|Marc enjoying his welcome drink at one of the two pools|
|the other pool, just off the restaurant dining area -- volcano there on the right. I never ever got tired of looking at it.|
|The room was FABULOUS|
|With a spectacular open-air bathroom -- this on the right.....|
|this on the left. BUT. I took this shot standing in the doorway.|
See how there's a step down? It's STEEP. Much steeper than you expect, and
a good bit steeper than the average rise.
|They lush valley is just so gorgeous.....|
|I had to assemble these two shots like this because otherwise the valley was too dark if the sky|
was as light as it really was. Gorgeous, right?!
|There are actually three sets of falls in this area -- this sign tells about two of them.|
|"C'mon honey, let's go!"|
For the most part, the walk was easy, and paved. Sometimes the road had crumbled away, and on occasion the handrail had fallen down the mountainside, but you know, the area is alive and tectonically moving and all. It never felt dangerous, at all.
|a bit of fern growth, and|
|greens of all shape and form and shade, on plants and trees, fallen and otherwise|
|so much to see|
|in places it reminded us of Borneo|
|It was very humid|
|Marc taking a picture of the waterfall|
the POWER of the waterfall!
I thought he was just taking a photo of me, so there I
sit with a goofy smile, holding it holding it holding it....
But you can see how high the falls are!
From there, we hiked on toward the next falls. The path disappeared in places, and we found some surprises.
|Sometimes it was a neat path, sometimes it was breaking down, and sometimes it was hard to find.|
|And then we came to this! A system of controlling the water flow. We thought that was pretty neat until....|
|This woman passed us, carrying something big on her head, up to.....|
|This even fancier system -- these two, and a couple on the sides.|
|The water ran in this concrete-sided channel.|
|But it wasn't just a bridge, is the thing! It carried water! Glancing through|
the gratings, you could see water rushing past. They'd built the bridge
to move water from one side of the river to the other -- see the river down below?
|Oh gosh it was beautiful.|
|to the left, to the right, straight ahead, all around. Just so beautiful.|
|It was really beautiful.|
Wish I were there right now
Finally another tourist came through, with a guide, and we realized that you had to cross the river and pick your way on an invisible path on the other side. Since we didn't have a guide, and I wasn't too interested in crossing the river, and we still had the uphill finding-our-way-back hike, when we had finally enjoyed the river enough we headed back.
|I was hot and melty and sticky by the time we finished, ready to hop in the pool.|
|We always swam in the pool by our room, which was very very nice.|
|the pool by the restaurant was very nice too|
|ours had a better view, even if sometimes the volcano was shrouded in clouds|
The grounds of the hotel were just stunning.
|As a Texan, I know from bougainvillea -- and I wouldn't have expected thwm at this|
elevation, but oh how beautiful they were
|and the beauty and fragrance of frangipani!|
|This sign by our pool made me wonder if there's just ONE monkey that haunts the hotel grounds?|
|I was really happy there.|
|Marc too -- here is is in one of the lower levels of the garden, enjoying the beautiful view|
|and plants that were just showing off, you know?|
|Gorgeous, everywhere you looked.|
|And such exquisite colors|
One night we were on our terrace, enjoying the quiet,
and a gecko starting doing its thing. THEY ARE SO LOUD.
|That far-left peak always seemed to catch the clouds. Katie told me this looked like the|
volcano had a combover. :)
|One afternoon the clouds were caught in these long layers, among the peaks|
|I could look at that forever. Forever.|
We stopped just past our hotel to wait for them, and finally they appeared. Turns out they'd broken down, the bike stalled out and wouldn't start, but then someone else gave them a motorcycle and they got right back on the road. They took us a couple of kilometers up the mountain past our hotel and let us off. I burned my right leg on the exhaust of the bike (owie, didn't want to complain though), and then we walked back to the hotel. It was really wonderful. So quiet, so peaceful, a beautiful day, and just Marc and me walking in the quiet, hand in hand.
When it was time to go, a driver took us back to the Lombok airport. Our plan was to fly to Surabaya (on Java) and then to Kupang (pronounced Koo-PONG, on West Timor), spend the night, and then take the ferry the next morning to Rote Island. Those airlines that go between the islands are pretty bad -- Lion Air, Wings, Batik; in fact, Lion Air is always getting scolded by Indonesia for not meeting the simplest safety requirements, a bit of finger-wagging and threatening. And then we were also there at the end of the rainy season, so between flights that aren't always on time, and weather, it's not quite as predictable a schedule as we'd have liked. We finally got to Kupang more than an hour late, around midnight, but the driver was still waiting for us. The hotel, La Hasienda (and really, it's an all Mexican vibe there) gets stellar ratings on TripAdvisor, and they did take very good care of us even though the room was about what you'd expect for $20-something.
At the end of our time on Lombok, I wouldn't say I had a clear "Lombok" idea in my mind, but that's mostly because we were in two very different kinds of places, with very different kinds of people. We've now been to Bali (twice), Java, Lombok, West Timor, and Rote Island, and each one has such a distinctive feeling -- often as a function of the religion of the place.
Anyway. On to Rote Island.