28th and 29th September This morning, we go to have breakfast with Refi, Hanah and Nidal at a park nearby, where there is an hindou temple.

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We have a typical Indonesian breakfast, with beans porridge (red and green, with coco milk on top), and a soup of meatballs. To drink, we take coconut juice. We go to visit the temple. Good view on the city. Small description of the history of Bali inside the temple with 40 scenes represented.

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In the afternoon, we go to see the landfill of Denpasar. It’s a huge place where they throw trash, inside special holes, with the floor made waterproof. Once the hole is filled, they’ll recover the whole so that it ferments, and so produces gas. This gas is used in a turbine to produce electricity. Unfortunately, today is Saturday and we cannot visit the landfill. The maximum we can get is a short panorama on the landfill (that is now beginning to be filled), and we don’t have authorization to take pictures. After this, we go to the south, to have a little sightseeing on this part of the island. Refi goes first in scooter and we follow him on our bikes. We need to take the new highway that has just be opened last week (and is still free as 1st week promotion). Unfortunately, our bikes are not allowed on the highway. So we have to go backwards, cycling 500m on the highway introduction road, against the hundreds of motos coming towards us. Once we meet again with Refi, we go home, before the sun sets. For dinner, we eat with Refi and Hanah, some rice with lamb brochettes that Refi brought back. The brochettes have a peanut sauce that is wonderful with the rice.

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We have a very interesting discussion with Refi about the energy in Indonesia. Today, out of the 240 millions inhabitants of Indonesia, 70 millions do not have electricity at home. That leaves room for introducing good energy production from scratch. In Bali and Lombok, the electricity is obtained by burning diesel. And it is hard to change this electricity production since many people involved in the diesel providing benefit illegally of their position: they sell to trucks companies or boat companies a small part of the diesel that should go to the electricity plants. In Bali, in addition, the people are very reluctant to the introduction of geothermal or hydroelectricity plants, since the water or the land is sacred. In Indonesia, nearly all the islands are isolated from the energy point of view. Only Bali is connected to Java. Lombok is isolated, and what’s more, the two parts of the island (North, and South) are not connected. They are currently working to connect these two parts. It’s a long time that we talk of nuclear energy in Indonesia. There are several thousands of engineer specialized for nuclear, there is an Indonesian agency for nuclear energy, however, there is no nuclear plant in Indonesia. Every time the government has planned to build one, a strong opposition has managed to cancel the plan. As for ressources, Indonesia produces oil. Especially in Kalimatan (Indonesian part of Borneo). And so the oil industry is very powerful in the country. But Indonesia has a very strong potential for developing geothermal energy production. The country has the biggest potential in the world for this energy. Indonesia is situated in the Firebelt of the Pacific, with many volcanoes. Many islands have their volcanoes and hot sources.

The next day, we wake up at 5 am for a departure at 6 am. We eventually leave Refi’s house at 6:50 after a good breakfast. Our next destination: Padang Bai. This is the city which is linked with Lombok island by a “slow” (and cheap) ferry. We cover the 47 km between Denpasar and Padang Bai in two and a half hours. This route is very crowded of cars and scooters. The noise level is high and the pollution level is quite high too. We are using filters but still, this amount of traffic makes this first part of the journey quite unpleasant. It makes us think that we should remodel our route in Bali when we will cross the island towards Java. Nevertheless, we pass by some beautiful rice fields, and take some time to taste a delicious coconut.

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When we arrived in Padang Bai, we load our bikes in the boat and start contemplating the strait of Bali, between Bali and Lombok. The crossing goes smoothly, we are lucky enough to spot some flying fish.

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We also meet with a guide on board, with whom we can discuss the Rinjani ascent we want to carry. After showing him a picture of Mont Blanc (this guide had never seen snow), we can negotiate a good deal for a 3 days expedition. We were tempted to climb it on our own but we prefer to take part of an expedition with porters since we are missing a few technical gears, we don´t know where we can find fresh water on the way, and the trek we want to make needs some transportation. Before leaving the boat we pay a deposit to the guide and, in exchange, he gives us his personal ID card! You don’t see this kind of trust in Europe towards a totally stranger. We see many fishermen when we arrive in the harbour of Lembar.

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We arrive in Lembar, on Lombok island around 14h30, and take some food in a small shop of the harbour. Tonight, we are staying in the city of Mataram, where Munawir (a couchsurfer), and his family are waiting for us. We don´t have the coordinates of his house but the explanation he gave us is good enough and we make it at his house before the night fall, which was our main objective.

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Munawir is a freelance driver for the tourists in Lombok. His wife does some laundry for the neighbours, and they have three children: two boys of 6 and 3, and a little girl of 1 year and a half. In the evening, we invite Munawir and his family to a restaurant, where we taste nasi gulayat, which is a kind of box made of banana leaf with glutinous rice inside. After that meal, Munawir takes us around the city by car and we have a feel of the Sunday´s evening ambiance in Mataram. There is not much going around. We are driving in front of a huge mosque under construction.