A BIT OF PARADISE IN NUSA LEMBONGAN

 

Our next stop on the Indonesian island-hopping agenda was the island of Nusa Lembongan (just off the coast of Bali). Upon arrival to the port, we were already looking forward to splashing around in its jade-colored waters. Unlike Bali with its planeloads/boatloads of tourists looking to find themselves, Nusa Lembongan is a world away from all the bustle and THE magnificent location to kick off your shoes and spend your time fully relaxing. 

Once on land, we hopped in the back of a truck (sometimes its ok to jump in the back of someone's pickup, especially when that's the free transport the boat company will include along with the purchase of your ticket). Stuffed in the back like sardines with other fellow passengers we headed straight to Mushroom Bay where our dreamy bungalow at Naturale Villas was awaiting. The first two days consisted of absolutely doing nothing, other than waking up and enjoying breakfast at our hotel, sitting on our porch reading, finding a excuse for another rinse in our outdoor shower, splashing around in the pool, and maybe (if we were up for it) walking down to the actual bay with loads of restaurants and cafes, to grab some dinner. 

Us and our perfect little bungalow.

Us and our perfect little bungalow.

Details of our outdoor shower. 

Details of our outdoor shower. 

Marco in full relax mode.

Marco in full relax mode.

This is the look of a happy man after a massage by the pool. Can't beat $8 for one hour!

This is the look of a happy man after a massage by the pool. Can't beat $8 for one hour!

On the third day, we forced ourselves to walk away from our bungalow, hiring a long-tail boat from our hotel for a half day of snorkeling around the island. Although very beautiful and lively at the first spot, managing to see some great coral reefs and tropical fishes swimming around, the rest of stops along the way were disappointing to say the least. I won't bore you with the sad details but I will mention that we need to respect the beautiful ecosystems that give us life found under water. I would recommend avoiding snorkeling in Nusa Lembongan for the sake of the reefs. After what ended up being a boat ride in the end we ventured out to the sandy Dream and Sunset beaches. for a Robinson Crusoe sort of afternoon. As the sun began to set, we hiked up the small limestone cliffs overlooking the beach with its dramatic cave formations and the famous Devil's Tear and sipped on a BinTang as the giant waves crashed upon the rocks. 

(Above) Sunset at Dream Beach. (Below) Snorkeling in a healthy reef vs. a dying one. 

(Above) Sunset at Dream Beach. (Below) Snorkeling in a healthy reef vs. a dying one. 

Seaweed farmer returning from a days work.

Seaweed farmer returning from a days work.

Gracious enough to pose for us after a long day.

Gracious enough to pose for us after a long day.

On our last and final day in Nusa Lembongan we made sure to rent a motor bike, excellent for a day of exploring the narrow winding roads that lead the way towards many Hindu temples, secret beach side cliffs, seaweed farms, a tricky and scary bridge across Nusa Ceningan and a sunset drink at Le Pirate Beach Club

Marco debating whether to jump in or not. He opted not to after a warning from a local man that others have been carried out to sea never to be found. 

Marco debating whether to jump in or not. He opted not to after a warning from a local man that others have been carried out to sea never to be found. 

 

DEFINITELY DO:

- Catch a movie under the stars at Mushroom Bay every Thursday night right on the sand.
- Eat at WB Coffee Shop & Grill Ribs (tasty coffee for the caffeine addicts & delicious set of ribs for the meat eaters)
- Grab some BinTangs and watch the sunset on the cliffs by Devil's Tear
- Enjoy a drink at Barbarella's
- Rent a motorbike to explore the island and its neighbor Nusa Ceningan
- Watch the seaweed farmers and the sun setting in Nusa Ceningan at Le Pirate Beach Club
- Relax on the beach
- Temple hop in Jungut Batu and surrounding villages