I had always heard about the wonders of Bali but I had always related to a heavenly and exaggeratedly expensive place. Luckily some friends lived for a season there and told us the true reality of Bali! We had renewed the passport the previous year so we did not have to do anything. Finally, the day arrived! After more than a week with little desire to pack we had no choice but to prepare things since we had only 24 hours to make the longest trip of our life.
For this trip, we decided to buy a couple of large backpacks because I did not feel comfortable traveling with suitcases from previous experiences. We carried two backpacks that would allow us to organize things. One of them had clothes and the other carried all the electronic gadgets.
1 Day in Bali
Our flight left at 4:55 pm so we went with time to not have any problems on the road. Between the time we looked at a store and passed the boarding gate, the time passed very quickly. Finally, we saw the plane that was going to take us to Bali after a stopover in Singapore. During the trip, we were given a small snack similar to a chicken kebab and a juice or soda.
The trip was enjoyable. Between watching movies on the seat screen, read the ebook and a nap time went by fast. The stopover in Singapore was 20 minutes so it was time to get off the plane, stretch our legs, pass a security check and return to the plane. On this trip, we were fed again, in this case, rice with vegetables and tomatoes.
Finally, we arrived in Bali! The airport is very beautiful, and the customs area is very spacious. Upon arrival at the Denpasar airport, we have to fill out a paper to get the visa and pay in cash. Well, the fact is that we already knew it so we showed the passport and paid the fee and we passed without a problem. Luckily the process did not last long and in 15 minutes we had already collected our bags and we were leaving through the arrival gate.
Also at the airport, there is wifi so if you get bored in the queue you can always connect and send a message to your mother to tell her everything is in order! The airport is in south Bali but we had the hotel near Ubud, so the first thing we had to do was find a way to get there.
As soon as we left the airport area where the people are waiting, we were assaulted by people who did not stop offering us a taxi. One even followed us around the airport while we tried to go to a place where we were not harassed to see what options we had. We were not clear who were the official taxi drivers.
In the end, after a small negotiation, we went with one of the taxi drivers to our hotel in Ubud. The taxi driver offered to take us around in the following days but we did not fully trust so we decided not to go with him anymore. The best thing is to book in advance a driver that picks you up at the airport and then if you like, do some excursions in the interior of the island.
We booked the following days and the truth was that we got a very professional driver. Well at the end after a long trip and a little stress at the airport we were finally in our villa in Ubud with a wonderful pool and surrounded by rice terraces.
However, the surprises were not yet over because although the hotel was quite good, we had been given a room that was not the one we had requested. It had a huge window through which the sun came in all day and then the bathroom was tiny and had no mirror! In addition, the pipe of the shower was very short. Well then we went to reception and at the end, they changed our room.
We went swimming in the hotel pool and then go for a walk around Ubud. The fact of having the hotel on the outskirts is very good on one side and not so good on the other. The good part is that we can find much better villas than we would find in the center and also much quieter. We, for example, were in one that had a very decent pool and overlooking a rice plantation.
The bad part is that there is no shared transport to take us to the city, so for anything we need a taxi or rent a motorcycle. We, for example, were in a tiny village, so we did not have a restaurant and for lunch and dinner, we had to move to Ubud. In the end, we dared to rent a motorcycle. Although the truth is that it is quite dangerous, especially on the roads that lead to Ubud. They are usually the most traffic-borne on the island along with those of the south.
We took it a little more on our own and decided not to take any driver. As we had the hotel on the outskirts of Ubud, we decided to rent a motorbike. The motorbike was a most basic scooter and when we asked the kid about the insurance was like asking him about the theory of special relativity.
The truth is that I did not drive a motorcycle since I was 15 but we went a little crazy and decided to rent it. At first, I did not know how to pull it off until another tourist who left the hotel saw me struggling with it and explained how it was done. The first trip I did it alone to see if it came back in one piece. A little scared but the truth is that the experience was worth it. Getting lost on the road was a blast, but a few days later when we went south we started seeing a lot of people.
When we had already turned around we went to Ubud to eat. The best thing about Ubud is that it is its environment because what is the city does not have much. We went to eat at a restaurant where they put the typical dish that is roast suckling pig. This was the piglet in strands with potatoes. It was not bad although we did not find it anything special either. The place is a restaurant with large tables.
