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NEWS

ISSUE 52

HOP OVER TO LOMBOK!

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!

WHAT'S HOT

PLN TO RENT MORE GENERATORS

TWO YEARS JAIL FOR BALI PROPERTY SWINDLER

TAKE A HOLIDAY FROM COOKING!

MR FIXIT

LOCAL SCENE

GOLF FOR FUN, PRIZES AND FRIENDSHIP

HATTEN WINES VISIT LOMBOK

LOMBOK’S VOLCANO QUIETENS AS BALI’S RUMBLES

PROTECTING THE GILIS FOR THE FUTURE

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HOP OVER TO LOMBOK!

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok’s complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

The Christmas and New Year holidays are fast approaching and, with Bali sure to be crowded with revellers, now is the perfect time to plan a Festive Season break in Lombok. With so many flight and fast boat travel options now available from Bali, Jakarta and other capital cities, a peaceful and relaxing holiday is as little as 25 minutes away by plane.

Those burned out by another busy year and the stresses of the holiday season can take time out relaxing by the pool at any of Lombok’s fabulous hotels and resorts, enjoy dining in charming restaurants with a full range of cuisines, and take advantage of the range of massages and body treatments available at our wonderful spas. 
For the more adventurous, there are a whole host of activities available on Lombok. Visit the Gili Islands for a castaway experience and spend the days snorkelling and diving the fantastic reefs. Climb Lombok’s famous volcano, Mt Rinjani, and trek through the natural jungles and forest of the Rinjani National Park. Tour the villages and the countryside to meet friendly Sasak people and drink in the lush scenery of mountains, rice terraces and tobacco plantations. Or grab your surfboard and head to Kuta to challenge the big waves that roll in on the south coast.

It would take more than the holiday break to explore all the possibilities of this beautiful, unspoilt paradise but, as they say on Gili Air, “if you don’t try you don’t know”!  

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!

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SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!

Christmas is just around the corner and Lombok businesses are already preparing special menus and events to encourage guests to enjoy the festive season with them. Christmas is a special time for children and wouldn’t be complete without a visit from Santa, so treat them to a special Christmas surprise at the following venues:
Popular Senggigi establishment, Asmara Restaurant, is once again offering their Traditional German Christmas Dinner… a delicious combination of Roast Duck stuffed with apple and onion, and served with gravy, red cabbage and potato croquettes that has gained the restaurant many fans for Christmas over the last few years.
Other festive specials include Jumbo Prawns Thermidor, served with broccoli and potatoes au gratin, Prawn Pate and Home-made Mango Ice Cream.

Join in for lunch on Christmas Day with the children, who will love a visit from Santa complete with presents! Bookings are highly recommended and guests should let staff know how many children are attending, to make sure they don’t miss out on gifts from Santa! 

If you have other commitments on Christmas Day, you can still sample the delicious festive menus on Christmas Eve and on Boxing Day (24, 25 and 26 December). RSVP: 693 619

Santosa Villas and Resort is offering something a little different, with the emphasis on kids for Christmas with their “Uniquely Santa” event on 20 December. Bring your children along and join in the fun with the other kids in the Resort’s spacious Ballroom. The event will feature games and competitions for the kids, a special kids’ lunch and a visit from Santa! Ph: 693 090 for details.

Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort is also looking after the little ones on Christmas with a special cooking class to keep the kids amused. Children can have fun learning how to make pizzas at the Bawang Putih Grill in the Resort from 11am onwards on 25 December. Children’s activities are free for in-house guests and cost just Rp 50 000++ for outside guests… leaving mum and dad free to relax on Christmas Day!

The 5-star Resort is also offering a Christmas Eve Buffet on 24 December, with a Christmas Choir and entertainment by popular local artist Ary Juliyant for Rp 350 000++.

On 25 December, enjoy a Christmas Day Set Menu Dinner with traditional Christmas fare and live music by Ary Juliyant for Rp 350 000++ per person. Both are available at the Sheraton’s lovely Kebun Anggrek Restaurant. For bookings and information, ph: 693 333.

