A Team field trip - a day in Tiu Kelep Waterfalls
When working in a busy diveshop on Gili Trawangan, there is not a single day when the shop is closed. Even at Christmas, new years eve or Indonesias independence day - we always give our customers an opportunity to take the plunge. Working this way helps to build a strong team with close bonds to each other, locals to westerns and vice versa.
But to be able to learn more about each others culture differences our manager, Steve, decided that for the first time in the two years that Dive Central Gili has been open, that we would close the shop and treat all of the staff to an amazing day out. As a team we decided to go and see the Tiu Kelep waterfalls in north Lombok. So one morning dive was kept in place to ensure we could finish any course that was currently in place, after that we all jumped on our staff boat "Charlie", with coolers of Bintang and crisps and made our way towards Lombok. While Sitting in the sun on the roof of Charlie, one of the staff spotted a huge 2 meter long Blue Marlin showing off, jumping up and down around the boat. Being a team of 20 underwater enthusiasts - this sight was of course very welcomed! Docking in Teluk Nara Harbour, a big bus was waiting for us, ready for the 2 hour drive up north towards Rinjani. The drive up was filled with music, drinking and laughs, and the weather (despite being in the middle of rainy season) gave us bright blue skies!
The windy roads finally led us to the parking lot of the bottom of the mountain, allowing us to start the trek upwards. Walking up the muddy wet dirt paths, crossing over the streams of the waterfalls, slippery rocks and fallen treat, the trek took a good 1.5 hours before finally reaching the main fall - a majestic 45 m drop, landing in a shallow pool of ice cold water, perfect for cooling off after the sweaty walk. We played for a long time in the fall, and it was amazing to see how much fun the local staff was having.
After cooling us down to the point of freezing, we headed back to base, encountering both monkeys and an "off-the-beaten-track" route down, where Nasi Campur Ayam was waiting. For those who are not familiar with traditional Sasak food, its basically rice, chicken and vegetables in spicy sauce. Sitting in a ring on the grass, eating with only our hands, washing the delicious food down with local rice wine, for us western instructors and divemasters, this was a great experience to learn more about the local crew that we work with - and it seemed important for them to show us.
Once the food was finished, we started the windy climb down the mountain, rushing a bit to reach the beach site on the west side, trying to catch a cloud free sky, the sun slowly setting over the mountains. The last part of the drive back was quite now, many of us tired from the long day of many new amazing experiences. Saying goodbye to the boys back at the harbour, we got on a speed boat, bringing us back to the paradise island we love so much.
We decided to finish the day with a team meal, we all went for Pizza dinner at Reginas, with our amazingly generous owner Mike treating us all for the hard work we had put in over the year. Most of us went to bed straight after dinner, absolutely spent from the incredible day we'd just been through.
Lombok is a great place to visit to get new cultral experiences as well as seeing the beautiful nature. Being a volcanic island, the diversity of animals and plants is astonishing, and we would 100% recommend you to go there on a day or 2 excursion to see a bit more of Indonesia - in the less tourist exposed way.