Lombok: from summit to sea
When winter comes to Hong Kong, chapping lips and penetrating homes with no insulation nor central heating, I dream of a faraway tropical island among a chain of more than 17,000 spread like jewels along the equator. It waits in the shadow of its famous sister, separated by nothing more than a deep sea strait.
Lombok is where I return when deadlines crease my forehead with worry – it keeps me focused and thankful for a week I cannot forget. To stand atop Indonesia’s second-highest volcano, piercing through the clouds, and then to descend through a misty rainforest into paddy fields and villages dotted with soaring coconut palms. To marvel at the brightness of the full moon, before the rising sun floods the earth with colour.
To perch on the back seat of a scooter with the breeze in my hair, winding past headland after headland marking off rugged, surf-beaten bays. To savor the rich, spicy flavours of ayam taliwang, and step onto a virgin beach where the Indian Ocean surges and ebbs, in glorious blue, from a shore of improbable pink sand.
I dream of all these moments, and soon I will be back in Indonesia, on a beach in eastern Bali where the mountains of Lombok greet me on the horizon.