After some amazing beaches in Lombok, we returned to Bali on the slow boat from Lembar. We headed back to Kuta and checked into Ananta guest house, a lovely little apartment along one of the backstreets.
Last time we were in Kuta, when we first arrived in Bali, I lost my purse on a night out. I had been in contact with the bar via email, and it turns out, my purse was actually handed back in! Amazing. We went down to the bar in the day and picked it up. Although the cash was gone, all mt cards were still there and my driving licence, which saved me a lot of hassle. As far as I know, nobody attempted to use my cards and I didn’t need to cancel them. Faith in humanity restored! 🙂
We decided to try a different way to travel. After almost 8 months of buses, trains, minivans, bikes, motorbikes and even flights, I hadn’t driven a car anywhere. We asked at the guest house and they said we could get a small Suzuki jeep for £7 a day! It’s ridiculous really. So of course we got one. It made travelling the two of us with our backpacks much easier. The flexibility was great and it expanded our capability to adventure. This might have been where I got my inspiration for all my future road trips from…
After just one night in Kuta, we headed off in the jeep towards the East coast Amed region. We stayed first in Jemeluk at a place called three brothers. It was nice and right on the beach! We arrived quite late in the day after the long drive from Kuta. The roads were great and the views amazing. We chilled on the beach that night and watched the sun set over Mount Agung. Stunning.
The next day we took the car for a lovely drive along the Amed coast, visiting several of the small villages around here. We spent some time on a couple of the beaches and took our time to enjoy the views and the turquoise water. We moved accommodation that night since three brothers was full. We checked into a small villa with a pool and I cooked my first meal in 8 months, it was a classic of eggy bread. Jer wasn’t instantly impressed with my skills… 😂 We chilled in the pool before our peace was disturbed by a very noisy family!
From Amed, we drove along the coast to Lovina in the North. The road took us past both Agung and Batur. We stopped along the way after we saw a small wooden sign saying “waterfall” and an arrow. The road was steep and winding and quite tricky. It ended up being a much longer detour than we first thought it would be, but it was worth it. I have no idea where this was or what is was called unfortunately…
We continued on after a cool off in the water and then stopped at a temple that we saw from the road which looked beautiful. The flexibility of the car was paying off. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of this temple either. I couldn’t even tell you where we were! Somewhere on the road from Amed to Lovina?!
We arrived in Lovina quite late after all the stops along the way and checked into Puri Bali guesthouse which has the most beautiful and tranquil pool and gardens. We headed down to the village centre and there was a huge volleyball event on. We sat and watched, getting involved with the locals. It was great!
We got up super early the next day to go dolphin watching. We did see lots of dolphins, which was beautiful, they were playing in the waves and amongst the boats. But it was so crowded. There must have been 50 boats, maybe more, all jostling to get to the front for a better view of the dolphins. It felt invasive and like we were harassing the dolphins a bit. I didn’t really like it. It was too commercial and not sustainable. We stopped closer to the beach after the dolphins swam away and did some snorkelling. The first time I’d been back in the water since the jellyfish incident on Lombok. I was still paranoid and my skin was tingling on edge, but I did see lots of colourful fish. This early in the morning the ocean was so still, like a mirror, and exceptionally clear.
After a chill in the pool and a small nap to compensate for the early morning start we set off on the road again, this time heading into the interior of the island towards Munduk. The road got smaller and smaller, until it was just 2 tracks for tyres and then even a dirt track. I loved it, it felt like a real adventure! Along the way we drove past the 2 lakes; Buyan and Tamblingan. We stopped at a cafe which had a great view point of the lakes and jungle.
The traffic in Munduk was insane and we got stuck in a deadlock for at least an hour, maybe more. It only got resolved when people started getting out of their cars and helping to find a solution. Through the village, we checked into our guesthouse Munduk Atres, which was surrounded by rice paddies and had a lovely pool. But the weather here was a little rainy, so we only managed a small dip.
The next day we continued South towards Tanah Lot, but not before stopping at another beautiful temple on lake Beratan; Ulun Danu Bratan Temple. The roads were a lot easier in this part and got a lot bigger again. Tanah Lot was great and we stayed in the region for the sunset, but it was extremely busy too, full of tour groups.
The next day we drove to Uluwatu on the Southernmost tip of Bali. We stopped at Tegal Wangi Beach, Padang Padang Beach and then Uluwatu for the sunset. I had read that these places were supposed to be the most beautiful in Bali, but they were so busy and touristy. I mean, yes they were beautiful, but for me, the amount of people at the beaches really impacted on my opinions of them and I didn’t really enjoy them much. Too many selfies…
We drove back to Kuta for a final night in Bali before flying back to Kuala Lumpur. It wasn’t just the end of my time in Bali, or even in Indonesia… it was the end of my 8 months travelling. It was just me leaving, as Jer prepared to continue his trip without me. We had a few days in KL before my flight back to France to stay with my Mum.
Overall, I loved Bali. The culture is so different to anywhere I had been before. All the little offerings, incense and flowers, they make the country glow with beauty. It’ such a clean country and the temples are a wonder to look at.
There are so many things I could say about my 8 month backpacking adventure… too much to say here really. But what I will say briefly is that it changed my life. It opened my eyes to a world different to the one I’m from. It inspired me to travel more, and it gave me the confidence to do so. I know in my heart that I will always be a backpacker and that I will continue this adventure around the world one day. I’ll never settle in one place. There’s too much to learn and too much to see in this world. And I’m more than looking forward to seeing and learning as much as I can. This isn’t the end…