We continued taking another walk around Ubud and bought some things that we needed as batteries and more mosquito repellent. Then we took another motorcycle ride. We arrived again at the Tegalalang rice terrace. At night the light of the moon reflected on the water of the rice fields, and the stars shine with force. We then come back to the hotel early to throw ourselves into the bar.
2 Days in Bali
The day dawned not very sunny but the temperature was great. For breakfast, we opted for the typical plate of cut fruits, juice, and banana pancake with a ball of vanilla ice cream on top. We went out to do our first excursion. The driver arrived at our hotel at the agreed time. He was a very nice guy in his 30s, quite well dressed. The car was very good, clean, new and with air conditioning, so after seeing that everything was in order we decided to start our day.
As we said before we had the hotel just outside of Ubud and we had just left the hotel so this first day we wanted to allocate a bit to see the most typical things. We left around 9:00 am and headed to the Tegalalang rice terrace. These are the most famous and the typical ones that appear on all postcards of Bali. It is a small valley between hills.
The slopes of the mountains are terraced rice plantations making it a very peculiar sight that I had never seen before. The viewpoint is easily accessed by road and there are a few bars and souvenir shops. The truth is that although the place is very touristy, the view is very beautiful and also we cannot miss it because it is one of the island's classics.
Not visiting it would be like going to New York and not visiting the Statue of Liberty. Although the truth is that there are other rice fields that are much more beautiful, such as those of Jatiluwih. The next stop was Gunung Kawi, a temple dedicated to water that is sculpted directly in the mountains. The place is surrounded by jungle, rice fields and a river that goes through the middle.
After taking photos we mounted again in the car and went to the Pura Tirta Empul temple. As in almost all other temples, we cannot access it with normal clothes but we have to put on that kind of traditional Balinese sarong. But there's no problem because at the door of the temple they have a drawer with a lot of those clothes. Our driver also showed us how to put the knot of that kind of pareo and then guided us through the temple.
In the temple, we gather with locals that are purified with water from the jets. To purify we have to wet our head three times and drink three times. I personally wet my lips but I did not swallow water because you never know. The truth is that with the tropical heat of Bali the cold water on our head feels very good. The temple is a fairly large complex with different gods and specific areas for the ceremonies.
Once we had visited everything, we went to eat at a restaurant quite good but very touristy. The food was buffet style and it was very good. There was rice with sauces and meat of different kinds. Also, the views of the volcano were spectacular. After the whole day of the visit, it was very good to rest a little in a pleasant place and with good food.
We ate quietly and when we had rested a little we went to continue our visit. After a walk among the trees, we headed to the next stop at Pura Kehen, also known as the miniature version of Besakih. Here there was nobody and this one we really liked. There were peace and tranquility. This temple has very curious details from a bell at the top of a tree to Chinese decorated porcelain plates embedded in the wall and that does not stick with glue.
We were walking quietly and taking our pictures when a countryman suddenly approached us and started telling us stories about the temple.
We go more towards the east of Ubud to the Penglipuran village, a traditional village where the ancestral customs of Bali have remained unchanged. In the village almost all are families, traditionally lived on agriculture but now also live on what they can sell to tourists.
The town is very careful and is basically the main street with traditional houses on the sides. We were lucky that our driver met a lady from the village and she agreed to show us her house. The truth was that it was an unforgettable experience. The image given by the people on the outside, everything so carefully and with its flowers and streetlights on the sides of the street has nothing to do with the reality of the houses inside.
The house was a complex of small square buildings where there was hardly a wooden bed and a bonfire on the floor. There was also a filler with two pieces of pigs that should be the best place of the whole house. After seeing where they lived the lady of the house took out a few things in case we wanted to buy something.
It was clothes of the style of which we can find in any Chinese bazaar. After that, she also invited us to eat some purple things. Our driver explained that it was a typical sweet there. She poured a bit of coconut on top and ate one, so we took one each and ate it too. The sweet was liquid inside and tasted great, probably the best thing we ate in the whole trip through Southeast Asia.