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Christmas is coming and that means invites to the Annual Qunci Villas Christmas Party should be arriving for lucky people shortly. The Qunci Christmas Party, held on 12 December at the stunning Villa Qusia on the hill overlooking the ocean and the Qunci Mangsit properties, is one of the highlights of Lombok’s social calendar. Each year has a different theme, with top entertainment by visiting performers, great music, dancing and fun in a fabulous festive atmosphere. This year’s theme is “Family” and many of Lombok’s children will be invited to join the celebrations, with lots of fun and treats for the kids, including a visit from Santa… complete with presents! Children make Christmas special and the Qunci Christmas parties are always special anyway… the combination is sure to be something very magical! www.quncivillas.com

Hatten Wines are visiting Lombok again, hosting a special wine tasting at the fabulous Square Restaurant in Senggigi on 4 December. Popular Hatten Rosé and Sparkling Wine will be featured, as well as the launch of a new Cabernet Merlot and Riesling from Two Islands in Bali. See our article on page 35 … this is an important product night for businesses in Lombok and sure to be a lot of fun too! www.squarelombok.com / www.hattenwines.com

There are quite a few Spas and massage centres in Senggigi and its often difficult to know which are good value and which are a pain in the neck. Club Arena Spa, at Santosa Villas and Resort, is not only good value, they also offer guests that something special with which others cannot compete. Located on the beachfront in a private corner of the Resort, Arena Spa gives guests the choice of massages and treatments either inside the comfortable air conditioned building or outside next to the swimming pool.

What’s more, guests are invited to turn their spa experience into a relaxing day out by taking advantage of the Spa’s facilities and enjoying a swim in the private swimming pool. Guests are welcome to bring a book and relax on the sun lounges, swim, and to enjoy massage, reflexology, facials and other beauty treatments at their leisure. Of course, other Resort facilities such as restaurant and bar services are also available, and guests can order lunch, drinks and snacks by the pool while enjoying their spa treatments. Best of all, Arena Spa is offering 50% off one hour aromatherapy massages between 8am and 12 noon every day and attractive discounts are available to WNI and KITAS residents; so why not make a day of it and turn your next massage into a relaxing day at the Spa! Ph: 693175 / 185

It may be the start of monsoon season, but at The Beach Club, on the beach near Café Alberto in Batu Bolong, it may as well be spring. The popular beach bar and bungalows were closed last week for an annual spring clean, much to the disappointment of regulars. However, the favourite watering hole is now open again and looking lovely with a freshly painted bar and restaurant. The revamp also included repairs to the driveway and parking area, as well as renovations to the beautiful pool area. The new bird house, near the fish pond, is a nice addition too! www.thebeachclublombok.com

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PLN TO RENT MORE GENERATORS

PLN Mataram, the local branch of the state electricity company, has announced it will rent extra generators in a bid to make up some of the deficit in electricity supplies in Lombok.

At present, Lombok’s 110 megawatt (MW) generators struggle to produce 83 MW, well below the amount required during peak load times. The under-supply of electricity results in rolling brownouts and blackouts throughout the island several times a week, disrupting business and causing inestimable damage to electrical equipment.

On Monday, 16 November 2009, the PLN announced it will rent generators to overcome the power shortage, powering up to another 25 megawatts.Biaya sewanya Rp 2,452 miliar per megawatt per tahun atau sekitar Rp 61,32 miliar setahun. The cost of renting the additional generators is estimated at Rp 2.452 billion (US $255,000) per megawatt per year, or a total of around Rp 61.32 billion (around US $6.5 million) a year.

To meet the demands of its 15 000 customers in Lombok, PLN will rent four generators from the private sector capable of generating another 25 MW of electricity; starting in December 2009 with 10 MW, with another 5MW added in February 2010, and additional 5MW in both March and August 2010.

The company has been negotiating for the rental of the generators, in a complicated bidding process, for over a year. The process has failed in the past due to prices being too high and bidders retiring from the negotiations.
In addition, PLN NTB will undertake a community development programme to install solar cells worth Rp 1.5 billion (US $159,000) in ten villages with around one thousand residents throughout the region. Each household will receive around 50 watts of solar generated power.

