Saturday, January 2, 2010

Indonesian officials like Mataram in Lombok. Indonesia

Ferries in Indonesia are extremely slow. Mussels and crayfish swim faster.
The ferry from Bali to Lombok takes half-day trip.
I came to the port of Lembar already at dusk.

I got a lift with another 4 backpackers after long negotiations with local touts. The travel mates were heading to Senggigi and I got off in Mataram. I knocked to 9 different hotels in the town before I got a room.

It seemed that Indonesian officials travelled and occupied all available accommodation in all Nusa Tenggara.

During my travel throughout the islands the biggest problem was related to finding a hotel room. This was a difficult mission despite the influx of a few tourists in Nusa Tenggara. The backpackers here were in danger of extinction like the dinosaurs in the past. The few hotels were always occupied by the officials, who sat all days at local restaurants.

Ninth hotel. Here I got a room for $ 6. The place was clean, but the mosquitoes didn’t let me sleep.

This hotel was populated with a horde of tourists from Java. Do Indonesians have some holidays in November?

The only one mall in the town is called “Mataram Mall”. There are two internet cafes with old computers and slow connection.

Mataram has over 300 thousand inhabitants. The town looks as deserted.
Maybe it is too much spread out ? It is the capital and largest city of West Nusa Tenggara province.

Cheap, yellow bemos shuttle along main streets.

People in Mataram are friendly and willing to give you an answer and an information.

Mataram is only a stop on the way to Gili Islands. If you need to sleep here, look for a hotel as soon as possible after you arrive.

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