Monday, October 30, 2017

B U K I T Peninsula



Our third destination on this great Indonesian adventure was the most remote yet! We hopped a flight from Lombok back to Bali on Gardua Air and from the airport in Denpasar headed south to the Bukit Peninsula into a village called Kutuh on a cliff set high above Pandawa Beach.


We were basically nestled in between two popular areas of Bali - beach resorts to the east on Nusa Dua and cliff top resorts to the west in Uluwatu. Further up the west coast of the peninsula is the popular area of Jimbaran. It was really tough deciding where to stay on Bukit - that goes for which beach area and which hotel. I almost made Bukit a splurge destination and spent a crazy amount of money at this resort before finding this incredible Airbnb. The resort prices were not even worth it in comparison. 

You do not have to splurge in Bali to feel like you are doing it right. In fact, I think it's just the opposite! See: Me running + jumping + cartwheeling around and Bob casually exploring the shores and caves of our remote beach. Happy and carefree and not really needing a whole lot to feel that way.



This stretch of Pandawa beach with it's outstanding caves + cliffs + tides + secrets has now topped all the rest. I would love to come back to Dina's Villa someday. This two bedroom, two and a half bathroom home is a crisp, clean, minimally decorated yet comfortably furnished architectural wonder, with dreamy front facing balconies and a back patio area that gets all.the.sunlight. We spent a lot of time lounging around in the pool, which is luxurious enough for a nighttime swim, too!
We actually did not have power when we first arrived due to construction down the street. The owners were super helpful about the situation, even sending their driver back to take us to dinner when the power did not come on as timely as expected. Things happen! Even with a few minor inconveniences, I'd go back a 1000 times. 
As far as not splurging is concerned, also see: spicy RAMEN NOODLES, fresh dragonfruit, bottles of white and rose, giant Babybell Cheese, Bali Hai + Bintang cans of beer....what I'm trying to say is it was fun grocery shopping, stocking our own fridge with local goodies, and cooking lots of our own meals for a change of pace.



I was so happy we took a gamble, strayed from the norm and went for the remote locale for a few days. There was barely a soul around. 100% it does not get better than a distant beach on the southernmost point in Bali, seemingly in the middle of nowhere....
 
We rejoined the crowds one afternoon at Sundays Beach Club an oasis tucked below the steep cliffs of the luxurious villa resort The Ungasan. (The hotel I almost splurged at!) It's also the farthest point west we could walk along the Bukit Peninsula shoreline from our house at low tide! 



We planned our walk one morning but the tides deceived us and we ended up making it only as far as Green Bowl Beach. This was not a bad thing - the caves at Green Bowl were so much fun to explore. After a couple hours here we hiked up a stone pathway where we were lucky to snag a cab over to Sundays for a clifftop swim in the Ungasan Pool, followed by a relaxing afternoon drinking Heineken, lounging, snorkeling and reading at the beach club. 
Once low tide approached we were determined to make the trek back to our house! It was a beautiful and adventurous walk. (Below is at Green Bowl Beach).
On our departure day we had our driver make a quick detour to Uluwatu Temple. The clifftop views here were something else!
Next stop: Seminyak!

Friday, October 27, 2017

G I L I M E N O



It is impossible research a trip to Bali and not stumble across the infamous Lombok Gilis. There are three in a row off the northwest coast - Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. A lot of travelers opt to stay on one of these small but popular islands and many come from Bali or Lombok on day trips.
The majority of our Gili Meno trip was spent on the water with Bagus Divers. It was awesome getting to hang on a traditional Indonesian outrigger. We snorkeled at a couple different reefs, then relaxed on a remote white sand beach with lots of shells; where we had lunch at the lovely Maha Maya Boutique Resort. All the while drinking beloved Bintang and Bintang Radlers.
 
Another cool thing about this day was actually our drive to and from Puri Mas with the Bagus crew. It was one of the most beautiful drives! The winding coastal road climbs to higher elevations lending spectacular views of the coast. A must do drive for anyone visiting Lombok! Below is the beach where Bagus Divers is located.




There were SO many beautiful + exotic fish, majestic turtles, but man are they hard to capture (on a little point and shoot). But it's still fun to try...