The waterfall itself was a small one but the fact that it appeared to cross at the mouth of a cave like structure and then flow down with a striking force made it quite appealing. Moreover, we were the only ones in the waterfall and I fulfilled my long due desire of swimming in the waterfall. It wasn't much of a swim as the water's force was constantly pushing me away from the source but it was fun nevertheless. Playing around in the water in a personal cave, I did not realize how fast time passed by. Suddenly, I realized we have to visit other places. I quickly came out and changed in a small area covered by a thick cloth and headed back.
Black Monkey Forest
This forest is known for black monkeys but there is no definite spot for it. Needless to say, you have to venture deep into the forest for finding one. The forest itself is quite nice and peaceful for walking around. After walking for a while, my injury made it impossible for me to walk deeper into the forest and hence we decided to get out instead and leave the black monkey's sight for another time. We did however witness part of the daily life of villagers where one man had climbed up the tree and was shaking various branches as some of the women stood beneath the tree to catch the fruits that were dropping from the branches.
Benang Kelambu waterfall- the one thing you absolutely can't miss in Lombok
While sitting in a rice field, I suddenly remembered the picture of a beautiful waterfall which had caught my eye at the airport. My host then informed me that the waterfall was about 1 hour away by motorbike. On my request, he agreed to take me there after a quick lunch.
As we started our journey, I couldn't help but feel the joy of being in the heart of mother nature. In Lombok (especially tetebatu), mother nature is everywhere, all around you. Everywhere you look, your eyes will see the pleasant typical beauty of an unexplored and lovely village.
After one hour of bike ride, we finally reached the waterfall. In fact, it's a national park with multiple waterfalls but Kembung waterfall is the only one that's accessible without a hike. The entry is slightly expensive as compared to the other areas of Lombok but it's absolutely worth it. You can walk all the way to the waterfall but its recommended to take your bike as there is a parking near the waterfall.
As you walk down the steps to reach the waterfall, you realise, it's in fact a bunch of waterfalls and not one. The whole scenery appears as if water is flowing from the trees itself and down the rocks and steps. I even managed to catch a light rainbow in front of one of the waterfalls. Sitting there, gazing at this unique combination of trees and water, I can't even begin to tell you how calm my soul felt. If there is one thing you must absolutely not miss in Lombok, it is the Benang Kelambu waterfall.
You can spend hours just lazing on these steps or dipping in the water under the sun. The best part- it wasn't even crowded! I wish I could have visited the other waterfalls too but due to my injury, I had to restrict myself to this one only.
We finally made our way back and spent the evening drinking local coffee (without milk) and watching the coconut oil making process. Remember, after observing the lengthy process, you have to pay them for it! I slept early as I had a ferry to the Gili islands the next day early morning. The harbour (Bangsal) is nearly 2 hours away! So, plan your trip accordingly if have limited days. I did return to Lombok after a day's stay in the Gilis (due to my bad planning of course). Hence, the following part is about the sun-kissed beaches of Lombok.
3. Kuta beach, Lombok- Day 3
As I arrived from Gili Air, my new host received me at Bangsal harbour and drove me this place. Andy's place is right opposite kuta beach and if you get out and cross the road, you land right on the beach. It's cheap, clean and perfectly located. I quickly freshened up and jumped across the road to the beach.
Despite being one of the well-known beaches of Lombok, it is barely crowded and boasts of impossibly beautiful waters. On sunny days, you can catch a hundred shades of blue and green being reflected on the water. Most of Lombok's beaches are surrounded by small hills, thus giving them a very unique feel. The water is clear and you can swim here or just lay by the beach.
4. Selok Belanak Beach
Because I had only one day to cover all the beaches, I went beach-hopping! My next stop was Selok Belanak. My host drove me there on a bike and mentioned it's one of his favourite beaches. As usual, the road was covered with aesthetically pleasing sights.
Selok Belanak is a good beach to learn surfing or just soak in the sun. The water isn't dirty but there are a number of boats in the water. Surrounded by hills on all sides, the area seems like a shot right out of a movie set.
I sat on one of the beach chairs and enjoyed a cheap lunch and drink. I finished my story book, as I lay there soaking up the sun after lunch. Suddenly, it began to drizzle and I rushed back to find my host. One can also hike up the small cliff on the side for some wonderful shots.
We were on our way back when the rain hit hard and drenched every bit of us. Luckily, I protected my camera and phone with my waterproof jacket but as a result, both of us were soaking wet by the time we reached home. I freshened up and prayed the clouds would drift away and give us a clear sky. Well, as they say, when you want something from the bottom of your heart, even luck takes your side. This time, we took a car and headed over to the last beach for the day.
5. Tenjung Aan beach, Lombok
White sands, blue water and absolute peace. That's my impression of Tenjung Aan. While Selok Belanak's beach is spread over a long stretch surrounded by hills, Tenjung aan is comparatively smaller. Unfortunately the sun was already down by the time we got there but it's a perfect getaway if you want a cosy and nice beach.
Most of Tenjung Aan hasn't been developed much and hence lesser crowd than Selok Belanak. There is a cliff right beside the beach and on sunny days, it would be a perfect spot for sunset! It is also wise to note that the road to Tenjung Aan is best covered in daylight as many travelers choose to bring their motorbike/scooter here.
6. Mawun Beach, Lombok
To be honest, this was my least favourite beach in Lombok. It wasn't dirty but for some reason it's beauty did not attract me enough. I only made a quick stop here on my way to Selok Belanak. In some ways it looks similar to Selok Belanak and yet Selok Belanak has a better feel.
In Lombok, there isn't much of a nightlife and hence I took up the opportunity to pack my bag and then divulge into a long lasting conversation with my host and his future plans.