Three meters long and up to 140 kg heavy are the reptiles, which were discovered were discovered relatively late by a Dutch infantry lieutenant in what was then the Dutch East Indies. The message that on the island Komodo up to seven meters long monster lizards, he had received in 1910 from two Dutch pearl fishermen. He searched for them and also found stately lizards, but no monsters of seven meters in length. But it was a species of monitor lizard new to science and they were given the scientific name Varanus Komodoensis. These dragons live only on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca and Gili Motang. Equipped with modern mountain bikes, the island of Rinca should be our destination journey to the prehistoric times.
On the way to these monsters we reach the small sister of the more famous island of Bali still in the afternoon by ferry from the beautiful fishing village of Padang Bai on the south coast of the island of the gods via the Lombok Strait, whose channel reaches a depth of over 300 meters. In Lombok we enjoy the nativeness and serenity of the inhabitants. The ancient Malay Sasak are the indigenous people, but the minority of enterprising Chinese is the determining economic factor in Mataram and Amaram. economic factor in Mataram and Ampenan. Here we also take the first cold drink in one of the many small stores that line up. Not even 10 minutes later we are back on our saddles. saddles again and rush past the colorful horse-drawn carriages, which are mainly used to transport passengers, until we finally land on the beach of Senggigi. From here we watch the the fascinating picture-book sunset behind the silhouette of the volcano Gunung Agung (3142m) rising into the sky on the other side of the Lombok Strait, with a well-deserved cool Bintang*.
SOUTH SEA FEELING
From far away you can already see the 3 islands Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Like mirror eggs they lie in the shining light of the iridescent ocean and we take course with our studded tires to the tropical beach idyll. On a well-built asphalt road, which winds in an we can often enjoy the fascinating view of palm-covered bays and the blue ocean. After a few kilometers we cool down our hot we cool down after a few kilometers with a break in the clear waves of the Bali Sea. A banana as a power bar gives us again the necessary momentum, so we reach the small harbor opposite the group of islands already around noon and a boat brings us for almost a day to our dream destination with snow-white beaches. After the snorkeling excursion we have in one of the many nice small restaurants we have the opportunity to try the Indonesian cuisine. Beside every kind of fresh fish there is fried rice or fried noodles, of course also the delicious Sate skewers with chicken, pork or goat meat or a seafood platter. At the end of a successful day we have the opportunity to listen to the reggae sounds of Bob Marley & Co. in a small bar. in a small bar. ( Video at the end of the report )
GUEST IN THE JUNGLE
Not even 15 kilometers of today's 65 we have made, already "threatens" at the roadside the next time-out. The exotic sounds of a traditional "band" literally force us to linger for a few minutes at these to these unusual sounds. They are on the way to a wedding party in the middle of the jungle and drum up guests, they explain to us loudly while the music drones incessantly and we are to make them nevertheless company......Well, we are open for everything, nodded, which should mean so much that we accept the invitation gladly. We are not badly astonished when our beloved bikes suddenly landed on a truck. In addition to the 14 musicians, timpani, drums and amplifiers, we also still had room on the loading area......
The breathtaking ride through partly dense jungle in the direction of the mountains on increasingly narrow roadways had also survived the bikes well.....We were especially curious about who and what awaits us here in the "bush". expected! The amplifier system was first pushed through the mango plantation up the slope, we followed then quite uncertainly the rest of the musicians, but were amazed when we came across the with palm fronds festively decorated property looked. In any case, we were warmly welcomed, with drinks, fruit and small delicacies we were abundantly supplied. One thing was clear to us, we could not immediately escape the magic of these happy people.
But, when it is most we said to ourselves and after a few successful dances, which even the natives were amazed by, we finally roll back downhill to the "main road" and tackle the remaining 50 kilometers to today's destination. "Mainroad" and take the remaining 50 kilometers to today's destination in attack. One thing is for sure, not only we enjoyed this encounter with the foreign world! world!
We leave the We leave the scenery of the island world framed by rice terraces with our tires and drive further through more and more rare villages towards the highlands of Sembalun. After the previous flatland stages the first real challenge.
Still we can enjoy the giant poinsettia plants that stand on the left and right along the way, but eight kilometers before the finish, when everyone is already dreaming of food and a cold beer, the sweat drips and our strength dwindles. and the forces dwindle. Even the fresh juice from the coconut doesn't get the leg muscles going anymore. So we gladly accept the transport by van to the hotel and loosen our legs with a walk. We relax our legs with a walk in the bamboo garden of this huge highland plain. A little later, darkness falls and it gets cool. Even the Beer is cold enough at more than 1000 meters above zero without storing it in the refrigerator!
Strengthened by the Hop juice of the previous evening and the banana pancake for breakfast, we resume the "battle" with the mountains. The plateau presents itself ghostly in a hint of morning haze, around us two thousand meter peaks. To warm up, the first 5 kilometers flat along strawberry, vegetable and onion plantations are just right, but then in the serpentines is again the "GIGI SATU", literally translated from Indonesian, "TOE ONE", is required!
The joy of reaching the Reaching the saddle at 1500 m and the panorama of the surrounding mountain peaks make us forget the pain on the mountain. With a proud chest we start pedaling, because from now on it goes through the breathtaking nature of the lush mountain rainforest over lush banana plantations and bright green rice terraces only downhill, downhill, downhill......
In no time at all we land we land in the colorful hustle and bustle between horse-drawn carriages and market women on one of the most beautiful markets of Lombok. Curiously we observe the busy trade, the colorful mixture of tropical fruits, exotic spices, fresh vegetables and dried herbs. It smells of tobacco and stinks of dried fish, smells of cinnamon and smells foul of durian, also known as the "stink fruit" known.
We bargain for a few bananas, juicy pineapple and sweet papaya, which we want to bring on board, because from now on we take a pirate ship to the eastern Sunda Islands. Sunda Islands.