For the purposes of power management guidance in the ten villages, the PLN is working with the University of Mataram (UNRAM) as a facilitator to complete field surveys. "Akhir Maret 2010 mendatang bisa selesai, setelah dilakukan pengadaan impor dari Singapura selesai," katanya.It is hoped that installation will commence by the end of March 2010, after the procurement of imports from Singapore is complete.

Some households in the region don’t have any electrical connection to their homes and have been on a waiting list for years. The waiting list for new electrical connections in the NTB area is currently 78,563 households, requiring an additional 54,755 KVA of electricity. Of that number, 73,911 customers in Lombok are awaiting electricity connections, requiring another 48.705 KVA of electricity from PLN.

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TWO YEARS JAIL FOR BALI PROPERTY SWINDLER

NusaBali reports that the Denpasar District Court has sentenced Esti Yuliani (also known as Julie Edmond), 41, to two years imprisonment after finding her guilty of embezzling at least Rp 25 billion (US $250,000) from her foreign clients whom she attended from the now defunct Kantor Kita operation in Bali’s Sanur district.

The presiding judge at the trial, Nyoman Sutama, handed down the sentence, which was one year less than the three years sought by public prosecutors.

The former owner of PT Kantor Kita was found guilty of violating 378 KUHP -- the criminal statute for criminal fraud that carries a maximum penalty of four years.

The judge ruled that based on the corroborating nature of the testimony given by former clients of Yuliani, including H. Don Worthington, Lucky Christian Pua and Mark Vernon Tuck; the testimony rendered directly by Yuliani; and documentary evidence presented to the court, he was convinced of the woman’s guilt.

Repeating her behaviour exhibited at past court sessions, Yuliani began the sentencing phase of her trial by again proclaiming her innocence and asking the judge to release her.

Ignoring her pleas, the judge said he could find no mitigating evidence that might excuse Esti Yuliani’s actions. In considering a suitable sentence, the judge cited the substantial losses suffered by the defendant’s clients as the result of her criminal acts.

During the course of the trail, it was revealed how Esti Yuliani misrepresented herself as a practicing attorney in the rental of a 10 hectare parcel of land and enticed her victims to entrust Rp 25 billion to her “safekeeping”.

The Public Prosecutor in the case, Agung Kusumayasa, expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that the judge rendered a sentence one year less than he had requested from the court.

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TAKE A HOLIDAY FROM COOKING!

The Holiday Resort has long been a favourite, both for its beautiful location on the beach in Mangsit and for the quality of the restaurants within the Resort.

Kayangan Restaurant, in particular, is a charming place to enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner, set alongside the Resort’s free-form swimming pool with lovely views out over the ocean in front. Sprawling lawns and gardens surround the pool and tables set up alongside, and cool breezes from the ocean ensure that dining is a comfortable experience.

But it is the food for which this restaurant is most popular. Several nights a week, depending on occupancy, the Resort offers great value buffet dinners for around Rp 125 000++ per head. Each features foods from around the world, with fabulous pastas cooked fresh to guests’ preferences, tasty Mexican selections, a Archipelago Night showcasing foods from around Indonesia and a Saturday night BBQ with live entertainment.

If buffets aren’t your style, the ala carte menu provides plenty of choices to suit all tastes with five different soups, including a Clam and Seafood Chowder, and a number of salads and entrees, including Classic Caesar Salad, Prawn Cocktails, Mexican Tacos and Indonesian Spring Rolls (Lumpia). Burgers, sandwiches and pizzas are available for snacks, lunch or a casual dinner, and there is a good selection of local dishes including the popular Ayam Taliwang and Rendang. There are even some Asian surprises, such as a Thai Gaeng Phed Ped Yang (Roast Duckling Curry) and Hainan Chicken Rice.

Seafood is always a popular choice on holiday and Kayangan tempts diners with a Lombok Seafood Basket for two, including grilled lobster, tiger prawns, squid, fish and crabs, served with vegetables and rice and exotic sauce for Rp 385 000 per couple. Poached Barracuda, Snapper Almondino, Curried Crab and Coriander Crusted Tuna are also on offer.

