Tuesday, January 27, 2009

beautifully desolate is a place called Sekotong

Lombok is blessed. Only 25 minutes away by plane from Bali, it has a coastline that rival the best of Bali but minus the crowds and for now, the egregious development. Among the innumerable beaches and lagoons that I’ve been lucky to visit is a still undiscovered place with a sing-song name, Sekotong in the bay of Siung in Lombok Barat.

simple pleasures
an endearing mother and child pair in Sekotong, Lombok
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/125s, f/4, 7.1mm

Getting there was tedious to say the least. While my friends said that it is only about 50 km southwest from the airport, it probably is further than that for getting there took us more than 2 hours. The road was winding and narrow. Access by boat is also possible and it is a little more than 30 minutes by speedboat from Lembar harbor or from Senggigi.

the puffed sail of our small boat while we went around the gili islands in Sekotong, Lombok Barat, Indonesia
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/320s, f/5, 7.1mm

Aside from the prerequisite requirement of white sand, Sekotong is a springboard of a number of small islets (like Gili Asahan, Gili Gede and Gili Poh). Further west in Tanjung Bangko-Bangko is worldclass surfing as well. Then, there are panoramic views of Mt Agung to the East and Mt Rinjani in the Northwest.

Nothing much is happening there for now. While there is a friendly local market and an accessible fish port, the Pelabuhan Poh (Port of Poh), the place was truly desolate place and empty.

pindang tongkol
a woman curing the freshly harvested tongkol fish with salt, before boiling. The resulting delicacy is called pindang and is popular in Indonesia; in Pelabuhan Poh, Sekotong, Lombok Barat, Indonesia
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/60s, f/4, 8.6mm

In most of Eastern Lombok – take the capital Mataram for instance – Balinese comprise at least 50% of the population. More so here in Sekotong, where the Balinese are an almost overwhelming majority. Nothing makes you feel that Lombok is Bali 50 years ago more than that.

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Mme Généreux said...

Thank you for the photos of Sekotong. Did you go to the Gilis near there?

Farl said...

I wasn't able to stop by any of the small islets there, unfortunately.