Saturday, 8 October 2016

Week 25.1 - Nusa Lembongan

We were picked up, on time well done Asia, by our driver from Scoot fast boats to make our way to the harbour and Nusa Lembongan. Along the way we picked up an Australian couple who took great pleasure in telling us that they vacation to Bali at least 5 times a year…lucky bastards, no need to rub it in. Turns out Scoot has a pretty good system, you get checked in, they load your bags on to the boat for you and after an hours delay you’re on your way. The half hour journey this time was a little bumpy but felt as though we were gliding on broken ice after the last one, I was grateful as I don’t think my stomach could of taken it again. We got chatting to a couple from New Zealand, who were nice enough, and after all the things I’ve seen I’m all for love is love, but man these two were crazy. She had to be pushing 80 and he was mid 40’s, I actually thought at one point she was his mum until they got gropey…but I ain’t judging they were happy, and had just ran away to Australia together, make of that what you will.

On arrival at Nusa Lembongan we literally had to jump into waist deep sea and wade to shore (it probably would be knee height on most others, I’m just a tad short), again our bags were carried to shore and again I was grateful otherwise I’d still be drying out my knickers! To get to our homestay we had to take my favourite mode of transport, a songthaw, there are no taxis on the island just these, golf buggies and more mopeds than all of Vietnam! There was nobody around to greet us at Swara Homestay 2, just a little sign telling us that our bungalow was number 3. It’s a beautiful little room, complete with terrace and outside bathroom. This means you’ve got to be careful not to burn when you shower, and you have pleasant view when you poo. I actually love it! 

A quick change into our swimwear and it was time to explore. We soon learnt that the minimum age to drive a moped is 8 and the maximum passengers you can carry is 6, the children though shy at first love to wave and say hello, something which I will miss about Asia. The roads on the island are narrow and there’s a constant stream of Westerners honking their moped horns, you see more of us driving than the locals! The roads are bumpy and the paths sandy, like the Gili’s there are no street lights and mini shrines line the paths. We quickly found the beach and set up camp, theres a lot of coral in the crystal blue waters and on the shore, so it was with caution that Kyle proceeded to the sea for a swim. 

When we returned to our homestay, Ratih, was waiting there for us and gave us a brief introduction to the island, telling us where to find the essentials, such as where to eat, the nicest beaches and an ATM. Turns out it’s the only ATM on the island, and it was fucking miles away, my poor legs had still not recovered from that climb, and we had to walk back to the harbour to get some money out! It was a long, hot walk and we spent most of it avoiding people that couldn’t ride a moped, it says something when the 8 year olds make better drivers, but we made it and then quickly found somewhere for tea, settling on a curry and beef with oyster sauce.

The next morning was beach day, standard really and not very interesting for you guys, sorry! But we had a nice time relaxing and swimming, drinking fruit juice and tanning, I’m not quite Beyonce but I’m getting there. The afternoons entertainment was provided by some stray paddle boarders. Now the current on Nusa Lembongan is strong, even when we were swimming we were getting pushed really far to the right, which is what must have happened to the 2 girls caught out at sea coz they ended up miles from where they rented the boards from. One poor girl kept getting knocked off and on occasion tried to swim along and push her board, but her arms were that tired she couldn’t hold on to the board. The other girl managed to drift to shore with the tide and tried to carry her board, but she couldn’t lift it up. An argument soon followed when they were both on the beach, a tantrum soon came and paddles were thrown, but what could they do but get in the water and carry on? Kyle did think of offering to take one of the boards back, but he couldn’t be arsed with the walk back to the beach after and the sun was getting pretty low. Had I been one of those two, I would of left the board and told the rental guy where he could find it!

Food on the island is relatively cheap, especially if you stick to the local warungs and not the fancier hotel restaurants. You can feed two, with drinks, for around £8 and it’s good food and large portions. Nusa Lembongan has a real village feel, and you can’t help but feel like you’re walking in someones garden, I suppose in most cases you are. It’s like you would expect most islands to be before mass influxes of tourists, and if you took the peds away I reckon you wouldn’t see as many Westerners around. The beaches are relatively quiet, and you often find yourself with a good stretch of beach to yourself. Unlike Gili T, there aren’t as many bars or late night openings for the rowdier crowd, so if its a party you’re after this probably isn’t the island for you.

Feeling a little restless and wanting to take advantage of the slightly cooler weather, the next morning we hired a paddle board. I found it entertaining for all of 10 minutes, Kyle however spent a full hour paddling out and around, avoiding the coral below in the shallow waters. We also watched many people swim out for a good 10 - 15 minutes to catch the waves out at sea on their surfboards, I could tell Kyle was getting jealous but he’s saving himself for when we get back to Bali. Plus his coral injury is still causing him some bother. 

Later that evening whilst enjoying our tea the island suffered a power cut, something which we are now accustomed too. Luckily our guesthouse had a generator and though it was loud and kept cutting out, it allowed us to have wifi and an electric fan intermittently….I could tell Kyle’s temper was on edge as the temperature increased. I mean who chooses wifi over air con?! Although this did change throughout the night, you’d either have a fan and wifi or air con and a lamp….never a proper light though. 

We bumped into Raith’s husband this morning who kindly changed our light bulb after it blew in the storm last night, he also changed the garden light that was flashing like a rave all night long! I had to skip the pancakes at breakfast, I have a horrible feeling that they set my stomach on edge and as much as I love them I don’t want to become best friends with the toilet again. So it was bacon, eggs and an ice coffee for me before a day at the beach. We’ve seen a lot of Chinese on the island but today there was loads of them, filling the beach to take selfies, paddling in canoes or wearing snorkels and posing up a storm in the sea, it was crazy and has left me wondering if it’s a cheap flight path for them to Bali?

Tonight we have to pack yet again, my backpack is literally filled with washing so the next place are gonna love me! Bright and early tomorrow morning we’ll be collected from our bungalow and taken to the harbour. On return to Bali we head to Ubud for a few days of exploring, which should make for a more interesting read than this!

Our 6 month mark also drifted by without us noticing, that or we ignored it on purpose. I can't believe that we're already half way through and in 3 weeks our Asian adventure will be at an end. As much as I'm looking forward to not having to worry about my bowl movements, I will miss the cultures, people and food, and still feel extremely lucky to have seen and done so much so far on our travels! Cheeeessseeeee!!

Love Carrie xxx

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