Friday, 15 June 2012

Nusa Lembongan Part 1

Make sure you take enough cash as there are no ATMs on the island.

We had a pleasant 1hr and a half boat journey from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan where we were greeted to a pristine island with crystal clear waters, already I was impressed.

The scene that greeted us when we arrived

I went in search of accommodation whilst Ian waited with our bags. Along the way a local kindly showed me a place with a fan room for 100,000IR. The room itself was spacious and basic but to the same standard of what we had been used to.

After looking at the first room I asked to see a few more places just to compare prices, and he took me to a place called ‘Ketut Losmen Bungalows’. Seeing the posh infinity swimming pool overlooking the beach I straight away I told him it was out of my budget, but then the owner asked me how much my budget was and told me he had a room available within that.

Located at the back of the guesthouse were two mushroom style huts with a balcony. Inside there was a cool outdoor private bathroom and a lovely spacious bedroom with crisp white sheets and pink and blue towels arranged nicely at the end of the bed. It was so amazing that I had to confirm the price with him 3 times before quickly agreeing to take the room. He did say that the room was usually 150,000IR but that as we were staying for 3 nights he would discount 50,000IR a night making the total 100,000IR per night without breakfast.

I pretended to Ian that our room was as basic as the one we had in Sanur, only with an outdoor bathroom. I could tell he wasn't that impressed but it was worth pretending just to see his face when he realised that our guesthouse not only had a swimming pool right on the beach but also the nicest room we had ever stayed in during our trip.

The pool at Ketut

We rented a motorbike for 40,000IR per day and went to explore the island. 

The view of the Nusa Lembongan from the top of the island

Our first stop was a place called Dream Beach, located on a small island called ‘Ceningan’ that is easily accessed via a yellow bridge between both the islands. 

The yellow bridge from Nusa Lembongan to Ceningan Island

It was absolute paradise, with hardly anyone there, soft white sand and clear blue water.

Dream Beach

There is one bar and restaurant here with a swimming pool that cost 50,000IR to use and huts for a whopping 600,000IR a night. After some time here we got back on the bike and went to find the Blue Lagoon and to jump from a cliff point that we had heard about.

We arrived to a beautiful cliff top area that had one small bar and both contemplated jumping into the bright blue sea below.

We were then approached by one of the bar men and told that we had to pay 50,000IR each to be able to jump from the cliff and that we were limited to only two jumps each! We explained that we would be buying some drinks here and that surely jumping from a cliff should be free, but he argued that because the bar owned the ladder that you needed to use in order to get back to the top of the cliff then so they charge all their customers for using it.

Due to the staff having a bad attitude, the bar having the cheek to charge customers and then limit the jumps to two each, we left immediately. The strange thing was that the bar wasn’t even busy, it only had 4 other customers, yet they let us walk away without reasoning.

During our drive around we found a place called ‘Mahana Point’ which was a tiny little bar nestled on a small cliff edge that had a perfect view of the surfers below. We asked how much a small Bintang Beer was and got quoted 25,000IR. We worked out that this would cost more than a beer in England, so we settled for a soft drink instead.

Ian & I jumping from Mahana Point

Our day quickly drew to an end, but before we left Ceningan Island we stopped off at Secret Beach. It was hidden very well down a bumpy track and we turned around at one point thinking we had gone the wrong way. We then arrived to a large re-development and building site and were soon pointed in the right direction by the builders. After making our way through the site we reached the small stretch of sandy beach with the waves crashing against the shore. As the tide was high most of the beach was hidden beneath it but it was nice to relax there for our last hour before heading back home.

Be careful of the currents

Secret Beach

That evening we met up with a couple called Janet (American) and Pete (Scottish) who we had met on the boat on the way over. They worked in Sanur teaching English to children in China over the internet and were in Nusa Lemgongan for a weekend break. We all had a lovely meal and some beers at Warung 99 before saying goodbye to Pete and Janet and heading to bed. 

Everything on Nusa Lemgongan closes really early, even if you’re still buying drinks, the bar will close between 10pm & 11pm at the very latest.

For cheap and tasty food try ‘Warung 99’ located on the roadside just behind the beach, we ate here almost every night!

The following day was spent exploring around on the moped. We stopped off at ‘Mushroom Bay’ first and enjoyed a swim in the sea and some time reading our books before heading elsewhere.

Mushroom Bay

We arrived at a place called ‘Sunset Beach’, which had a posh restaurant overlooking the beach and a private swimming pool. The beach was quite rocky, the sea was a bit too rough to swim in and as the restaurant was out of our price range we didn’t end up staying long.

We then checked out ‘Devil’s Tear’, it was located on a low cliff ledge that you could walk along and had large craters in the rock formations, some being filled with water, I presume that was the reason for it being called Devils Tear.

Locals at work, Seaweed farming is the main trade for the locals on Nusa

Finally, we made our way to the ‘Underground House’. This was a bizarre piece of architecture, built by a lone man so that he could meditate in it. It was a huge lair of underground tunnels with various rooms and ledges that you could get lost in.

There is a charge to go inside the Underground House. At first we were quoted 50,000IR between the two of us but we bartered this down to 10,000IR each, so make sure you negotiate on the price!

The underground house

After visiting the strange but interesting underground house we rode back to our guesthouse where we had a fantastic view of the sunset from our pool. 

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