ARC World Tour in Lombok
ARC World Tour in Lombok
by World Cruising Club Sep 17 18:45 UTC
World ARC © World Cruising Club
Leaving Medana Bay Marina by bus, the World ARC fleet set off for a day tour of Lombok Island to discover and learn about the local people and their daily lives. Still affected by the pandemic, very few tourists have yet to reach the shores of Indonesia, so locals are very happy to see a bus full of eager visitors and welcome attendees with crazy hand gestures and big smiles along the way.
After clearing low mango trees and dispersing street dogs and chickens, participants first headed to Pusuk Pass forest where they had the opportunity to feed the local gray monkeys known as Pitu with locally grown peanuts. This provided lots of entertainment for the whole group and the monkeys were very happy.
Along the way and throughout the tour, the excellent guide, Eddie, energized the skippers at the helm for the day and supported by providing a comprehensive insight into life on the island. With a population of over 3.7 million people in Lombok, which is only 45 miles wide and 70 miles long, it is certainly a bustling place to live. There is no public transport, so getting around is mostly done by moped or motorbike, of which over 200,000 are said to be registered in Lombok.
Continuing through the pass, admiring the view over the forest and towards the coast to the west of the island, the next stop was a local market in Pamenang. This market mainly contains food stalls offering an abundance of local spices, dried fish and many fruits which all grow well in the surrounding fertile land. Additional stalls included tobacco and live poultry, so attendees got a good taste of local daily life.
Being so close to the equator provides two seasons for this part of the world, wet and dry. Lombok is currently still in the dry season, but the rains are expected to arrive next month. Cultivated during the dry season Eddie identified fields of corn, soybeans and peanuts that are all cultivated from April to September. Although some types of rice are also grown in the dry season, most rice will be planted and grown in the coming months when the rains begin to fall.
After a visit to the market, the next stop was a chance to sample some local coffee and shop for arts, crafts and the most important t-shirts. With a slightly more commercial setup, we learned that this commercial area is actually owned by a local businessman who employs over 300 villagers and supplies rice to the very poor with all profits going to the community.
After gaining so much knowledge and seeing so many sites, lunch was calling. Located on Senggigi Beach, a splendid seafood lunch was provided by Yessy Kitchen. As mentioned, with tourist numbers still extremely low, the owners and staff were delighted to host World ARC and provide a delicious meal of fresh fish, prawns, calamari and clams.
The last place included in the organized tour was a visit to a Hindu temple located on the rocks overlooking Senggigi Bay. Carved out of black lava rock, Batu Bolong Temple was quite mysterious but offered everyone a brief glimpse of this faith. There are actually many religions practiced across Indonesia which are all respected by the people.
A total of 8 boats and around 35 crew members make up the World ARC fleet this year and all the boats are now gathered in the marina at Medana Bay, west of Lombok. Most of the boats have taken a break in the Pacific and are now starting the rally again taking them to the Caribbean to complete their circumnavigation. Already forming a strong bond, the fleet is delighted to be on the move again and with the support of the World Cruising Club, they are sure to experience the best of every port of call.
Before the start of the trip from Indonesia to Christmas Island on Sunday September 18, a dinner will be held here at the Marina on Friday evening where local dishes will be served and a live band will host the show. A fitting send off after such a fascinating visit to Lombok.