Published: August 1st 2010April 16th 2010 Bali
Nusa Lembongan, Bali
After some thoughts and lazy discussions at the beach bar back in Koh Samui a few of us decided that travelling by bus from Thailand through Malaysia and Indonesia was looking increasingly tiresome and so we decided that the best thing to do would be to fly onto different destinations and meet later in Bali. Apart from that, one of the guys was hoping to dive whilst out here, so his decision was easy. So that was it, decision made and a couple of us would fly to Bali and go our separate ways. I was off to Nusa Lembongan, a couple staying in Bali and Liam to Phuket for some diving before spending 2 weeks on a diving boat.
As in Phuket the landing is an interesting one as you fly in low and over a beach! Coming in at night was quite disconcerting too and we looked horribly close to the ground!! Anyways, after landing at Denpasser airport Bali I had no cash and had to buy a visa for $25 US! Some quick talking, a trip to an ATM and some much needed cash later and I have the golden ticket! Grabbing a cab (got
ripped off I think?!) we head to a pre-booked hotel called the Ananda Beach Hotel, which was very cheap and turned out to be really really nice. No Wifi though, which is a pain.
An early night was required so after eating I grabbed some shut eye ready for an early morning start to catch the local ferry across to Nusa Lembongan. Nusa Lembongan
After nearly 50 minutes crossing the water to reach Nusa Lembongan we were greeted with the spectacular sight of this Robinson Crusoe Island…….our eyes feasted on the sight of palm trees interspersed by the odd building here and there, on the shoreline and within the hills. Once landed we had to jump into the sea to get onto the island, nearly getting my backpack wet. Fortunately for us the boat stopped right outside our resort, Bungalo No7, Great! Up the steps we were immediately greeted by the staff and shown to our room. Ah, I like this place already. We slung our stuff in the room then went for a wander.
Nusa Lembongan is a small island that’s only 8sq km in size with little to do other than relax and get involved
Nusa Lembongan, Bali
in many of the watersports on the Island. Such things as Surfing, diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding, paragliding, fishing, swimming etc etc. Im unable to dive as I require a dr’s cert due to my asthma, whilst my friend, who does dive, went in search of a decent diving centre, which we found and duly booked. I joined the first dive where we visited Manta Point.
Oh, that trip to Manta Point. That was interesting……the (small) boat jumped and skipped and flew and jumped and skip….hell it was scary! At times we landed sideways and I genuinely thought that we would capsize…..but I tried to show no fear (ha! right). Looking at the guys on board they were laughing and joking like it was a normal thing….which to them I guess it is. Anyway, 40 minutes later we arrive, they saddle up and drop overside to view the water from below.
'would you like to go snorkeling?’
'No bloody chance, mate'…….I said.
The swell was big, as were the waves, so there was no way I was getting in there…..as the boat rocked from side to side, end to end! The only other snorkeller on board felt the same and she
Our host, our chef; the delightful Nyoman, Nusa Lembongan, Bali
got seasick!! All you could see was the sky, then the sea, then the sky etc etc Wish Id stayed at home now!! We did manage to see the Manta Ray though as they came swimming to the surface, their wings slowly waving at us as they swam by, which was a great sight.
Once the divers had returned they climbed aboard and we sailed to the next destination for lunch then another dive. This time the water was calmer and I jumped in for a swim and to meet the marine life. I donned my flippers, my mask and snorkel then stuck my head in the water for what was a truly awesome sight! It was like swimming in an aquarium…..brightly coloured fish swimming around ignoring this thing that splashed and swam above them, arms flailing like some demented cockroach, drowning in a puddle of beer. But I felt in touch with nature, seeing it at its most beautiful. Visibility must’ve been 15m plus. It was something else! Now I wanna dive.
For our entire stay on the Island we hired a scooter to get about. Cheap enough and an easy way to see the island. Nusa
Visitors from Bali for the day
Ray, Andrea, Anne & I enjoying a meal at Nyoman's, Nusa Lembongan, Bali
Lembongan also boast several world class surf spots and that has produced a number of professional talent! Being a one time surfer (over 10 years ago now!) I thought that I ought to have another bash. Who knows, those talent scouts must be out there somewhere and that Quicksilver contract may still be available?!!
Anyway, world class surf sites usually means BIG! And it was……in parts. All the sites were reef breaks, so I’m bound to get hurt! Board hire was cheap and so whilst my lovely friend was diving I ventured off to the friendliest spot on the Island to hire a board and go for a surf. Being a reef break there was a 5 minute paddle to get to the break by which time I was knackered! This was also the first time I’ve ever surfed in just board shorts. Reckon I musta looked just like those pics in the magazines; tanned surf god riding the waves of freedom (just without the muscles!). But wow, it was great to be in the water again.
All in all Nusa Lembongan was great. We found a lovely little restaurant at the end of the Island, Nayomans Place,
and ate there as often as we could. The banana leaf fish or the jacket fish were just superb & I’d highly recommend any of you to go to this place. Easy to find, inviting and Nayoman was just a delight.
Nusa Lembongan is an island, and therefore there are very few things there, things like a much needed ATM. We arrived there with very little cash and therefore, as this was not unusual, the trusting family that ran the resort offered us some money up front and added it to our bill. the idea being that we pay upon our return to Bali, where we meet other family members. This was fine for us and all went according to plan. We were met by the brother and grandfather, both imposing characters, both anxious to ensure that we pay them. I get on the back of the brothers bike and he takes me to the nearest ATM. I forgot that my card has a withdrawal limit and cannot get the full amount out!! He begins to look cross as I stutter for an explanation. I try my other card but cannot remember the pin number. So, I go back
Sunset on the island
Nusa Lembongan, Bali
to see my friend who gave me her card & number whereupon Im able to get more money, but not enough! So, we’re short by about 100 Euros and they look mighty pissed off. Anyway, we arrange for them to take us to our hotel, so they know where we’re staying, and say they’ll come back in the morning for the remainder.
Now, what I’d been trying to do was draw out a large sum, rather than a smaller amount. Had I have done this we would’ve had the money. Fortunately for me, we figured this out were able to get the rest of the money for the guys, which meant they didn’t have to return in the morning. And that adventure was over.
In the meantime we explored a little of Bali and met up with our friends for beers and food before trudging off to the airport for our flight to Darwin, Australia!!! Woohoo… Good times.
There are more photos below