Sitting on my motorcycle, I pushed the kickstand back and then I turned the key in the ignition to the ON position wearing a rather surprised face, “55 kilometers?!” I screamed at Jerome while he verifies on google maps the distance of Tetebatu from Kuta. “Yeah,” he answered, chuckling silently as he put his helmet on.
“You’re kidding right?” I hissed.
“It says it would only take us 1.5 hours to reach the place. We should be there by 11 if we leave now. Are you ready?” mumbling his calm and perky Canadian English on me.
To make this introduction short, we ended up driving the dusty way for 2 freaking hours, under the scorching sun, racing with skilled motorcycle drivers side by side, and occasionally losing sight of each other while dashing on the highway.
After getting lost for some more, we arrived at the sleepy village of Tetebatu with ravenous belly and outraging butts after driving more than 55km. I can still remember how Jerome and I both managed to slide down with our motorbikes onto the steep uncemented pathway to reach the homestay that we booked from the net. That shit gave us anxiety.
“I thought you’re staying in Bali, where are you?” asked by my family. That’s what I thought too, mom. But best the trips are usually unplanned, random, and spontaneous. So I will explain, the small village of Tetebatu is a sanctuary of breathtaking rice terraces that can be found at the foot of Mt. Rinjani, Indonesia’s second tallest volcano. And adding, “I’m still in Lombok” for the sake of calming down my Asian mom.
CHOOSE A HOMESTAY WITH INCREDIBLE VIEW AND EXCEPTIONAL HOSPITALITY
We made reservations at Rice Terrace Homestay for one night because we saw that this homestay offers an unbeatable view of Mt. Rinjani. Which is hands down the best when you are sipping Lombok Coffee and smoking a cigarette on the balcony. Life!
What I adore about this experience was staying with Ros and his family! This local family is SO welcoming, I don’t think I can put an ample emphasis on that. They spoiled us with a nonstop flow of delicious local meals, they were always checking up on us and even gave us a bundle of thermos filled with hot water for taking a bath.
We were also entertained by wonderful kids in the village who was shy at first but still managed to show love towards us. These cute kids cannot speak English but it was amazing how we felt like we understood each other well. Affirming that love is indeed a universal language.
So if you come to this blog post because you are doing your backbreaking itinerary, then please take my word and book yourself a stay with them! You may look them up online or you may visit their Instagram @riceterracehomestay.
THE IMPECCABLE WEATHER
I don’t care how abounding I’ve already said this but the weather in Indonesia is different in the Philippines.
It’s true, at least for me who grew up in the tropical Manila. The breeze and the temperature are way cooler in this part of the world probably because it’s much closer to Australia? But you see, there are only two kinds of weather in the Philippines: hot and hotter.
In early mornings in Tetebatu, the temperature can drop down to 17°C and for someone who only brings short summer board shorts and tank tops, I can only wish to go back to sleep and dream of a blanket and a fireplace.
The weather might also the reason why I only spent few times bathing on the beach. The sea was a little bit chilly for me. But for going around, I can say that the weather in Lombok is hella perfect: clear skies, the sun’s up and cool breeze.
THE LOCAL FOOD
I can’t remember if we even grabbed some breakfast on the day we left Slumber Party Hostel to drive for 2 hours. All I can remember when we arrived at Tetebatu, was I needed to drink coffee, sit down on the balcony, and just admire the view. And sure, puff some cigarettes.
I have been eating a hell lot of Nasi Goreng ever since my foot touched down this country and Ros’ version of Lombok Chicken Curry was a brand-new, cutting the edge moment.
I will never forget how it tasted – the layers of savory spices, the bursting earthy flavors, and the oozing sweetness that adds brightness made it all perfect for the mild and delicate white rice. Blending it both inside my mouth was marvelous. No doubt a winning 10.
THE THINGS I WILL DO WHEN I VISIT BACK
- I will hike Mt. Rinjani – I will dedicate a full 4 days of travel just to see and be at the summit.
- Stay with Ros’ family again and eat their version of chicken curry every day.
- Take the cycling tour – although we had a little jungle adventure on foot around the area to see waterfalls and forests, I would love to pedal around the village to see more and meet locals.
- Go to the nearby village of Beleke and learn how to make rattan handicrafts and wood carving.
- Explore more of the Monkey Jungle. Before we left the village, Jerome went back to the jungles all by himself to take more photos because I remember feeling sleepy. And I regret acting such a lazy ass.
It was really the driving bit that is making me proud of this trip because I am not a big fan of driving at all. Or maybe I really am, I just don’t know it yet? I know it wasn’t much for you but for me, that’s really something! It was like our own version of Pedal The World only that we used gasoline instead of our foot for pedal spindles.
And that Life is too short not to take the spontaneous trip. And at the end of the day, spontaneity is always the best kind of adventure – what do you think?
You may also read My solo travel to Indonesia: Bali, Lombok and Nusa Penida