Nusa Penida....It's so Near yet So Far!

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December 31st 2020
Published: January 14th 2021
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Call me travel crasher: not only I self-invited joining three friends on a their supposed to be pilates-trip in Bali, but I diverted their plans too! Thankfully, they agreed to the idea of going to Nusa Penida Island, South East of Bali. Nusa Penida is known among divers to spot Mola Mola or Sun Fish, which appeared usually in August, but its current tends to be strong. A few cruise offers day trip to Nusa Penida and its neighboring island, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Of the three islands, Nusa Penida is the largest, with total population of 45,000.

After making the travel arrangement the day before, four of us headed towards Sanur, where the plenty of boats were waiting. We didn't expect our boat would be full. It had 20 rows with 3 seats on each side, and every single seat was occupied! Ouch. I could feel my heart beating hard but felt better when I saw life vests in the boat. The ride through Badung Strait was only one and half hour but felt like hours as the sea started to get rough and ride got bumpy. When we arrived, our driver had waited for us. Interestingly, the island, even though hilly, is more dry compared to Bali. Its vegetation was also different that of Bali.

Our first destination was Broken Beach, on the West Coast of the island, which was not a beach at all as it was a cove surrounded by rocky cliff which had a breathtaking view. To our surprise, the place was packed not with locals but foreigners! It's the power of social media. To take pictures at a good spot, we had to queue!

The next stop was Crystal Bay, from which we could see white sand Angel Beach some 50 meter below. The view was breathtaking, but it lacked of basic facilities for tourism. To go to Angel beach, you needed to make sure not only the time, as boats from the island leave for Bali at 4 pm, but also the energy as there were 600 steps to climb up back. It is advisable to stay a night if we intend to visit it.

As we were gazing at the ocean, we saw a group of dolphins swimming and playing in a circle down below. It's like they greeted and waved at us. What a treat! Little that we knew there was another spot on the island which we could spot Manta Ray! Sigh....

As we went only for a day trip, we had to go back to the port after lunch. Our driver told us there were many more places to visit but to do so, we must stay overnight on the island. The boat ride back to Bali was equally thrilling as sea got more rough in the afternoon. A few weeks later, I learned two foreigners died after boat capsized at the neighboring island, Nusa Lembongan. It was said a big wave caused the boat to capsize. I promised myself if I ever visited Nusa Penida again, I'd have rented a private boat for safety reasons.

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