headed to a secret waterfall, only the locals knew of. After hiking through the forest, walking over stones and through mud, down a steepy pathway, we finally saw it. It was huge!!! The water drops were blowing into my face as the water was crashing down. Those are moments I travel for. I stared at the water and was happy.

On the way back we grabbed some lunch and went on to the Monkey Forest. After walking around the forest, listening to branches move and getting a sore neck from looking up in the air we finally spotted some black monkeys in the trees. There were about ten up in the trees fully aware of being watched by us, which I soon realised after one of them threw a stick towards me.

“Damn you Monkey! Be nice to the human, haha!”

After this eventful day I looked through my drone footage, realized I am still a terrible pilot and made a plan to practice more the following day.

I walked up to my bungalow when I saw of one the dogs that had joined us on our day trip snuggling on the pillow in front of my door.  Her name was Misu and she was guarding my door from now on.

I decided there would be no need to lock it and joined the others with some rice wine.

This day was nice. I had missed traveling on my own so much and decided to continue doing so next July for a whole month.

Where could I go I was thinking. Maybe Borneo and Sumatra, rent a scooter and drive through the country. Or China as I had originally planned… I had no idea what was coming, but that was exactly what I liked about it.

CHRONICLES IN WONDERLAND

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