After a 1.5 hour car ride from the harbor we arrived in Senaru, Lombok. Our accommodations were at the Dragonfly Senaru Lodge, a small two-hut lodge on a ridge overlooking Mt. Rinjani. The view was spectacular.
Our main reason for coming to Senaru was to see two waterfalls: Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile. Mt. Rinjani was closed to trekking due to the rainy season. The conditions were too dangerous causing muddy terrain on the volcano, among other obstacles. We were disappointed when we learned of its closure a couple weeks earlier, but the waterfalls were supposed to be stunning.
Our view from our room was amazing but the room wasn’t. The bathroom was crawling with daddy long legs, the shower water was ice cold, and the deck would sink a few inches whenever we stepped on it. We could feel every spring in the mattress. The people we met there, however, made up for all its flaws. We were greeted joyfully by the owner’s son, a boy of 19 with a constant grin.
He made us coffee and played guitar for us. He was so out of tune, but his energy brightened our days. There were a few other younger boys hanging out watching an Indonesian version of The Exorcist.
The waterfalls were an easy hike from our lodge, but dodging the monkeys? Not so easy. There was a group on the trail in front of us who were clutching each other and screaming when the monkeys got close. They yelled to us, “We have a monkey problem!” We thought the monkeys were delightful though, especially the little babies who clung to their mama’s bellies.
The first waterfall, Sendang Gile, was around 30 meters high. It let off a fine mist of water when it reached the river below. Up close it also created a strong wind!
The second waterfall, Tiu Kelep, was a 30 minute hike from the first. This hike was through the rainforest with a couple of river crossings.
It was more beautiful than the first, in my opinion. Marc and I waded in at the base of the waterfall. Because of the wind coming from the falls, we got so cold. It was warmer to immerse yourself under water!
After an afternoon spent at the falls, the owner of the lodge invited us and another guest back to his home for dinner. His wife cooked up papaya curry with rice and bananas on the side. We dined outside under a hut. The dinner was finger-licking good, and probably the best curry I have had so far on this trip (and I’ve had a lot of curry!)
The owner’s son, age three, accompanied our dinner near the hut. His eyes were glued to an iPad. We noted how some things are quite similar to America. It was a unique experience having dinner with a local family and being able to directly ask them questions about their culture, government, and day-to-day life.
(Marc took all the awesome waterfall photos FYI)