When we bite it, we exploited all the liquid in our mouth and it was an incredible taste. Then the driver told us that those balls were actually small potatoes! They boiled them for I do not know how long and then they prepared them in that traditional way. No one would have said it because of the taste they had.
Next, to the traditional village, there is also the bamboo forest that is really worth the visit. As you may know, southeast Asians use bamboo for everything, constructions, kitchen utensils, and baskets. The bamboo canes are huge and are born in groups from a common base. They are so tall and leafy that it barely lets sunlight pass. When the wind passes between the reeds, those enormous sounds in a very special way are difficult to describe.
We get back to the car and we go on to our next destination. Our driver told us that he knew of a nearby temple where there was going to be a ceremony and if we preferred to go by we could do it. When we arrived, we were surprised by the difference between seeing the temples as we had always seen them dressed up.
The statues that are everywhere were dressed in traditional clothes of different colors of red, yellow, and blue. People put incense sticks for what gives us a vision of what the ancient temples should be when they used them for ceremonies. It had quite long stairs and up there was the temple. We did not enter the ceremony out of respect.
But from the outside, it was clear what was happening in the different parts of the temple since the buildings have no walls. The women carried large offerings of fruits and rice on the head. In the central area of the temple, three men recited mantras from their sacred book that I really do not know what it is.
On the way, we would pass through the town of Bangli, to visit Pura Dalem. In the temple, we cannot enter, at least when we visit it, but the exterior engravings of its walls are especially interesting. They represent the punishments that mortals suffer if they have led a sinful life full of evil and horrible acts.
Afterward, we were in the mother temple, Pura Besakih, which is simply spectacular. This is the largest set of temples in Bali, is located on the slope of Mount Agung at 1000 meters high and is very beautiful. The main and largest, Pura Penetaran Agung is the most impressive.
Actually, the Balinese architecture for me cannot be compared with anything. There were many Balinese dressed in ceremonial costumes carrying trays with offerings. Arriving in Besakih, the day began to cloud. The driver gave us sarongs and stayed waiting for us in the parking lot. There were many people in the temple, mostly local, but also many tourists, some with their corresponding guides. When we finished seeing the temple it was already 3:00 pm.
We also went to see the crops and the place where Luwak coffee is made, the most expensive in the world. The visit is quite good because we can see the different varieties of plantations on the island. In addition, the most famous of this plantation is the coffee of Kopi Luwak or Civet.
It is a fox-like animal that eats the coffee beans at night and then defecates them. Although the coffee bean is not digested by the animal, they say the process gives the coffee a special flavor. The truth is that we tried it and yes it tasted different (stronger) although I did not think it was better either. The only thing I hope is that they cleaned it well before giving it to us!
There is a coffee shop on the plantation where they give us a kind of tasting menu of all the coffees and teas made in different ways. The truth is that they are exquisite.
Another visit of the route consisted of passing through the upper area from where we can see the Agung volcano, but with the day we did not see anything at all, just a thick white fog that covered more than two meters. We were ready to continue with our routes.
Following the road to Tampaksiring, we stopped at the Pura Penataran Sasih temple, formerly the most important temple in the kingdom. There was nothing special about it. I mean, all the temples are impressive but this one does not stand out for anything special. The special thing was that it was the first Balinese temple that we visited and walked from corner to corner.
From the sacred spaces connected by deeply decorated doors to the merus of interior and the sculptures of witches and demons, all adorned with sarongs, umbrellas and decorative palm branches.
The next stop of the day would be Goa Gajah, the elephant temple, in the nearby village of Bedulu. As we got closer, we would see indications of the temple until a giant sign. We parked a few meters beyond the official parking, to save the ticket. The temple itself is located in a natural environment with several pools carved in rock, with giant fish, where men, women, and children are purified before the prayers. The sculpture of Ganesha inside is in the shape of an elephant.
It was not too impressive, and in fact I almost liked the part of the forest behind it, all of a beautiful green and spectacular trees and went back to the hotel because we were tired already.
At the hotel, we went for a swim in the pool that was the glory. As the hunger grows we decided to search by TripAdvisor a nearby place to dine. During the ride, we were peppered with offers of taxis and tickets to see the Barong dance that is performed in the center of Ubud, but we had reservations at Laka Leke to see the Kecak dance that night.