Being a fan of Thai food, I chose the Tom Yam Goong (Rp 45 000) as a starter. The spicy Thai broth came with prawns, sliced mushrooms and tomatoes, and was perfectly flavoured with just the right amount of lemongrass. My partner also enjoyed his Prawn Cocktail (Rp 48 000), served on an unusual but delicious salad of tropical fruits mixed with chopped prawns and a brandy dressing and garnished with poached prawns.

Continuing with seafood, my main course of Pan Fried Norwegian Salmon Steak with Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes and Black Olive Sauce (Rp 125 000) did not disappoint. The salmon was fresh and thick, served with a sauce that was not black olive, but rather a tangy and tasty ratatouille that complimented the flavour beautifully.
My partner chose a Mixed Grill (Rp 95 000) from the Grill menu and was presented with a large meal of grilled steak and chicken breast, sausages, and skewers of fish, prawns and squid, together with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Other choices include Imported Sirloin, Tenderloin and Ribeye Steaks, Chicken Steaks, and New Zealand Baby Lamb Chops with mint sauce.

Desserts look equally tempting and include Tiramisu Cappuccino, Warm Chocolate Cake and Caramelised Walnut Tart with Nougat Ice Cream; all created by the talented kitchen and bakery team at the Holiday Resort. Little touches such as a complimentary amuse bouche to start and a basket of freshly baked breadsticks and rolls all add to the quality of dining here.

The well stocked bar set into the swimming pool offers a good selection of pre dinner  drinks, cocktails, spirits and local wines by the bottle or glass.

This isn’t the first time I’ve enjoyed a delicious meal at the Holiday Resort and it certainly won’t be the last. Compared to other hotels, prices are very reasonable even with the 21% tax and service charge, and the sound of the waves and the delightful settings are an added bonus to an enjoyable night out.

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(Your personal building problems answered)

QUESTION: On a recent holiday in Lombok I was invited to swim in a friend’s pool. It was not a standard chlorine pool but had a salt chlorinator fitted. The owner was very good looking and so eager that I should test his pool that I jumped in immediately. As I dived in, I must have slipped and landed on top of him. At that precise moment his watch strap caught my bikini top causing it to untie, which was then sucked into the main drain, due to the cover not being securely fitted. The handsome pool owner has since phoned me to say I have damaged his pump. Should I ignore him and play hard to get or should I offer to mend the damage to his pump? What should I do?

MR FIXIT: There is no great mystery about salt chlorine pools. All swimming pools rely on chlorine to disinfect the water. Salt, when added to water, can be changed from sodium chloride to chlorine gas by a simple process known as electrolysis. Chlorine gas is odorless and tasteless and rests on the surface of the water. In such small quantities it is harmless to humans but bugs don’t like it. It gasses them much like both sides did to each other in the 1st World War. By the addition of a chlorinator, any pool can be turned into a salt chlorine pool, which most experts now agree is much healthier for the eyes and skin and saves on expensive chemicals. It is also easier to maintain. Phone the swimming pool owner and tell him you have a new bikini. Buy a smaller one this time. It might help.

QUESTION: I have been employing a painter to completely repaint my villa and it seems to be taking him forever. On close inspection, it looked like the paint was of a poor quality but that couldn’t be because I bought the best, most expensive paint in the shop. Eventually, I asked the painter if he had been mixing water with the paint. After confirming that he had indeed been mixing water with the paint, I told him in no uncertain terms that if I caught him doing it again he would be sacked on the spot. The next day, I inspected the paint and found it to contain water again. I confronted the painter who looked me straight in the eye and assured me he had not mixed water with the paint and therefore I could not sack him. Disbelievingly, I checked the paint and sure enough, it contained copious amounts of water as before. When confronted with this undeniable evidence, he once again assured me that he had not mixed water with the paint, adding that what he had done was mix paint with the water and therefore I could not sack him.    What should I do?  He seems such a nice man and he has 6 children and 2 wives to support.

MR FIXIT: Sack him! Sack the fecking lot of them! Sack the guy in the paint shop. Rant and scream at the top of your voice. Go red in the face and use plenty of words beginning with “F”   That should fecking teach them, the bastards! It won’t do any good, but it will make you feel better. Failing that, buy a new roller and do it yourself in half the time.

