Saturday, 23rd May 2009: Sumenep, East Madura
Now I know where all the really uncomfortable carved furniture in Bali comes from. The four hour drive along the north coast was sublime: colourful fishing boats lined the estuaries; we had the best goat satay ever at Ketapang terminal. In the evening we saw a bull race practice in the new orang and lime green stadium. And the old kraton which it’s hard to imagine was ever particularly beautiful. The guide was sinister, making all sorts of references to the sexual prowess of the Madurese about which we had not enquired. A vary bad play was being rehearsed in the TAMAN SARI water garden; one local was karaoking Britney Speers in a painted pleasure pavilion. We lucked out with Hadi back at the Garuda Homestay: he had magic hands and the best gossip about the black magic that had consumed his young wife! Today to Lombang beach to check out the traditional houses with sand floors.
Sunday, 24th May 2009: Madura
At Javanese beach resorts the main idea is to take concrete promenades, carparks and plaza as close to the water as possible without actually harming the concrete. At Lombang Beach Resort, 30 km east of Sumenep one finds the perfect soto madura in the extensive carpark (most day-trippers don't actually see the beach, and the dwarf caswarina forests for which the area is famous have all been humanely culled and placed on the median strip, as bonsais in pots, for easy viewing). On the way home we discovered an idyllic fishermen’s village, Lembung Timur, famous for its white sand pits in the living room in which tough Madurese fishermen’s wives lie, like Eartha Kitt on a woolly carpet. It is from this village, it transpires, that the fishermen of Jimbaran trace their roots! The beach and quaint cottages of this village are well worth the detour.
ARCHITECTURE OF MADURA
ON THE PHONE