Terima kasih Lombok

We arrived in Lombok after a two-hour boat ride from Bali.  There are many horror stories about the ferries between Bali and Lombok and it is notorious for causing queasy stomachs! We still had Manji’s bus ride to Croatia fresh in our minds, so we took as many precautions as possible, loading up on ginger ales, crackers, and some sea sickness medicine.  Thankfully, everyone faired well!

The five of us on the ferry between Bali and Lombok.  The kids are pumped to trying surfing in Lombok.

Arriving at Senggigi port in Lombok

When we docked at the Senggigi port in Lombok, we knew we were in for a very different experience.  As we walked to catch our next transport to Ekas Surf Resort, all the women and girls were wearing hijabs.  We learned on our drive that Lombok is 80% Muslim and sometimes called the land of 1,000 mosques.  We heard the call to prayer on our drive (which occurs five times a day) and saw mosque after beautiful mosque along the way.  It is very much a developing island; however, the mosques are incredibly ornate. 

We were also struck by how many trees had been cut down for farming tobacco and rice.  According to our driver, mass deforestation had only occurred in recent years. The homes are very, very meager compared to other places we’ve been. But, people still carry about their day and focus on the dream we all share – providing for our families and helping our kids succeed.

We arrived at Ekas Surf Resort and were greeted by the owners, Melissa and Dave, and the manager, Phil.  After being welcomed to our “home away from home” for the week, we were greeted by a hotel room that had the best air conditioning! The smallest luxuries are what we enjoy the most these days! The resort was in the middle of nowhere, but just across the street was a dirt path that led down to a beautiful bay with great waves for surfing beginners.  Our goal for the week was to spend as much time surfing as possible, but boy did it end up being way different than we had imagined!

The resort was very small, maybe five rooms max and across the street was a small village that had one convenience shop.  Apparently, they just received electricity a few years ago! There were many, many roosters roaming around and we thought that they were going to be the cause of early morning awakenings.  We couldn’t have been more wrong! The call to prayer by the mosque across the street provided a wake-up call at 4:30am every day.  It was LOUD!!!

The swell was perfect for the kids on one of our first days there so they took lessons with Dave and Phil.  The instructors both said that the kids would get it right away and they were correct! They were naturals! Even Bingo was able to ride the waves in!

Manji, Goose and Bingo at their first surf lesson at Ekas.  This is it, surfing in Lombok with kids

First surf lesson for the kids

Unfortunately, James and I weren’t quite as lucky.  The waves can be very finicky, and we had to wait all week for the bigger ones to come in.  Our lesson wasn’t quite as successful as the kids.  I think we both caught about two waves and it was way harder than we imagined.  We also both ended up with major surf rash from the board.  It was fun to try and we’d love to again, but maybe we’ll wear wetsuits next time! 

We spent our time snorkeling, fishing, swimming in the pool and chatting with other travelers who had ended up at this remote resort.  There were people from Australia, Switzerland, Germany, and the UK.  Not to mention the incredible staff that were all from areas around Ekas.  We swam down at the beach daily and spent an evening at the pool with an Australian family who had anchored in the bay nearby.  After that evening, Manji had proudly proclaimed, “I’m just SO happy!”

We went with Phil and a couple from Switzerland on a snorkel trip where we saw SO many fish! The snorkel stop was a pearl farm, which prohibited any kind of fishing.  The number of fish we saw made it feel like we were inside an aquarium!  We also hoped to see sharks and snorkeled around an entire island to do so, but none were there.  We spent the rest of our day at Pink Beach.

We took a break from surfing in Lombok with kids.  This is our crew of seven on the way to snorkel and go to Pink Beach, 30 minutes from Ekas.  During a slow day from surfing in Lombok with kids, we took a boat ride to a local beach for a day of snorkeling.

Snorkeling with new friends!

Later in the week, Iskander and Amir at Ekas helped us find a local guide to take Goose and me fishing.  We hopped on the back of two mopeds and jumped off at a small village where we boarded a canoe-like boat named “Alaska.”  We then fished for two-hours! Goose and I were really impressed by the resourcefulness of everyone.  We stopped at one fishing area to collect algae from nets and used it as bait to catch small fish.  And, the boat was equipped with a hedge trimmer now functioning as a boat motor!  All in all, it was a great day and we walked away with two brown fish and a few nibbles.  It was an authentic experience to say the least!

Goose in his happy place...fishing

Goose fishing on the Alaska

We also visited the Sasak village of Sade.  These indigenous people of Lombok live in a community among themselves in huts made of clay and cow dung.  We took a tour with a member of the community and he informed us that they marry within their own village (marrying cousins).  The tradition is that a boy kidnaps a girl that he likes and takes her away for one week outside of the village.  When they return, there is a celebration, and the village builds them a house.  If the girl refuses, it’s viewed quite negatively by the village and he could be banned.  So far this hasn’t happened yet!

Our tour of Sasak Village in Lombok

Intently listening to one of the villagers

One of the last nights, Melissa and Dave hosted a huge BBQ. It was such a treat to enjoy a family style meal with the other guests. After all this travel, it felt like we had a family for the week.  We enjoyed sharing travel stories and others told of the epic waves they had caught.  When it was time to leave, we were so sad to go! Our whole family loved conversing with so many people. The kids loved walking to the beach as we watched monkeys swing from the trees and we played lots and lots of games. And, we befriended guests and staff alike.  When we finally pulled away, some of the resort guests and the staff stood outside to wave goodbye! We truly felt like we were part of a family for a week and it was such a treat to make those kind of connections. 

The five of us with the whole Ekas surfing crew on departure day

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