The northwestern part of the island is pleasing only due to its emptiness. On a sunny day it would be a great place to relax — no cars, no people. On our third day in Lombok we were greeted with heavy rain. On a rainy day all you really want to do is sit at home and do your own thing. However, we had to ride more than one hundred kilometres to make it to Senggigi, on the other side of the island, before evening. Streams of water trickled down the palm trees, filling the mud puddles of local roads, which created the impression that the rain would never end. We packed up and left.

In Indonesia, riding under such rain showers is best done wearing swimming shorts only. Because no jacket or raincoat will save you from the water, which will still leak through. Trying to stop the water getting in is futile and akin to putting a rain coat on, jumping into the sea and hoping to get out dry — it makes no impact, unless you wear a dry suit. So swimming trunks are the best option as they’re comfortable and warm. After, you can just dry off with a towel.

Sambelia — Anyar.

We stopped next to the botanical garden which was fenced out with barbed wire. The garden was located right in between the volcano and the sea. Here we found gigantic, wide and weirdly shaped trees. Some trees were entwined together as if they were lovemaking. They were so big that their root system required some space between them. The tree branches and leaves were high up, just like a baobab’s and the empty trunks were surrounded by vacant breathing space. All that, with the volcano in the background, created a sort of utopian and heavenly atmosphere. The garden with the volcano on one side and the cows and sea on the other.

The calf bounced away as I took my camera out.

Just like the surroundings of Bratan volcano in Bali, incredibly green grass penetrated through the charred volcanic rocky soil. Here it had been levelled out by the local brown cattle. At the beach the black volcanic sand was littered with lava pebbles, leading down towards the warm sea. In fact the sand itself was pretty warm too, despite the rainy weather. For me it was a small miracle to see a black sand beach. If someone had asked me to unravel the mystery of why the sand on the beach was black, I would have suggested something like “an oil spillage” or “chemical factory waste”, anything but a naturally occurring phenomenon. It’s a truly incredible sight. By this point I had already seen white, yellow, pink and now black beaches.

Anyar beach with black volcanic sand.
Volcanic landscape.


They say that Indonesia is a balance between perfect green and blue. I would add black in there too. The road on these parts of the island is wavy and deserted. It runs between the volcano and the sea, through endless rice fields.

An old woman sells fire-grilled tuna in a bamboo stall.
Unfinished mosque.


Through small villages with operational mosques that are still unfinished. It goes up and down the hills and deserted long beaches.