We wanted to see a Kecak dance, and we were lucky that it matched well with the nights we had in Ubud. When we finished, as we had taken so long to get on the normal way, we asked if we could not go back to Ubud shortening to the Monkey Forest, and the very friendly waiters gave us directions. Well, we were wrong on the way and that was an adventure.
We ride at night, only with the light of the motorbike, along a road as narrow which on top was half under construction and was blocked by lots of sand and with flooded rice fields on the sides. When it finally seems that we reached an illuminated street appears a security guard and tells us that this is a private space and that we cannot pass.
We tried to beg him to let us pass because we did not see ourselves able to undo the road! But there was no way, so we had to turn around and go back where we had come from. When we had almost reached the Laka Leke again we saw the good detour, which we had to have gotten from the beginning, and we could go to the street of Monkey Forest, so the adventure was an anecdote.
Then after a little zen on the terrace of the room, we go to the bed early as the day had been tiring.
3 Days in Bali
We did not want to get up early but the alarm clock sounds at 7:30 am. We chose the pancake for breakfast. The truth is that there are a lot of cupcakes with different flavors and aromas. We contacted the travel agency and we went towards Lovina. We set course for Jatiluwih, where we would see the famous rice terraces declared World Heritage by Unesco.
We ate great babi guling in a warung that came recommended in the Lonely Planet on the road that runs through the rice fields! From here the road to Batukaru was horrifying. Finally, we arrive at Pura Batukaru, a temple in the middle of the mountain, little frequented, all green and full of moss, which emanated spirituality and peace. This is one of the sites that are less known, less visited but perhaps more authentic than the most famous.
In Besakih, we had also seen many people praying, but the proportion of tourists and believers was much higher there. Pictures cannot capture the atmosphere of peace that was breathed there. In this temple, we saw a sign in the entrance with restrictions on who could enter and who could not. We found it exaggerated, bordering on the absurd since apart from the typical visitors without sarong or menstruating women there were others like aged people or women whose children still do not have teeth.
From Batukaru on the way, we stop at NungNung waterfalls. We go in the morning to not catch anyone. We parked in front of a warung, and we went down a few steps between the jungle! We passed a small bridge and we see it. It's incredible. There is no one. The rays of the sun creeping upwards bounce off the trees and make a beautiful play of light with the drops of water. It is one of the best surprises I found on this trip.
We spent a long time watching the waterfall. After taking photos begins the great climb! It took us about 20 min to get up. When we got up, there was already some people. We left in course to the first temple of the day located in the Bratan lake. It was the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple, possibly the most emblematic of Bali. It is a very beautiful temple, next to the lake dedicated to the goddess of water Dewi Danu.
We love it, especially because we had the opportunity to attend a ceremony. In this temple, because of what they have told us, it is quite common to find ceremonies that double the reason for visiting it. We spoke with one of the boys who were at the ceremony who spoke English and explained that what they were doing was holding a ritual to enter their new home.
The next stop was the botanical gardens of Bedugul. We were not sure if it was worth wasting time here, so we asked the driver. Since he did not know how to tell us anything, we decided to continue with the initial plan and enter. The most interesting was a small cactus greenhouse of all sizes and shapes.
The walks had opened our appetite so we went to eat. In this case, the driver took us to a restaurant with a terrace overlooking rice fields. The restaurant served a buffet that was quite rich, with the typical dishes like nasi goreng, and grilled meats. But the price as in all the tourist places seemed exaggerated. We paid more than double compared to dinner the day before.
With the stomach full we went up to the town of Kintamani, a beautiful mountainous village from where there is a beautiful view of the Batur volcano and its lake. We arrive at Kedisan, the village that is on the lake. As in all the tourist places, there are enough people in the viewpoint trying to sell everything. Finally, we are going to eat! In this case, we ate in a buffet with incredible views of Batur volcano.
The price of these restaurants is quite higher than in the rest of the country, but it is something to really pay for. We made a small stop in a temple more modest and smaller than Tirta Empul but very similar. We continue our way in the direction of the Munduk waterfall. We leave the car on the road and we go down some stairs that are approaching the jungle.