QUESTION: My husband and I have recently bought a beautiful two-story holiday villa with ocean views in Lombok. We enjoy the night life here, especially our evenings in the Happy Café with all the loud music. My husband says it clears his sinuses. After a drunken night out, I am always first in so I can use the loo and switch on the light at the bottom of the stairs. My husband follows close behind and switches on the light at the top of the stairs. There then follows an argument as to who shall go back down the stairs to switch off the downstairs light. A nice couple we met at the Marina Club suggested two-way switching. It sounds like a good idea but my husband and I have never tried it. Can you recommend it?

MR FIXIT: Two-way switching is easily installed or added on to single switching. A “single throw two-way switch” is available in Lombok but you have to ask for a “hotel switch”. If you ask for a two-way switch here they will look at you like you are in the wrong shop, although they are right behind them on the shelf. Apparently, only hotels use them, which must be why they are called “hotel switches”.  I’m sorry if it’s confusing. A mistake almost anyone can make! The live feed-in is connected to the common of the first switch and the live feed out to the lamp is taken from the common of the second switch. L1 of the first switch is then connected to L2 of the second switch and L2 of the first switch is connected to L1 of the second switch. Any competent electrician can accomplish this simple procedure allowing you to switch a light on at the bottom of the stairs and switch it off again at the top using the same switch. If you have never tried two-way switching before (as the nice couple you met recently have suggested), then I recommend you use a condom until you get to know them better.

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LOCAL SCENE

GETTING MORE HORIZONTAL

Freshly shucked oysters and barbequed lobsters, a top DJ and a bonfire
on the beach – ultra cool Horizontal Lounge celebrates their new bar,
More Horizontal, on Gili Meno

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GOLF FOR FUN, PRIZES AND FRIENDSHIP

SHAGS (Senggigi Hackers Amateur Golf Society) was formed in June 2009 by a group of keen golfers who live in Senggigi. SHAGS is an amateur body that plays golf for trophies and prizes, and is a non profit organisation that is run by elected voluntary members. Lombok residents Barry (Club President), Mike (Treasurer) and Paul (Club Captain) handle administration for the club on a voluntary basis. The club now has 40 members who meet and play golf regularly.

Most of the golf is played at the Sire Kosaido Country Club, which is located at Sire Bay in Tanjung, over looking the beautiful beach and the Gili Islands. Some games are also played at the Rinjani Golf Course at Golong, with the Rinjani mountain range as the backdrop. Tourists and visitors to Lombok are welcome to join members for a game and will receive a discount green fee when playing at SHAGS events. Golf matches are played every Saturday and a monthly Cup is played on the last Saturday of every month. Some members also play mid week so, if you want a game of golf, contact SHAGS for suitable times.

The SHAGS philosophy is simple: “To promote golf and provide a social outlet for golfers and their friends in Lombok”. Membership is open to all, including tourists and visitors to Lombok, and costs Rp 500,000 per year for a full playing member, Rp 250,000 for an associate member who does not reside in Lombok full time, and Rp 150,000 for a social member.

SHAGS are also promoting golf in Lombok by encouraging other golf clubs and societies to travel to Lombok to play and by organising challenge matches against SHAGS. They hope this will build up and increase tourism to Lombok, especially to keen golfers who often travel to Bali for games.

SHAGS have been very fortunate, with the business community of Senggigi and Lombok supporting the club and becoming sponsors. They have many regular golfing events, including a Boxing Day challenge, Good Friday Pubs Open, ANZAC Day challenge, SUNDANCER Club Championship and a Cup event every month. Social events for members have included family days at Ebano R&R and barbecues at members’ homes and sponsors premises, and the club is also planning a Christmas Family Day next month. 

SHAGS would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Sundancer Resort,
Pondok Shinta, The Beach Club, The Office / Gili T Resort, Ebano R&R, Flicker Water Sports, Toko Pulau Mas, Toko Success, Medana Resort, Tugu Hotel Lombok, Big Boy Bali, Wout, Arafura International, Dream Divers, Square Restaurant / Marina Café, Sire Kosaido Country Club, Water Taxi & Landing Craft Services Lembar and Anker Beer.

