The journey from Kuta Lombok back to Bali took about five or six hours as the boat stopped off at Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan and Nusa Lembongan to let people get on and off. It was funny seeing the places we’d been to a couple of weeks earlier, and Nusa Lembongan in particular seemed a lot busier than when we’d been there. The ferry company we were with also provided onward travel to wherever you wanted to go in Bali, and we ended up sharing a van to Canggu with two Dutch girls. We weren’t sure about our choice of Canggu, we had only heard from a couple of people that it was quite chilled and handy for getting to the town of Seminyak without staying there. However, the two girls in our taxi said this was their second stay in Canggu during their month trip; they were returning because they had loved it so much! All of a sudden we felt like we’d made the right decision.
We got dropped off at our homestay and were delighted with our little room which was immaculate and homely compared to our damp hut in Kuta. There was also a huge wardrobe which was a huge bonus! Dan had seen a Vietnamese food place on the way past in the taxi, so we headed there and both had some pho bo – yum! We then headed to a bar which the girls had told us was having a party that night. We thought there would be a modest amount of people, as this area was apparently quite quiet. However, when we got there the place was brimming with people; there were probably four or five hundred people there! This was more people than we’d seen in over a week as Gili Asahan and Kuta had been quite quiet! There was a live band playing, cheap local red wine and everyone seemed really friendly – the crowd was mainly a mix of expats, surfers and hipsters. We even bumped into the Dutch girls, and saw a couple of other people we had met in Gili Trawangan.
We hired a scooter the next day and went exploring – Canggu is so spread out that you really need a scooter or car to get around! The drives are so pretty, down cobbled streets with rice paddies either side and the Bali volcanoes in the distance. We went for some brunch in one of the local cafes that the girls had recommended and quickly realised that there was a massive food scene in Canggu, with emphasis on health food. Despite a lot of it being western, the food was amazing and there were so many gluten free options for me.
We then drove about an hour north of Canggu to visit Pura Taman Ayun – a stunning temple surrounded by a moat, where the Balinese go to leave offerings for their Royal ancestors. We stupidly drove in the hottest part of the day, and had to ask directions a few times. At one point we even went the wrong way down a one way street! But when we got there it was definitely worth it.
We drove back later in the afternoon, and went to the beach where Dan surfed and I spectated as the waves were ferocious! Watching the pro’s surfing really far out was good fun. For dinner that night we went to Warung Dandelion which served amazing Indonesian food at really good prices overlooking their gardens and the rice paddies. We went to play some pool afterwards, and I’m pleased to say that I beat dan at the first game. The fact that he then beat me in the next game is irrelevant!
We had heard that the temple Tanah Lot was stunning, but that at peak time there could be thousands of tourists there trying to get the perfect picture. So we got up really early the next day and drove about an hour west to the temple. We were glad to see that at 8am we were the very first people there! The temple is situated on a high rocky island with waves crashing into the surrounding cliffs – pretty amazing! However, disappointingly tourists can’t climb up to the temple. A local man called us over to the base of the cliff and blessed us with the spring water (which he then asked money for), but he was really friendly and it was funny to see Dan with a flower in his hair!
We rewarded our early morning with an amazing breakfast at the extremely popular Pelaton, a vegan and gluten free friendly cafe which wouldn’t be out of place in Melbourne!
We then had a much needed nap and went for a drive along the coast. We headed to Potato Head Beach Club which is a pretty fancy, infamous pool party hang out. The bar had extensive security, and we had our bags searched and got frisked on the way in. We weren’t sure if this was common practice, or a response to the events in Jakarta in January. The place was seriously busy with a mix of families enjoying the restaurant, and young groups of friends and couples getting stuck into the beach bar and infinity pool overlooking the sea. To us the place felt a bit ridiculous and the cocktails were almost the price of one night where we were staying in Canggu! Needless to say, however, we got involved and enjoyed some drinks in the pool with the sun going down over the sea behind.
Having heard that the sea was better for beginner surfers in Kuta/Legian, we drove down the next afternoon. Despite the sand being golden, we didn’t like this area – it was far too built up and busy, and the sand was covered in rubbish! We took turns surfing though, which was fun until I fell off and hurt my toe again! I had split it open the day before when I tripped on a loose paving slab. Ouch! It’s fine now though, I just hobbled around for a day or two.
We drove back to Canggu for dinner and went to Deus, where the party had been on the first night. We had amazing pizza (the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever had!), and then looked around their shop which sells surf boards, motor bikes and clothes.
The next day, we hired a driver to go and explore Bukit Peninsula in south Bali. We hadn’t really wanted to hire a driver during our trip, but it was a long drive through the most congested parts of Bali so we thought this way we could relax properly and have a drink if we fancied. We stopped at Jimbaran fish market first, which had the most amazing array of fish and sea food that I’ve ever seen! You can buy seafood straight off the displays and have it barbecued out the front, but we had heard of a great seafood cafe on the beach which we planned to have dinner at later.
We headed down to Blue Point at Uluwatu, the most southerly point of Bali. We walked down a few flights of stairs, past some monkeys, to the most incredible beaches I’ve ever seen. The water was turquoise and crystal clear and the sand was so soft and yellow.
After some nasi goreng, we went along to Uluwatu temple which is perched right on a cliff edge. The monkeys around here steal anything in sight so we were warned not to take a handbag or glasses with us. We did see someone have their sunglasses stolen which was quite funny, but unfortunately the sun was so strong that we didn’t really enjoy this part of the day! There was no shade and we had to wear full length sarongs even though we weren’t actually allowed to enter the temple area. The views down to the cliffs were amazing though.
We drove back to Jimbaran to the seafood cafe and managed to get a table on the sand, despite the fact that it was very busy! We had barbecued whole tuna with different Indonesian sauces and garlic fried greens – I thought it was the best meal so far! It was made even better by the view of the almost empty white sand Jimbaran beach, and the sun setting over the sea. A perfect end to our last full day in Bali.
Today we are sitting on a black sand beach chilling out before our flight at midnight tonight. The owner of our homestay has kindly said that we can have our room until 8pm which makes things a lot easier to get organised before the flight!
All in all we’ve absolutely loved our Indonesia trip, and we will be back without a doubt. Next stop, Melbourne!