The descent lasts about 10 minutes and you end up at an access point. The truth is that we went at a very good time so as not to be squared with almost tourists and to be able to enjoy the beautiful waterfall. We climbed the car and returned along the same road we climbed. Here I started to see the Bali that I wanted so much, all very green full of rice fields. We stopped to see a few things.
We also took advantage of the trip to make stops along the way, so we arrived at Lovina in the middle of the afternoon. We stroll along Lovina beach. We were told that there was a boat trip to spot dolphins. I do not remember how much we paid at the hotel for the tour but then walking along the beach we were offered a fish less than half full. There were dozens of boats full of tourists harassing the poor dolphins and we did not leave with a good taste in our mouths.
Our driver picked us up with whom we enjoyed a lot and we started a new route. He told us a thousand things about his religion and Balinese weddings that made us cry with laughter. We begin with the Kroya Falls. There are very little touristy but beautiful. In the end, we dive into a large pool of water where we swim a little.
When we finished bathing in the falls we went to the Lovina market. The market is without tourists and it is a fantastic place to see the different fruits and to get a little bit of the noble art of bargaining. There we tried some of the richest fruits we have eaten. We had been seeing them every day but as we did not know what they were we had not decided to buy.
When we went with our driver he talked to the vendors to give them to try. We bought some of the ones we liked the most, such as the snake fruit that has snakeskin, the rambutan which is a kind of size of a plum and the Dorian, which is a delicious fruit but that smells bad.
As it was time for lunch, the driver took us to an area of very authentic and local restaurants. The truth that it was all very cheap and very good. But the really amazing thing was about to happen. When we were finishing eating with our driver suddenly the cook comes screaming in pain with her hand raised. Our driver gets up and begins to massage her hand. Imagine our face! The driver returns with the cook and puts her rings and necklaces.
After half an hour he tells us that we can leave. We see the cook still a little bad and we tell her that we do not mind waiting a while longer until she gets better. She tells us that she is fine and we can go. When we left we asked him what happened and he told us that she had possessed an evil spirit for not going to pray to the temple.
Now our jaw was dislocated! He is the shaman so he left her half cured. Now what he needs to do is go to the temple to pray at the speed of lightning! This kind of things is incredible in Bali. That's why it is such a different and special island in Indonesia. Its culture, traditions, and beliefs are incredible.
After this kind of movie that we just live, we go to one of the most loved visits in Bali. We see a very small and humble villa in the Lovina Mountains where its inhabitants live on bamboo. It's called Tigawasa Village. The inhabitants of Tigawasa are considered the original and oldest of the island of Bali.
They make their own interpretation of the religion and even speak a language different from the normal Balinese. There we visited a local house that they are building with bamboo and we see some very nice women doing the typical Balinese bamboo baskets. Of course, we bring one for home. We love the visit and being able to help a little buying some souvenir from the locals.
We went north, as we passed through Pemuteran. We enjoyed the beach and we continued on our way to see from afar the Menjangan Island. It is very famous for snorkeling, diving, and its good beaches. We wanted to see the sunset at a famous Tanah temple so we took photos and continued.
In the afternoon we stopped by the road to have food with spaghetti, chicken, salads with delicious natural juices. We decided to stop at a typical surfing beach even though it was a bad day until it started to rain. Medewi beach was very cool.
After a couple of hours or more of traffic and a torrential rain, we arrived at the Tanah Lot temple. This temple is the most touristic in the country for its spectacularity. The part closest to the entrance has a temple in the rock that by the erosion produced by the sea has been shaped like a bridge. Tanah Lot is one of the prime tourist spots in Bali. It is full of people, since it is close to Kuta, and that spoils it a bit.
We paid the entry fee and enjoyed taking a walk. We see the waves break in the temples and the cliffs. We finally arrived at the panorama we had been waiting for. We had seen lots of photos but nothing like seeing live. It was a day with a lot of waves which made us more impressed to see how something constructed so long ago resisted the onslaught of the sea. We saw the sunset from the beach and then from above.
We went down with the rest of the people but we could not go to the temple because of the state of the sea and we headed to Ubud. When I got out of the car it was as if the magic was lost. Back in Ubud, we were quite tired. So we booked an appointment at 8 pm at the spa cum massage center that we had on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.
