Thursday, July 29, 2010


“Senggigi has everything, except crowds. Although as more people come to Lombok, that is changing; this is a place to get away from your fellow travellers in just the place you’d expect to find them.”
Lonely Planet 2010

“Senggigi epitomises the loathsome nature of custom designed villages/resorts dressed up as gateways to the white sands of the beach. Senggigi is a trailer park in which every second building is a Tourist Information point where you’ll be unwillingly led and aggressively sold packages to places you don’t want to go to, and in any case are unlikely to be brought. Think Salthill without the sea and the prom. Yes, that bad.”
Mossy, late July 2010

Bless it - all Senggigi has is its white sand. In fairness though, it pretends to be nothing more than what it is - a pit-stop on the Lombok/Bali highway and the gateway to the Gili islands and Rinjani. Senggigi knows its being used so it does its utmost to use you in return. Absolutely everyone has something to sell here. The town is unashamedly and dispiritingly a latter day gold rush settlement, trading in supposed cut-price deals and shuttle services to places that - mercifully - aren’t Senggigi.
I trooped around town earlier to try to find more information on a reliable organisation with which to plan my Rinjani trek. Bafflingly, everyone claims to be the premier tour service for Rinjani. The problem is that you have to be careful who you go with - Rinjani is 3,700 metres high and situated in the heart of Lombok so if you go with a half-arsed organisation, you’re likely to be quite literally left high and dry. Based on some tentative online recommendations I’m leaving with the Rinjani Trekking Company taking in a 2 day/1 night trek to the summit. Apparently I’ll be travelling with 7 others - all of them - sacré bleu - French, and all part of the same group. Time to sign off - I’m losing concentration between the contrasting sounds of the call to prayer from the nearby mosque and a girl in the room next door who’s having a shower and positively butchering Bizarre Love Triangle. The call to prayer has never sounded so good.

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