SHAGS are currently developing a web site at www.golf-lombok.com. Meanwhile, if you would like to become a member or want more information, please contact: Barry Lyon 081339868939 or email lyonbarry@hotmail.com; or Mike Doran 081339904033 or email Michael_Asti@yahoo.com

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HATTEN WINES VISIT LOMBOK

With the Festive Season fast approaching, Hatten Wines and UD Marina will host a wine tasting evening featuring Hatten’s Sparkling Wine and their famous Rosé, just in time for Christmas.

The wine tasting will be held on 4 December for around one hundred selected clients of UD Marina Lombok at Square Restaurant in Senggigi. In addition to the popular Hatten Rosé and Sparkling styles, guests will also have a chance to sample Cabernet Merlot and Riesling styles produced from Australian grapes by Two Islands in Bali.
Hatten Wines is proud to be Bali’s original and founding winery and have been making a selection of still, sparkling and fortified wines since 1994. The wines are popular throughout Indonesia and are known for their unique 120 harvest cycle. 

Hatten Wines Director of Sales & Marketing, Gigi van Kuijk, is excited to meet with Hatten’s Lombok clientele, as she is convinced they are going to be very happy with the changes that Hatten have made to their wines. The wines are so much more approachable and so easy to drink.

Two new wines styles will also be available from the second range of Hatten Wines – Two Islands: Cabernet Merlot and a delicious Riesling. The range is representative of the close relationship with Australian fruit growers, with grapes grown in Australia and vintaging taking place at the Hatten winery in Bali.

Don Buchanan, Hatten Wines’ Australian winemaker, has been hard at working ensuring that the wines are made with the tropics in mind; bringing pleasurable, easy drinking styles suitable for the warm Asian tropical climate.
Hatten wines have also been developing a new look for their wine range. Their traditional labels, which have show-cased their wine range since 1994, are now being phased out, with a new label, packaging and presentation representing Hatten’s commitment to continued improvement in the quality, style and value for money of their wines.

This bold new look brings freshness, simplicity and market appeal, competing effectively against imported international wine brands. Our priority is to remain uniquely Balinese.
For more information, please contact UD Marina Lombok on (0370) 643171 / 632759 or sales@hattenwines.com

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LOMBOK’S VOLCANO QUIETENS AS BALI’S RUMBLES

Lombok’s volcano, Mt Rinjani, which began minor eruptions earlier this year, has quietened down while Bali’s Mt Batur now shows signs of increased activity.

Mt Baru Jari, the volcanic cone inside Mt Rinjani’s caldera, suddenly came to life in April 2009, forcing the temporary closure of trekking to the peak and the lake at the popular tourist destination in North Lombok.

While parts of the volcano were out of bounds to trekkers, visitors to Lombok had the chance to climb to the shoulders of the mountain and view the eruptions taking place within the caldera at 2,376 metres above sea level.
The volcanic activity eventually quietened down over the following months and trekking to the popular World Heritage Award winning destination has now returned to normal.

Meanwhile, Bali’s easily accessible Mt Batur volcano has had its status raised from “normal” to “alert” (Waspada) due to elevated levels of hot gas emissions and increased seismic activity.

Actually a “volcano within a volcano”, Mt Batur allows Bali visitors to Kintamani to drive along the lip of a massive ancient caldera that encompasses Kintamani’s crater-lake and the still active Mt Batur.

The crater-lake can be accessed by roads leading to several resorts, hot water springs, and excursion boats to the ancient Bali Aga village, as well as the Kintamani departure point used by the thousands who climb Mt Batur (1,717 metres) each year.

The last significant eruption of Mt Batur occurred in 2000, but government monitors have recorded more than 21 tremors emitting from the mountain since September of this year. These tremors, together with occasional black clouds of smoke from the mountain’s apex, are seen by experts as signs that Mt. Batur may be awakening into a new phase of volcanic activity. The tremors are occurring as many as 60 times a day and are felt as far away as 2 kilometres from the mountain.

Because of this renewed level of activity, the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (ESDM) changed the status of the volcano to “Alert” on 8 November, 2009. On a practical level, the enhanced warning level has closed Mt Batur to mountain climbers and trekkers. Local officials have advised local residents to be prepared to follow any instructions issued by the government in regards to changes in the mountain’s status.

