Today Nina left Bali. It was a sad morning. We have had so many amazing adventures since meeting in Gili Trawangan. Where to begin…
We came back to Kuta to get organized, thinking we would take a trip to Nusa Lembongan and another little trip to Ubud. The planning for the trip to Nusa L was easy and after a little fun and games in Kuta, as well as a little mis-communication and confusion about our transport, we were on our way.
We had no plan for accommodation, as we were told many times that you basically walk along the beach until you find one that suits your desire for comforts and your budget. Once we found Agus Shipwreck, Nina and I were settled. We put on sunscreen and our swimsuits and went out for a walk to explore.
And found piles and piles of drying seaweed, garbage, and a rather quaint fishing village.
After exploring a while on foot and not finding much, we decided it was “Bintang Time” and headed back to our hotel. We reveled about this island – described by so many people as “amazing,” “breathtaking,” “incredible” and the only word we could come up with for it was BORING (but beautiful).
Boy were we wrong. We watched a most spectacular sunset, booked a snorkeling trip for the next day, and turned in early. Agus Shipwreck is a great place for sleeping; we both reported having the most amazing sleep since arriving in Indonesia.
Refreshed and excited, we met our boat captain, Wayan (child number one in Bali) who was full of smiles and not a lot of English. One other man, Stephano from Italy, joined us, and we were off.
The snorkeling was great – probably a little better than in the Gilis, but it did present an interesting issue with currents in the water. At our second diving point, we had to swim REALLY hard to get into the current; once in the current took us for a serious ride. There were amazing corals an fish everywhere.
On the way back, our trusty captain spotted a group of dolphins which was a huge highlight – one of the animals we had hoped to see in our travels.
When we got back, Stephano said he was going to rent a motorbike and tour the island and asked if we like to join him. Nina is an experienced motorbike driver; I am a reluctant passenger (more about this later, because in Indonesia one CANNOT escape being on a motorbike for many reasons). So, we said, “what the heck! This island is a bit of a snore so far – let’s make the most of it and go along.”
So, Nina drove the two of us, and we were off again for another adventure. Stephano had a bit of a plan, so we were basically following him. Once he realized that Nina was a careful, slow driver, he waited for us.
A little of the way down the road to the western side of the island, we encountered this woman:
Now, we don’t quite understand if she’s affiliated with the temple in the photo or not, but she certainly is in charge of the road past it. She stepped RIGHT in front of Stephano’s motorbike and demanded money for us to pass. He promptly paid up (a true gentleman) and then she got really nice and insisted we have a photo with her in front of a temple. Not a bad trade for about 2000 rupiah (30 cents).
We were on our way again, heading across a very scary suspension bridge to a place called “Jumping Point” where, we heard, you could jump from 8 or 11 meters into the ocean (for a mere 50,000 rupiah for 3 jumps). This place was stunning, and with the high seas no one was jumping.
So we relaxed and took a little break from the motorbikes, and took a ton of photos.
After exploring there, we looked for the “Secret Beach” which was so much of a secret that we could barely find it! At this beach there is an abandoned guest house that looks like it could have been quite an amazing spot had it been finished.
We saw these three guys on the road both on the way to and from the Secret Beach.
When we first passed them they yelled “honeymooners!!!” at us which of course made us laugh; on the way back we stopped for a chat and realized none of them spoke English, but they were sure full of jokes, which, of course, we all laughed at. (This is a kind of thing in Indonesia – joking around is a HUGE part of the culture, and if you don’t have a sense of humor or don’t think their jokes are funny, you’re in for a bad time here:) I happen to think they’re hilarious and have laughed until I cried on more than one occasion).
More motorbiking around, and we got to Sunset Beach where, of course, we watched a sunset.
And then we had a FABULOUS seafood dinner and, once again, turned in early for an AMAZING sleep and departure early the next morning.
Nusa Lembongan was a great trip – highly recommended to anyone lucky enough to see this part of the world.
I continue to count my blessings and squeeze every last drop out of life every day.