The spa had a pick-up service and although we were very close they came to pick us up. They received us with an infusion and gave us the choice of the oil that we liked the most for the massage. I gave myself a facial massage and foot reflexology. At the time we were blessed with a Balinese massage by an adorable lady. We then shower in a beautiful stone shower.
We left the spa and we are in a cloud. We do not know whether to go to sleep or dinner. We return to the pizzeria. This time we have a plate of spaghetti. After the massage and spaghetti, we crawled to the bungalow. It's early but tomorrow we have to get up early that we have a new stage!
The truth is that today's tour was well worth it. That night I slept fatally as the light went out of my room.
4 Days in Bali
Our driver picked us up early as the day would be long. We loaded the bags and headed for the first stop of the day. Our first destination is the Monkey Forest. The morning walk serves to lower the food and to take a couple of photos. The first thing we see is how some monkeys rob a candy. As it was quite early we found a few tourists in the area. That is to say, our walk with the monkeys was going to be almost entirely in solitude.
We then head to the Tegenungan Falls. We have to take a short walk to get to them although the heat that was at that time was a bit strong, especially when we had to go up later. The waterfalls are quite beautiful. We took some pictures, got our feet wet. We retraced the road until we found a deviation that took us towards Semarapura (Klungkung).
The landscape along this road is impressive with rice fields on both sides of the road. We see rivers and impenetrable jungle dotted by some temple from time to time. We went to the Klungkung Palace, with its former Taman Kertha Gosa Court House and the Bale Kambang floating pavilion. It is a tiny place. It is worth looking at the mini-museum in the back building, admiring the entrance hall and the excellent paintings on the roof of the pavilion.
And finally, we headed for the road that would take us to Pura Goa Lawah, a temple known for its giant bats that inhabit a cave inside the enclosure. We went to the temple and were totally alone. Some young Indonesians who were selling valuables come towards us screaming. The temple is not bad. It's basically like most temples in Bali, but smaller and with a rather large cave where thousands of bats screamed.
As we have not yet been able to get a good swim in the sea, we decided to go to the virgin beach, on the eastern coast of Bali, and eat there. It took us a long time to get there, but we made up for it with a very refreshing bath. We have a fresh water shower and a meal in the warung with a terrific mie goreng. The warung is more like a tent in the parking lot.
We pass Taman Ujung, an old water palace, destroyed in the earthquake in 1979 and later remodeled. From Taman Ujung, we made the first cut in the route of that day. We pass the beach of Pasir Putih and stop in Tirta gangga. More than a temple it is a set of gardens and pools, also known as the palace of water and is very beautiful. It is much more impressive than Taman Ujung, but also much more crowded. The swimming pools open to the public were full of young Balinese.
We continue the route in the direction of Batur volcano, which was a few kilometers up the road. It took us almost an hour to get to the top. The higher we climbed the lower was the temperature. We climbed the slope of the volcano to the very edge of the crater, being the highest point. From here it was possible to enjoy spectacular views of the interior of the volcanic cone, the lake, the villages on its banks, the inner craters and of the recent lava on its slopes. The Batur volcano put the icing on a full day and was the most spectacular.
After a while enjoying the views from the rim of the crater, we were assaulted by a traveling vendor of exotic fruits. But after the harsh bargaining, the man refused to accept our figure and left in a bad mood. We went down to the viewpoints and discovered a whole series of craft and batik shops, where we stopped to buy some Balinese dresses.
We arrived at Amed quite tired, but it did not take us long to find the perfect accommodation. It was a room next to the sea, with bathroom, pool, and breakfast.
We had rest and leave for snorkeling in Jemeluk bay and taking some Bintang on the beach watching the sunset. We returned to the center of the town to have dinner in the warung and to remember the spectacular day we had lived.
5 Days in Bali
I woke up to watch the sunrise as the frogs and cocks woke me up at 5. The first thing we do is go to reception and request breakfast. While we wait in the room we prepare the suitcase as best we can. At 20 minutes one of the guys at the reception knocks on the door and leaves us breakfast on the porch. The truth was that everything was quite good and the charm of being able to eat sitting in our bungalow is priceless (it's a pity that the rice field was mowed).
