This was my third visit to Lombok. I kind of like the island, friendly people, laid back moments and I jive with the surroundings. This time I decided to stay four days and three nights at Gili (Island) Trawangan. A very popular spot for tourist coming to Lombok, especially if one is a diver.
On the second day, while we were on a snorkeling trip, I had the opportunity to chat with our snorkeling guides. A young twenty two year old local from Telok Nara and his eighteen year old brother. While we were having lunch at Gili Air, they narrated to me how the Gilis got their respective names. Gili Trawangan, because there are two trawang (tunnels) at the top of the only hill in Gili Trawangan. Gili Meno, has its own “magical pond” that has a bottomless depth. Rumors has it that some died while diving to find its bottomless pit. While Gili Air has a small lake, with clean fresh water. Gili Trawangan has no fresh water supply. Gili Meno the water is brackish.
It came into my mind to have a mini adventure! A quest to find and see with my own eyes the two tunnels (trawang) made during the Japanese Invasion during the WWII. Is it just a tall local story? Will it be haunted? Some of the questions that pops up on my mind.
The following day, I took a bicycle ride through the back lanes of Gili Trawangan, armed with a camera. After a few dead ends through the village, I managed to get to the edge of the hill, but failed to find a path up. There, I stumbled upon a local and asked how to get to the top of the hill? He assured me, there is a brick steps up the hill, but one must know the way through the village. So I asked him, if there is a landmark or another way up? He then directed me to the “Sunset Point”. From there, there will be a beaten brick steps and trodden path up the hill….. and my mini adventure finally took off!
When I reached the Sunset Point, which I have passed by at least three times, and I did not noticed the beaten brick steps up the hill. But there it was.
So I climbed up the steps.
Easy climb. The steps are still in good conditions. I remembered it was about half past four in the evening.
Then the steps were gone, just a trodden path.
The path got tougher with the loose rocks.
Then I noticed something yellowish or orange, and uneasy feeling creeps into me. I am not brave, but I that does not mean I am a coward. So I kept on climbing.
It gets creepier. Something like an altar…
Then I noticed the hut. Oh, must be resting place, I thought. I was kind of short breath due to the steep climb.
I am glad that there are resting place for those that is easily tired like me. All the creepiness gone from my mind. I am ready to take my first rest.
As I reached the plateau, there it was! An altar of some sort. The uneasiness and creepiness just crept in again!
And behold, it is an ancient tomb! I remembered asking myself, where is everybody? How come there are no one here? Told myself to calm down. Do not be silly. I am an old man. No ghost would like to meddle with an old grouchy short breath old man.
The view from the ancient burial was beautiful, and I decided to take a picture.
After a short rest, I continued my journey. I have still not found my “Trawang”.
Climbed further up.
The path got harder. I moved on, with heavy breathing and labored steps. I must be getting too old!
Finally! I found the first “Trawang”. Actually, it is not a tunnel but a bunker. Kind of exciting, to be at a place that has historical intrinsic. I wondered how many have died here? Was that a Japanese soldier tomb? Any graves nearby?
With renewed energy, I decided to climb to the peak and find the second “Trawang”.
From the peak, I could see a panoramic view.
Not far from there I found the other path to the village at the foot hill.
I went down the steps. Wondering if the second “Trawang” is somewhere down that path?
Reached another looked out point. Rested for a while. Decided to take another picture of the panoramic view.
Decided to climbed up again. I doubt if the second “Trawang” is on this path.
So up I went the steps. The tiredness overwhelm me. Told myself, the second “Trawang” will have to wait. I decided to track back down to the “Sunset Point”.
I was tired, but something was amiss. I can feel, something or someone is nearby.
Suddenly! A dark figure emerge if front of me. Kind of frightening and actually I had a mild shock. But I got hold of myself back, and noticed that no ghost will
wear a green dress! It was a huge African lady with her local boyfriend. As not to look so suspiciously frightened by the event, I asked the local if he knows where the second “Trawang” is?
He pointed me to a nearby direction and I was on my way again.
In a short distance, my mini adventure ended with an exciting, (a little bit) creepy and definitely wonderful experience. At a place, not many tourist realize it exist in Gili Trawangan. Not one, but two WWII Japanese bunkers. I just love it when my adventure ends well……
Actually, I was taking pictures with the camera and my tab. When I got back to Malaysia, I transferred the pictures to my notebook. Over and over again, I went through the pictures. I was so sure, I took several shorts of the ancient tomb. At least two close shorts with the camera. I remembered well that I find it amusing that an ancient tomb, someone took good and great care of it. There were fresh flowers strewn over the burial.
Interestingly and quite baffling, pictures from the camera contain not a single picture of the tomb! And the tomb picture from my tab, there were only two. The one here and the other was blurred. A coincident? Paranormal? Suddenly I got goose bumps and I felt eerie…