Thanks to our friends in Adventurous Sumbawa, we connected with another wonderful group on the neighbouring island of Lombok. Lombok Backpackers are a group of locals passionate about the natural beauty of their island home (click the link to their facebook). In the provincial capital Mataram they have their ‘Base Camp’. Base Camp is a open-house set up for travellers to stay as long as they need for free. There are just a few basic rule: no drugs or alcohol in the house, clean your room when you leave and help keep communal spaces clean. In the evenings, the travellers and locals gather in the outdoor area to swap their adventure stories of the day, share food and make music.
We asked the owner of the house, what made him want to create this place? He replied “I’ve always loved trekking and snorkelling and having my friends around. So I thought to make a place where this can all come together.”
Having only a few short days to explore Lombok, staying at Base Camp was perfect for us. The house has lots of maps and resources about the island and everyday we could ask for advice about where we should go, how long it would take and what the prices should be. While international visitors do stay from time to time, it was just us during our stay. Instead we met many Indonesian travellers passionate about exploring their home country. If you ask around, you’ll be sure to find someone organising an adventure that they’ll be happy for you to join on; maybe sharing a boat hire for snorkelling off a small island or making the 3 day trek to the summit of volcano Rinjani – I’ll be back for this next time for sure!!
There is a whole lot more to Lombok than getting partying on ‘the Gilies’. From the coast line, to the winding mountain passes, to the temples and amazingly welcoming villages. Thank you Lombok Backpackers for helping us find the real Lombok!