Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A day out ...

... and about.  8th May.  A very full day but pretty much the sort of day I'd been looking forward to. - *lol* - and WARNING, a very, very long post, photo heavy.

Unfortunately I woke up with a sore throat, bad breathing and a splitting headache but wasn't going to miss the first proper day of sightseeing that had been put on the agenda, so dosed up with everything I could.  

Mini bus arrives, we all pile on and away we go ...
First stop .... A pearl jewellery store just down the road from the hotel.  Lombok is known for it's quality pearls and the local pearl farms.  Got to say there were some beautiful pieces and, although reasonable in price compared to what we would pay in the UK, there wasn't anything I wanted in the price range I was prepared to go to.  It also seemed that they weren't prepared to barter, even though I wanted more than one item.  I'd been told they would as they'd rather sell than not, but that certainly wasn't the case for me so I left empty handed.

Next stop, after a good lengthy journey through some beautiful countryside, was a local pottery at Banyumulek.  We had a chance of actually making something for ourselves and little Ruby took the opportunity to do so, with the help of one of the potters *LOL*  Several of us browsed the warehouse, which was rather large, and made a few small purchases .... well, you have to have some little mementos of the holiday.  I bought a couple of coasters and a tealight holder.  I've found fault with one of the coasters since I've been home but hey, they are handmade and it adds to the charm *grin*

At some point Anie got the bus driver to stop and she bought some fruit for us to try.  Not particularly appetising to look at and not as spikey as it would appear but, once we broke through the outer casings the fruit inside was delicious.  What was it?   Rambutan and the actual fruit inside looked and tasted very much like lychee.  Very moreish!

Another drive through more charming scenery and we stopped at a weavers co-operative. I think it was at Sukarara although not 100% sure, but it was in central Lombok.  We had a guided tour and explanation of the work undertaken by both men and women, a look round the store and were given the chance of having a go at a bit of weaving, under close instruction and eye of the local weavers .... hmmm, I wonder why *wink*  Jackie and I loved this and even little Ruby had a go.

The men's work stations.  They were all at lunch .... women at work!

After the weavers we paid a visit to a local market - brilliant!  Real, local life in all it's glory.  Yes, it was smelly (chilies, spices, fish, meat and the like - what else would it be?) and a bit messy as there'd been a bit of rain and the ground was wet in places but it was real life.  The people were so friendly and if they caught sight of a camera they were asking us to take photos.  One lady, who'd been sitting on a stool, asked me to take a photo and all of a sudden she became a hive of activity.  She didn't want a 'portrait' she wanted me to take some of her working!  Another man kept pointing to his wife and child and then the camera .... such happy people!  Anie stopped to do some shopping at a dried fish stall and ended up shooing us all away (we were waiting for her).  Reason?  The stallholder was asking too much money for what she wanted to buy and all because of us.  There's different price ranges - local, Indo speaking whites and tourists!  Anie came away with a bag load so guess she ended up with the 'local' price she wanted *grin*

We had lunch (not the best we'd had) at a local, and very popular, swimming pool/temple/cafe complex.  No idea where it was, or what it was called but, there were monkeys in the trees and on the access road to it - and cheeky they were with it.  Obviously very used to human contact :0)

Lunch was followed by the last planned visit of the day - to Pura Lingsar (Lingsar Temple).  It was built by Hindus in 1714 but is now also shared by followers of the local Sasak people's Wektu Telu religion. Beautiful place and very peaceful.  We made a wish and threw coins, following a certain ritual, over a gate into a small pond which also housed 'holy' eels. We tried to entice the eels out of their hiding place. It's supposed to be good luck for life if you see them and it seems that just seeing the face (which we did) was enough, according to our guide.  

 Making our wishes.

A priest.

Unfortunately we couldn't fully explore the Hindu temple part as a family had arrived to worship so we were only allowed to take photos from a corner of it.  If they hadn't arrived we could have looked round properly but it was fascinating, none-the-less.

Showers for ritual washing.

On the way back to the hotel we passed several local weddings. Anie thought it was probably some important holy day as there were so many. Unfortunately we only saw one bride as most hadn't arrived.  I managed to get a picture from the bus window.  Driver offered to stop so I could get a better photo but I didn't want to intrude so declined.  Wish I hadn't now - :0(  Guess which one is the bride ...

That 'homeward' journey rounded the day off nicely.  As we were nearing the hotel there was a large gathering which turned out to be a stick-fight gathering.  We stopped so we could go and take a quick look but I stayed on bus with Ruby, who was asleep (well, she was when we stopped *lol*), and I wasn't sure I could cope with the crowds by this time as I wasn't feeling at all well.  Unfortunately Jackie didn't have her camera and hadn't taken mine so I've no photos to show of that and nobody who took any has been kind enough to share :0( however, a search of YouTube has given me a video, shot in February of this year and filmed at exactly the same place - Senggigi - just down the road from our hotel. This is video #2, there is another by this contributor.  At least I've got to witness it now, if not the atmosphere *grin*

I finished a very busy day with an early night as still not feeling good. Lovely day but still an undercurrent and not really sure why there should be any more.  Anyway, another day out planned for the following day ... Gili Air (island), beach, glass bottom boat for some, diving for others and .... chilling for me!

Now .... I've had a very lazy Bank Holiday weekend and today I've to take Dad to his hearing appointment.  Hope he doesn't fight me so much with his mobility 'cos if he does it'll be the last time I will be able to take him out.  I can't cope with the struggle. It wears me out and takes me ages to recover my breath.  He doesn't physically fight but he doesn't trust that you won't let him fall, so he hangs on to stuff for grim death.  You try to get him to move and he's trying to move his feet without letting go of what he's gripped on to.  Telling him to let go produces no effect, no matter how firm you have hold of him.  Carers are now 2-up with him and they're fit and healthy with no breathing problems.  I have to manage on my own.  I'll try this time.  I'm not expecting to do it any more.  I warned the hearing centre last time that it might be the last.  They can do home visits.  Unfortunately everything is now a home visit which means he goes out even less than he did.   I'd like to take him out for pleasure but I don't think I can any more.  We'll see.

Thanks for dropping by .....


Jackie said...

really wonderful pics Pam.. sorry to hear about your Dad etc hugs J x

Daisycat said...

Wonderful photos Pam, and marvellous relating of your trip

Trace said...

FAB pics and commentary again Pam, I've really enjoyed yours and Jackie's holiday. loved the video. x