Day 3:24 pm
Stop and smell the coffee, hear the waves, feel the sand in your toes. We cancelled all our plans and decided to put life on pause and enjoy the beauty in which we are privileged to be immersed.
First, we had breakfast on a table on the beach. Even the kids seemed to enjoy it. The waves were lapping on the black sand beach. My cappuccino was hot and full of caffeine and I got to try some sweet martabak and serabi, bite-size rice flour and coconut milk pancakes dolloped in palm sugar syrup and dried coconut, little morsels of paradise.
Then it was all change into swimwear and a chance to enjoy the infinity pool. The two year old giggled with delight non-stop for about eight hours. The six year old wanted to swim and swim some more. The sun loungers were epic – double width, plus hanging as swings. So when lunch time came we ordered satay (or course!) for me and pizza for the kids (would it be anything else?) And we sat round the raised tray with our feed, swinging gently in the sea breeze.
After lunch, a walk on the soft sandy beach, and this one in Lombok was a mixture of black and gold which was beautiful. The sea was perfectly warm, like a second skin. And the waves were great fun – crashing and carrying us to the shore and back out again. The hotel’s private bay curved round and ended at an area of rocks where the waves came in higher and faster. We got drenched each time, but that’s the fun, right?
The afternoon was about more swimming, this time in another pool with peculiar glass walls so you could see people’s lower halves, with amusing effects as their upper and lower bodies look separated in the water.
What can I say: water, sand, sea, waves, sunshine in the quiet, with the sea stretching out in front was what we needed. I definitely wanted more, but a day felt good for nourishing the inner.
But by late afternoon I was keen for exploration again, and we grabbed a taxi to Sengiggi, the local town, mainly aimed at tourists it seems, but locals visit too. We snapped some photos of the sea behind us at sunset and grabbed a quick light dinner.
As always the two year old attracted delight and attention with a nearby table of young Indonesian women offering her balloons and smothering her with affection. The four of them told me they had ridden from Ampesan, on the outskirts of the capital Mataram on their motorbikes. Four Muslim hijabi women. On their motorbikes. I love this country.
After dinner, time for a walk, and we went past restaurants politely touting – only Indonesians could tout in the most respectful polite way possible. There were shops offering tours to tourists, and souvenir shops. It was dark by now and the kids were tired. Strangely, there were no taxis around, but we did get offered a pony and cart to ride in. In the spirit of adventure, we said yes! The four of us piled in at the back and off we trotted. It was a small space, but cosy.
As the difficult road wound its way uphill the horse started to gallop. It was pretty terrifying being overtaken by large coaches, or have another pony and cart almost chasing our bottoms. But deeply exhilarating. I recommend it! And so do the kids who had a fantastic ride.
We tumbled into our room exhausted and happy. Sometimes stopping is the best thing in order to re-start.