We put the backpacks in the car to go towards the southern area. On the way to Uluwatu, we reach Sanur Beach. We get back to the car and head south again passing Gojek. My body and head were already activated so I decided to change places and head to Seminyak. The trip to Kuta lasted about 20 minutes and then we head to Jimbaran and Balangan beach.
At the time we stop us at a huge traditional fruit market. The driver guides us on how much money we should pay approximately for fruits. We bought mangosteen, snake fruit, and rambutan, our favorite fruit. We leave happier than nothing with our fruits for the trip.
The next stop is the Gobleg viewpoint from where there are incredible views of the twin lakes Buyan and Tanblingan. After eating pizza in a very local warung very rich food we set course for Uluwatu. The way there is the most fun we remember from our trip. It took us about an hour and a half to arrive. We took the time to talk to our driver and ask many questions about his religion. He tells us that the Balinese believe in reincarnation a lot.
He also tells us that in the Balinese calendar people check which is the best day of the year to buy a pig. We say we need to see that so in a shop we get a Balinese calendar. Almost the whole trip was made under a monsoon rain. It only stopped for a while, which allowed us to see a Balinese theater by Barong, a typical character of his culture.
In principle, the theater seemed expendable, too touristy, but as it was included in the chosen route, we agreed to see it, instead of doing something else. And, although it is a show focused on tourists, we liked it a lot. There was live traditional music and the Balinese dances are very peculiar, with complicated and very marked gestures.
Our next destination left the beaches a little aside and we returned with the temples. We would take course further south to reach the Luhur Uluwatu temple. This temple is spectacular for its views of the cliff, mixing the color of the blue sea with the green leafy.
We arrived in Uluwatu and our driver recommended us a pub where surfers go. We said goodbye to him after an incredible day! Our hotel in Uluwatu is very good. The hotel surprised us pleasantly, and the reception girls were very nice. They are small villas with their little terrace and a shared pool.
With the heat that we were going through we arrive and could have a bath. We change and went to the casino but the gambling den was half empty. Later we go to the pub that is a few minutes walk and we are not disappointed. The atmosphere is great. We order a large pizza and a couple of beers for dinner. The way home by luck was short because we looked like a hippopotamus about to explode.
6 Days in Bali
The day dawns. The alarm sounds early to be on vacation. We had barely discarded the suitcase. Almost with an unwashed face, we went to the hotel bar to have breakfast. The food was nothing to write home about but it was quite good. We ordered a banana pancake, coffee, and juice. We showered and started! The pickup arrived on time to find us at the hotel. It would not be like that the speedboat that would take us to Lembongan.
We took the opportunity to change money in the port since there were theoretically 30 minutes left for our ship to leave. Those 30 minutes in the end became almost 2 hours of waiting since the sea conditions were bad enough.
The boat that was to take us to Lembongan arrived an hour late. The waves were growing in size and the first people who got off the boat were beaten and dragged by the waves. The truth is that we laughed for a while. The only advantage is that being sea we knew that we had to wait between series of waves to climb.
I think we were among the first to get on what we took advantage of to find a good place next to the window while the rest of the people and luggage went up. This may seem silly but with the course of the trip, we realized that far from it.
After 20 minutes we finally set sail! Luckily the trip is short and we arrived at Lembongan. In the beginning, the boat was heading to the mushroom bay where our hotel was located. When we got off the boat a worker tells us to go to an area where we can take the cars that take people to the different hotels.
Unfortunately, our hotel was close but in an area unappetizing for drivers. So we left the last with two other couples in the sun with backpacks and not knowing if they were laughing at us. After insisting a driver who was lying there in the shade we managed to get us to our hotel 30 minutes after getting off the boat.
The trip along the road (better said, the goat trail) to the hotel began to show us the variety of the place. There are spectacular hotels surrounded by garbage dumps and open land. This is Nusa Lembongan, a special mini paradise that we will discover slowly in the following stages.
The trip was short, just 5 minutes, full of narrow roads and steps where only one car could access very carefully. Slowly we arrive at the hotel. The first impression of the hotel is not that it is too good. But as soon as we enter we can already tell it's a different place.
As soon as we got off the van, one of the hotel boys received us. We talked for a while about the location of the room and possible excursions. We quickly leave the things and as we missed the time we ran down to the beach with our snorkeling equipment.
