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ISSUE 164

 

TREK IN LOMBOK!

Trekking and hiking enthusiasts will be delighted to know that the 2014 trekking season has started in Lombok and that routes for climbing our famous volcano, Mt Rinjani, are now open.

The volcano was closed to trekking in January, to protect the safety of climbers during the monsoon season and to carry out maintenance on trails within the park, and re-opened on 1 April 2014.

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CLIMBING RINJANI… LOMBOK’S SACRED VOLCANO

The annual trekking season to Gunung Rinjani on Lombok re-opens on 1 April, after being closed for the monsoon season since January.

Located on the north of the island, Mt Rinjani soars 3726m above sea level and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, annually attracting thousands of trekkers and climbers to Lombok.

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FORESTRY MINISTRY PROPOSES FEE HIKE

A new proposal by the Forestry Ministry to dramatically increase fees for people climbing Rinjani is causing confusion and anger at the start of the 2014 trekking season.

Indonesia’s Kementerian Kehutanan, the Forestry Ministry, has proposed an increase of 1,150% – taking the fee from Rp 20,000 to Rp 250,000 per person – for those wishing to climb Rinjani.

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• Mmmm, who doesn’t love cheese? Especially Swiss cheese! Cheese lovers will be delighted to know that Café Lombi has now introduced an Authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue to their menu.

Fondue is a Swiss tradition of placing a communal pot of melted cheese in the centre of the table and dipping pieces of bread into the pot to eat. The secret of a good fondue is the combination of cheeses and the crunchy chunks of bread used!

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TIGER SUSPENDS LOMBOK - SINGAPORE FLIGHTS

Tigerair Mandala is suspending their direct flights between Lombok and Singapore, just five months after commencing the service.

The budget airline commenced flights between Lombok and Singapore on 22 November, 2013; operating three flights per week between the two islands.

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LOCAL SCENE

LOMBOK LUNCH @ DE QUAKE

Even a freak storm couldn’t dampen the spirits as expats from all over Lombok gathered for a fun lunch at de Quake restaurant in the Art Markets last week.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS 9 APRIL

On 9 April 2014, Indonesians will vote for their legislators at the national, provincial, and district levels.

Exactly three months later, on 9 July, Indonesians will go to the polls to choose their next president, for the fourth time since the 1998 resignation of President Suharto.

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ELEVEN FOREIGNERS DEPORTED IN TWO MONTHS

In the first two months since his January 2014 appointment, the new Chief of Immigration in Mataram, Husni Thamrin, has been flexing his muscles – and targeting foreigners on the island.

At least eleven foreign citizens have been deported in his tough new “clean-up operation” of those who abuse visa regulations.

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DRAGON AIR ANNOUNCE BALI - HONG KONG FLIGHTS

Rumours of a direct flight between Lombok and Hong Kong, soon to be introduced by Dragon Air, have been strengthened this week with the airline’s announcement of a new service out of Bali.

Dragon Air, the sister airline of Hong Kong-basedCathay Pacific, has announced it will commence twice-weekly services between Hong Kong and Bali on 27 April 2014.

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BRINGING MUSIC TO LOMBOK

I was first introduced to Banu Sanusi, a secondary school that serves the villages of Sesela and Gunung Sari, three years ago during a visit to Lombok.  Since then, I’ve been dedicated to fundraising and organising the “Music for Lombok” programme based out of my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. 

“Music for Lombok” is an organisation that aims to bring music, art, supplies and English teachers to an orphanage in Lombok, Indonesia. Our mission is to provide educational enrichment for some of the kindest and most deserving children in the world.

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