Our Asia Trip Diary – Part Three

Check out Part Two here!

Time for some rest! We’re staying in a seaside hotel in the North of Bali. Here we don’t see any tourists. We have the black beach all to ourselves. I thought this only existed in movies. When the sun sets, the horizon fills with twinkling lights of fishermen’s boats. For the first time, we also have breakfast included so we don’t have to find a place to eat every morning. Also, they serve this delicious banana pancake with honey for breakfast! Another plus, we even get toilet paper in this hotel! What more can we ask for? Did we mention the two cutest puppies ever are playing around on the hotel premise? Every time we leave the hotel they come to us to play and cuddle.

Our days are filled with eating, swimming in the sea, eating, plunging in the pool, eating… We love eating and trying out new dishes here!

We already see a lot of differences between Java, the island where we started, and Bali. Whereas Java is Muslim, Bali is a mix of Hindu and Muslim. That you can see not only on the clothing of the locals, but also because there are a lot of Hindu temples and gates. Anyways, all the locals are very friendly and helpful! Another difference we notice is the food. Prices can be 3 times higher than in Java but portions are bigger and we finally get some more veggies. Never thought I would miss vegetables. In Java, we had a lot of iced coffees, but seems like they don’t have ice in Bali for drinks… Maybe that’s because we’re not in the tourist region?

Wednesday we decide to wake up early (around 6 AM, when the sun rises), have some breakfast and hire a scooter for 80.000 IDR. We wanted to explore some more of the North of Bali and see some waterfalls! We have a lovely day and see some gorgeous views. Just scootering around, it’s the best!

We quickly learn that in Bali they ask for an entrance fee for everything, seeing a waterfall? 20.000 IDR. Swimming in a waterfall? Another 100.000 IDR. Taking a photo of a gate? 30.000 IDR. Parking our scooter? 2.000 IDR. So we obviously don’t pay for all of that and just laugh about it. Before we left our hotel, we didn’t notice that our route would be so high in the mountains. It got quite chilly and it even started to rain in the afternoon. If we took our jackets? Of course not!

Thursday Marnick feels unwell so we decide to take another rest day. On Friday we got picked up by a taxi who we met at the waterfalls. He drives us all the way from the north to the south of Bali for 500.000 IDR (€33,33). We don’t like taking expensive taxis but there is barely any public transport in Bali and even Grab drivers aren’t available where we’re staying. He dropped us off at the port and buys the ferry tickets for us. This extra (and free!) service, that taxi drivers always seem to offer, is really helpful. In the harbours here, you have multiple stands selling ferry tickets, so they obviously rip you off if you’re not local.

This time we have to take off our shoes to enter the ferry as there is no platform on the water. Luggage is thrown on the deck and people sit inside. It’s a 30-minute drive and when we arrive, also without any platform, we got welcomed by dozen taxi drivers and tour operators offering their services. We wait for our luggage and immediately leave the beach. We booked our next accommodation nearby the harbour, so we are going to walk ourselves.

We can rent a scooter at our hotel, so that’s what we do on Saturday! We drive east and have a nice road, next to the coast. When it starts to rain, we shelter in a local warung where we have some noodles. We continue our trip to Diamond Beach, which is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. The water is so blue and there are rock formations coming outside the sea. We climb down this narrow and steep pathway, some parts are hollowed out of the rock and we need to climb down with a rope for the last part.

We are too enthusiastic and jump into the water. The big waves quickly bring us too far from the beach and we got stuck in the current taking us back into the sea again and again. It’s a hell of a ride, and after getting too much salt water in our bodies and being pulled underwater for too long, we made it back to the beach. People are already waiting for us to help us out.

I had it once before in Thailand so I knew I had to be patient in the water and don’t lose too much unnecessary energy. Marnick didn’t know what was happening, panicked and lost much more energy. He got underwater way too many times and could barely breathe. Somehow he managed to reach the beach, he was completely exhausted. I tried to calm him down.

After this adventure, we’re totally done and climb back up. We decide to drive back to our hotel on the inland road. We drive through Teletubbies Hills. We did not make up this name ourselves, but you probably already know what it looks like! It starts raining again, but this time we did bring our jackets! We stop at a warung once more to shelter from the rain and order some noodles. After our snack, we continue our way back and enjoy the ride.

Today, Marnick is still recovering from yesterday, so we decide to stay in. We are planning our coming days and trying to find the cheapest way to get to Lombok. We also need to find another accommodation for tomorrow because the hotel we’re now at is fully booked, so we can’t extend our stay. We always only book for one night online and afterwards try to extend our stay for a better price. That’s not only better for us as we get cheaper accommodation, but it’s also better for the locals as they don’t have to pay a percentage to the booking site. It’s the first time in three weeks the accommodation is fully booked, but as we’re staying close to the harbour, we’re in a touristy neighbourhood full of accommodations, so that won’t be a problem! 

See you in our next blog!