Our stay in Lombok was cut short as the anchorage was incredibly rolly – more rolly than Maurole (dubbed Morerolly) and Namrole (Damnrolly) put together. Such a shame as we were really looking forward to exploring the island.
The two days and nights we did spend there were really enjoyable and in the end it was a question of quality over quantity.
Everything at Medana Bay was incredibly well organised. The owner of the marina /hotel/restaurant Peter and his son Adam had set up a travel desk for rally participants and as well as all the usual services such as diesel, laundry etc, they helped rally members obtain spare parts and even organised a temporary boom made out of bamboo for one of the yachts.
There was a very good restaurant that was well stocked with cold beer and served delicious food at good prices. There was also a very good little store that sold frozen meat, cheese, milk, good bread, beer, eggs and a few vegetables. Great for a bit of a stock up of fresh food, particularly for those who don’t have a freezer.
To get to the the nearby town you could walk, hire a car or best of all take a pony and trap which is of course what we did. It was great fun trotting down the road with the harness bells jangling and the little pony hurrying along.
The pony was very well looked after – plump for a pony in a developing country – immaculately shaped hooves, brushed mane. When we stopped to use the ATM the driver lifted the harness and held it off the pony’s back to test it and cool it down. So good to see!
The festivities were brilliantly organised by Peter and his team. They were all ready to go and had to wait while the audience, used to editing for upwards of an hour to get started, wandered in, bought drinks and finally settled down.
There was a fabulous gamelan orchestra with drums, symbols, gongs and flutes as well as loads of gamelans.
After a loud and rumbustious introductory piece of music a group of dancers appeared, looking enchanting in extravagant costumes in the most beautiful colours which if we put them together would be considered clashing but looked amazing on them.
The dancers led us to a very smart conference centre, with the band bringing up the rear, where we watched a promotional film on Lombok.
As we came out of the conference centre, again with band playing, we were greeted with the sight of upwards of forty women with colourful bowls on their heads.
Each of the local villagers had prepared a wonderful dinner to share with two or three of the rally participants.
Rugs and tarps were spread on the ground in two long lines and we sat down wherever we wanted to eat dinner. A lovely man named Sahar invited us to sit with one lady who we later discovered was his wife and we enjoyed a beautiful meal of rice, green vegetables, fish, and cassava.
Sahar spoke wonderful English so it was great to be able to chat to him and his wife (with Sahar’s translation).
What a memorable day! Our stay in Lombok was short but it was oh so sweet!