Enjoying life to the max yo
Then it was long ride to a traditional market; I got 1 kg of the local mandarin oranges for 10000 IDR, it was quite sweet and the skin was easy to peel. We passed by rice paddy fields; green green green everywhere! The farmers use plastic strips to fend off birds. We passed by beach villas; Charles explained that many foreigners buy land because it's cheap and build holiday mansions. We saw some villas under construction underway; hmm how nice to have a private beach getaway!
That's a rice bowl there
Plastic strips fluttering in the wind
Glimpses of the sea
Then it was a REALLY long ride to Mt Rinjani National Park and to the traditional village. Charles guided us through the small homes and explained the lifestyle of the villagers. There are little storage huts where rice is stored in the upper section where mice cannot reach. The houses are built using clay mixed with cow dung (for better adhesion I suppose) and there were livestock everywhere, apparently they discourage intruders (their version of a guard dog?)
Charles explaining the function of the storage hut
Mix of new & old: cement vs clay+dung
Hay for the roof
Local coffee beans drying
We then headed to the Senaru Restaurant; the view from here was fantastic. We omitted lunch from the program because we feel USD15/pax for a buffet meal was pricey and having a buffet meal before trekking to the waterfalls didn't sound like a practical idea. However we were hungry by the time we reached the restaurant so we ordered ala carte meals (considerably cheaper) and headed on the trail as the restaurant needed about 2 hr to prepare the meals - they had to get the produce from the market (far from there)!
Nice panoramic view from the restaurant
Tiu Kelep from a distance
The welcome sign
The walk to the 1st waterfall Sendang Gile was easy; the paved walkway brought us to Sendang Gile within 10 min. The waterfall was pretty and we could feel the spray from the viewing point.
We then headed for Tiu Kelep waterfall. The trek to Tiu Kelep got us off the walkway and through rocks, river crossings and beautiful greenery all around. It took us about 20 min to the waterfall and boy was it worth it. We got to swim in the pool; it was pretty big and deep. The water was so clear and so cold; it was refreshing to submerge myself! The waterfall is pretty high so the spray felt like ice shards on my face. We were scheduled to spend about 30 min at the pool but we gallivanted for a good hr before we decided to go back.
Walking on a bridge housing the canal
Super clear water
Gorgeous Tiu Kelep
On the way back, we decided to go through the canals that direct water from the mountain to the paddy fields. It was dark and there were bats, spiders, but it was super fun! The water level came up to mid-thigh and it was easier than walking back via stairs!
"We going back thru HERE?"
The food was ready when we reached the restaurant; I ordered fried rice but the outstanding winner was the sambal! I had coffee and banana juice but they can't beat the ones from Siem Reap :p The restaurant closes around 6pm and opens again at 7pm so the chef stops cooking by 5.50pm to take a break...else I would've had fried banana too!
Coffee, melon juice and tea
The bus ride back to the hotel was a looooonnnng 2.5 hrs...I slept off but came awake as we took the coastal road, too bad it was dark so we couldn't see the sea at all! Oh well, the 1 hr frolicking at the waterfall was worth it! :D I did regret not coming back in time for the massage at the spa in Sheraton Senggigi; my other friends went and they said it was a really rejuvenating session *sigh*
I went to get my man and we walked out to the street but nothing struck our fancy so we had dinner at the restaurant instead. I found the menu to be tailored for the average Western tourist; we ordered ayam taliwang and fish satay. The latter proved to be better; I found the chicken to be less flavorful than the one we had for lunch on our first day. We walked along the beach for a bit and returned to the room to watch Michelle Yeoh kick butt in Reign of Assassins. Other friends had dinner at the Square (opposite the hotel) and the food was good. Some went for massage and found better spas than Orchid.
Our flight the next day was really early so Day 2 ended early for me! Read about Day 3 here :)