We caught the 8 am ferry across to Lombok. As the vessel sailed away from Bali, the mighty cone of Ganung Agung rows above the land and the sea, with only the sky taller than its menacing grey and ochre flanks and broken summit, from which the island of Bali itself at issued over the dark and violent millennia.

The hazy coast of Bali was dotted with smaller cones: some perfectly symmetrical, others truncated and jagged, but each one subservient to the giant Agung, a king and his princes, a demon and his attendants.

The crossing of the mirror-flat channel took four hours and we docked on the green island of Lombok: it too a product of volcanoes and savage upheavals. A couple of tourist bus rides took us out to Senggigi Beach, which was horrendously expensive and I won’t waste paper describing it, save for a brief description of the sea.

The beach at Sengiggi was of coarsely-ground lava and coral sloping steeply down to the water. The steepness of the beach caused the swells to surge in and out in such a manner as I’ve never seen before. The water would rise two or 3 metres every time a wave came in, and when a breaker crashed onto the beach it sent shockwaves up through the sand which could be felt even while sitting in one of the bars 30 m back from the water.

Crossing to Lombok.

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