Villagers who have lived for generations in the shadow of the volcano appear to be carrying on with their normal lives. Between 1804 and 2000, Mt Batur exploded 28 times, with the longest gap between eruptions being 39 years. Those explosions have, fortunately, been of the relatively low intensity Strombolian nature, characterised by flowing ash and rocks, and volcanic clouds; as opposed to the more devastating and cataclysmic Plinian, Surtseyan or Vesuvian forms of explosions.

With a modicum of caution and in the hands of a local travel agent monitoring announcements from the government, now, may, in fact, be the perfect time for a tour to Mt Kintamani and the chance for a relatively close-up view of an active volcano.

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PROTECTING THE GILIS FOR THE FUTURE

The Gili Eco Trust was established in 2002 to support efforts by SATGAS (local island security) to protect the Gili Islands as a unique and important eco-system. The Eco Trust is involved in many projects on the Gilis, including rubbish and waste management, marine protection and BioRock programmes, which create artificial reefs to aid in marine rehabilitation.

The Lombok Guide fully supports the efforts of the Gili Eco Trust and, in coming issues, will be bringing you the latest news and updates on Eco Trust activities. In this issue, we address important concerns regarding the protection of the beautiful reef systems around the islands.

Coral reefs, although they can look very sturdy, are actually very fragile. The beautiful corals that reach from the depths with fantastic and intricate shapes can take many years to grow but are broken in just a second with one thoughtless touch or kick of careless feet. We have witnessed people standing on corals in shallow areas and using coral outcrops to balance or adjust snorkelling gear in the deeper water. Please have respect for this delicate wonder and never stand or walk on coral, and be careful not to brush against or kick coral when you are snorkelling or diving.

Another major problem in preserving reef systems is local fishing practices. Many local fishermen have been fishing the waters around the Gilis for generations and, while careless fishing practices have made an impact on the reefs in the past, the Eco Trust has made important progress in controlling these practices.

In January 2008, an agreement was reached with local fishermen regarding their designated fishing areas around Gili Trawangan. This agreement was made with the cooperation of the Konservasi Kelestarian Laut (Marine Conservation Office), SATGAS Gili Trawangan and Gili Eco Trust; establishing boundaries where local fishermen can operate, as well as points for cooperation between fishermen and diving companies.

SATGAS and KSDA (the Department for Conservation of Natural Resources) are currently patrolling everyday to ensure the fishermen are respecting the agreement. If you see any fishing taking place outside of the designated areas, please contact SATGAS to inform them as soon as possible. Diving companies should be aware that Deep Turbo can be used by both fishermen and divers. If fishing is taking place when you arrive there, please either wait for them to finish or find an alternative dive site. If divers are using the site before the fishermen arrive, they have agreed to fish elsewhere. The Eco Trust needs your cooperation and assistance to prevent unlawful fishing as it is not possible for SATGAS to cover all areas at the same time.

Because of the BioRock projects and other conservation programmes set up by the Eco Trust, the organisation is now associated with DKP, Indonesian Marine Conservation, based in Jakarta and now has more support and power to protect the Marine Protected Area, (Gili Matra). DKP will promote Eco Trust projects and help with more conservation and protection programmes.

For those living and working on the islands, don’t forget that your business is part of a marine protected area, Gili Matra, so please encourage responsible behaviour while your guests are snorkelling or diving. Please also discourage spear-fishing as the fish and cephalopods are so used to divers and people in the water around the Gilis that they don’t recognise the threat of a spear gun and therefore don’t try to escape…

Everyone can be involved in helping to protect the precious resources and environment of the Gilis. If you see boats fishing outside of designated areas, or any destructive behaviours such as irresponsible anchoring, spear fishing, walking on reefs, collecting corals or sea shells, etc., please contact any of the following Eco Trust members:

Delphine: 0813 3960 0553; Usman: 0878 6333 6425; Malik: 0819 1725 7055; Sarro: 0878 6520 3244; Rais: 0812 376 3491 or Subaerk: 0819 1716 6671.

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