Sunday, October 19, 2014

INDONESIA - BALI - NUSA PENIDA - 23 to 26 August 2014 - 'CLOSE TO BALI 30 YEARS AGO'




INFO

Penida Gardens Hotel – 250 000R – fan okay
Motorbike - 60 000R
the gallery – nusa penida – 081999887205 or 087860330551 Namaste bungalows – jalan raya sakti crystal bay  – imam lalu – contact@namaste-bungalows.com - +62 (o)81917933418 – www.namaste-bungalows.com

MY JOURNEY


I left Legian being picked up by a shuttle bus and dropped at the Nusa Penida ticket office at Sanur. From there I walked to the beach and the boat landing area. I ate at a warung while waiting. The boat landed on the beach and there was a massive crowd boarding. They were mainly Indonesians going to a ceremony on the island.

The trip was calm and the locals going to the ceremony were very friendly and inquisitive. The boat landed at Sampalan, Nusa Penida. I got an ojek to look at the hotels. I liked the look of Penida Gardens. I settled in and organised a motorbike.


I drove along the coast towards Crystal Bay. It was an easy fun ride with little traffic but a lot of pot holes. At Crystal Bay, I put my gear into a warung and had a couple of snorkels. The water was so clear and calm and the coral and fish were plentiful. I walked around the bay over dry reefs and cliffs faces. It was awesome scenery!



That night, it was Putu’s birthday. He was the manager of the hotel. All the guests went to the party which was ½ hour drive away. There was cake and beer but no food. It started off as a food fight, then beers, then cake, then beers and then entertainment – limbo rock, guitar, singing and various games. The people were nice – Putu, the Irish couple, the Italian couple, the Basque girls and the Spanish guy, Putu’s friends and Miss Banyuwangi . The names of everyone eluded me except Marko the Italian guy.


What a great first day!

The next day, I chatted with the Italian couple and Irish couple at breakfast.

Later, I went a long ride to, over and around the mountains then down to crystal bay. The journey was so good being filled with friendly locals, deserted roads, villages, getting lost and pretty mountain and coastal scenery.


 At Crystal bay, the surf had changed from yesterday. It was wild and treacherous. The outside island in the middle of the bay had 3 metre waves rolling around either of it then crashing together in a spectacular display of water awesomeness.



I had a careful swim near shore. The waves and rips were deadly. Later, about 15 minutes after I left I was told that a Indonesian guy drowned where I was swimming by the warung lady the next day.

On the ride back I pulled into Namaste Bungalows, which wasn’t far from Crystal Bay. It had nice rooms, good food, a pool and a pretty rural location.

Further along the road, I stopped at The Gallery Coffee House, which also has good food. Over the next few days, I stopped here for a friendly chat with Mike, the owner, his daughter, who is a concept architect, her daughter and other visitors. It is a really good place to sit and enjoy life. Nice people!


The following day, I was on the bike again for a long, long ride along east coast and inland. Once again the scenery was pretty and the people friendly.


The next day, I had a snorkel at Toyapakeh in the morning. This place was really pretty with neat and clean warungs lining the white sand beach. There were many boats and a headland. This looked like a better place to stay than Sampalan. The snorkelling was okay but the stinging red jellyfish came in with the tide and I was out as fast as I could. On shore, I met five friendly ladies from Paris who were on a tour of the island. We chatted for a while in French/English.



I rode back to the hotel, paid my bill and caught an ojek it to my return boat to mainland Bali.

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