The boat is typical of Balinese fishermen but the truth is that we were very comfortable. The first stop is 15 minutes after leaving Mushroom Bay. We put the fins, the tube and the glasses and dive. This area is known as Blue Corner, and in it, we could observe all kinds of fish of a variety of colors.
There was a lot of marine activity but nothing similar to what we would find later in the Gili. We also saw the coral for the first time. We were immersed for 20 minutes to go back to the boat and go to another point.
We went back to submerge this time near Nusa Penida (the island that is closer to Lembongan and that is bigger). Here the currents made us a bit dizzy. In fact, the next point to visit was the Manta Point but we were left with the desire since the boatman told us that he could not go by the state of the sea. We took another 20 minutes or so and they would take us to the last point. It was an area where there were huge fish.
We are going to see the Mushroom Bay. To go there it is necessary to go down a small slope about 20 meters and we are already in it. The truth is that it is very pretty and flirtatious but in our opinion, there is too much movement of boats and tourists. We spent the afternoon resting on the beach. We went back to the hotel to put our clothes and order them a bit.
We take the bike to visit another beach area of Lembongan, specifically Dreambeach. We decided to go for a walk in search of the Devil's Tears, a place highly recommended to watch the sunset. According to the map we were not far away. So we decided to do it by walking to make us hungry for dinner.
The ride became more of a trail along the roads we went through and because the GPS lost us a couple of times. When we arrived, unfortunately, the sky was covered so we could not see the place in its splendor.
The place where we arrived was a kind of club where you could eat or drink something which gave you access to enjoy an infinity pool. We faithful to our weakness that is the food we decided to sit down to eat. We ordered spaghetti and another fish dish with its corresponding rice. Afterward, we enjoyed the views and took the opportunity to take a picture on a swing that was there.
The waves on this beach were huge. We had a good time watching some girls cool off on the shore with fear because of the big waves that were there. We had some beers that an islander kept for sale in a portable fridge.
The return to the hotel cost us a little less but we realized that just as in Bali we had to take a motorbike to move around the island. As we had to book an excursion for the next day at the hotel (snorkel) we decided that we would give them a chance and we would dine on it.
Surprisingly the dinner at the hotel turned into a romantic dinner. The bar tables were lit by candles with a very calm and relaxed atmosphere. The background music gave a very nice touch accompanied by the sound of the sea.
We ordered some appetizers and then a tuna fish with drinks. We finished dinner. Before going to sleep we decided to take a short walk along the beach to see the nightlife of the area. The truth was that there was a little nocturnal atmosphere. Only one of the bars had a terrace on the beach for a drink.
The night was still young but we decided to go to bed soon more or less with the goal to get up early to see more about Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan by motorbike.
7 Days in Bali
We had breakfast and with the GPS in hand, we went to Ceningan with the bike to access that island is passed by a very strange bridge that is for motorcycles and pedestrians. We find a tourist group of Chinese taking selfies in the middle who do not move apart a bit.
In Ceningan there was a jumping point from which he wanted to jump and we began our search. We came across cliffs and beautiful landscapes. The closer we got to where the GPS marked the jumping point, the worse was the access road to the coast. In some sections, we had to leave the motorbike and go looking for an exit to the sea. In many cases after 5 minutes walking among bushes, we had to turn around because there was no exit.
After a few ups and downs, we arrived unintentionally at a hotel from where Secret Beach can be accessed. The truth is that the place is incredible for its location and for its tranquility. The conditions of the sea with very turbulent tides did not allow the bath so we only stayed 5 minutes watching it.
I look for a new place to go and this time we go to a viewpoint from where we would see Nusa Penida. We enjoyed some cool drinks while chatting with the landscape in the background. The next and last stop would be in the Mangrove Forest.
We headed back to our hotel. The backpack was practically made. So we waited for our pick up that will take us back to the beach to embark on a cruiser on the way to Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.
We enjoyed the last moments on this beach and after about 30 minutes of waiting, we climbed the speedboat. This boat, unlike the one that brought us to Lembongan, had the padded seats. Here would begin the journey that would last about an hour and a half to the Gili Islands, this time with the calm sea.