Roads, Rocks and Buffalo

Water Buffalo on the road

The road to Tanjung Aan Beach is not the best we’ve ever travelled. Roland immediately named it The Binga Highway after the road between Binga and Kamativi in Zimbabwe (the worst road we’ve ever travelled). Water buffalo on their way to the beach keep the pace slow. Their skin looks like it is made from thick grey canvas with bright pink underneath, especially the males’ testicles. What do the buffalo do on the beach? I don’t know – they just seem to roam around and then go back from whence they came. There are many children with buckets on the road. I thought they were begging – which they are but also filling in the potholes with dirt! So tourists are invited to give them money for fixing up the road! Abdul (our driver) took the road slowly, dodging water buffalo, children, tourists on motorbikes with surfboards on the side, and potholes. In fact, the road was more potholes than road. This southern end of Lombok has a similar climate to Northern Australia. At this time of year (August/September) the rains have not yet arrived and the landscape is dry. Hence, the crops on the side of the road are similar to Zimbabwe – tobacco, maize, fodder for the cattle.

Tanjung Aan Beach is a beautiful spot. The day we went, there were few people and not many hawkers. Abdul told us to ignore the hawkers – he really looked out out for us wherever we went. but even he had to pay to park the car in the shade!

Building a shelter for the tourists

Beach dogs scavenge along the water line. I heard that the bitches whelp up in the dunes behind Warung Turtle. Some beach dogs die because of eating blowies (toad-fish) which are deadly poisonous.

We climbed to the top of a huge rock. Going up was easy enough but coming down was a different story. I had to slide down on my bottom. There were a few other people on top of the rock including an old woman with a bale of sarongs. She was sitting right on the edge of the rock over the breaking surf. When she stood up she hefted the sarongs on to her head and gracefully made her way down the rock … standing up!
The sand at this end of the beach is not crystals but round grains. I believe quick sand is similar and it is difficult to walk through – dry or wet. I can only compare it to tiny ball bearings.

View from the top of the rock

There were a few surfers; from where we were standing they looked to be children. The surf was enormous. Since returning to Australia we’ve heard of three surfers going missing off Bali and Lombok.

More to come. Watch this space

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Roads, Rocks and Buffalo