CANGGU day 90 & 91

We started our last day in Uluwatu with a morning swim and sunbathe, and banana pancakes for breakfast. We checked out at lunchtime and after waiting forever for a cab, made our way to Canggu. We stayed at FRii hotel, which was really cool and right by Echo Beach. For lunch we ate at the Avocado Factory, where literally everything on the menu is avo-themed! We had some amazing avo toast and a delicious avocado satay too. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Canggu and checking out the shops. There’s a really cool little market and loads of bars and restaurants… you could literally spend a week eating your way around there!

We watched the sunset from the rooftop bar of the hotel and then made our way to Shady Shack for dinner. It was super busy as it’s one of the best restaurants in Canggu, so we ended up sharing a table with an eggy American guy and his bored girlfriend. Despite the table company, it was still great and we had some delicious jack fruit burgers and shared some veggie chilli nachos.

We started our second day in Canggu with a walk along the beach and then breakfast at Old Man’s Cafe. There’s so many great places to eat here but Old Mans seems to be one of everyone’s favourites, and you can see why! We had some tasty food and iced coffees and then wandered back to the hotel for a swim and sunbathe. In the afternoon we made our way along the coast to Finns Beach Club. Out of all the beach clubs in Bali, this one has definitely been my favourite! It’s so cool, and has a big pool with a swim up bar and loads of bean bags and Day beds you can rent. We spent the afternoon swimming, sunbathing and drinking until the sun had gone down.

After heading home to change we walked back into town for some dinner. We wanted to eat at Ithaka, which is supposed to be one of the best veggie restaurants, but it was packed! We opened for In The Raw Garden instead, and had some great Tempe tacos and a HUGE sharing platter.

Rainbow staircase

Owens amazing sunset picture at Finn’s

In The Raw Garden – sharing platter

ULUWATU day 88 & 89

After a morning swim and a VERY long journey (buggy, boat then taxi) we finally arrived in Uluwatu. Our hotel was super cool and had a really nice bar and infinity pool, our room was a bit strange though as it was a bit like a garden outhouse or something! Very rustic but still amazing. We headed out to Suka Espresso for a very late lunch after a morning of travelling. The food there is amazing and we had the most delicious portobello mushroom burgers and the biggest milkshake I’ve ever seen! After we’d eaten we walked down to the beach to watch the sunset.

We spent the rest of the evening chilling at the hotel bar and trying to plan the next part of our trip – Singapore!

After breakfast at the hotel and a morning swim we hired a driver for the day and headed out to see some of Uluwatu’s sights. Our first stop was Green Bowl Beach, which was absolutely beautiful and so quiet. It has a huge cave behind it that’s full of religious offerings and a strong smell of insence. We had a swim there and then hopped back into the car and drove a little way along the coast to Melasti Becah. It’s undeniably the most beautiful beach in Bali, with the clearest water and whitest sand we’ve seen since Australia! The water was really calm so it’s great to swim in, and we chilled there for a while before heading back to the driver. Our last stop was Uluwatu Cliff Temple (Pura Luhur) which is one of the most well known temples in Bali. It’s right on the cliff edge, and surrounded by forests and beautiful flowers. There’s also tons of monkeys! These ones weren’t as friendly as the ones in Ubud however, and I didn’t fancy having one on my shoulders again!

We stopped off at Bukit Cafe for some veggie burgers for lunch en route home, and then walked back for an afternoon swim and sunbathe.

Unicorn freakshake at Suka

Steep steps down to the beach

cave at Green Bowl

Melasti beach

NUSA LEMBONGAN day 87

For our final day in Lembongan we decided to hire a scooter so we could explore the rest of the island and check out Nusa Ceningan too. The two islands are connected by a bright yellow suspension bridge, that’s only just wide enough for people to walk across or travel by scooter – no cars or buggies allowed!

The roads are much smoother in Ceningan, but it is seriously hilly! You’ve really got to give it some gas uphill otherwise you’ll end up toppling over (which we saw a girl do halfway up one of the steepest hills!). After 10 minutes or so I did feel really confident on the moped so it was no trouble for us!

We spent a couple of hours exploring both Nusa Ceningan and Lembongan before stumbling across a beach club with a big pool. We stopped there for a swim to cool off and a beer and then hopped back on the bike to Bali Eco Deli for lunch. I’d read that it was some of the best veggie food on the island, and we were lucky enough to have the most delicious lunch and smoothies! They also had probably the best WiFi on the island so it’s the perfect cafe to chill out and catch up on everything you’ve been missing at home, along with some amazing food.

After heading back home (and running out of petrol on route) we managed to catch the sunset at Cloud Bar, a little bar right on the cliff edge with an amazing view. We chilled at the hotel and tried to sort out some places to say for the remainder of our time in Bali and then headed out for dinner. We went to Oishi, which did probably the best sushi we’ve had since we’ve been away! We ordered literally every veggie dish on the menu and had a real feast – it was our last night after all!

The yellow bridge between Lembongan and Ceningan

Beach club in lembongan

Sunset at the Cloud Bar

NUSA PENIDA day 86

You can’t spend 5 days in Lembongan without taking a trip over to Nusa Penida, so we organised a boat and a driver to take us on a tour of the north and west coast of the island. First of all we headed to Kelingking Beach, which had the most incredible views. It’s like Indonesia’s answer to Durdle Door – but 100 times more picturesque! There’s a rickety walkway with the occasional stair made from bamboo and rope, so the journey down to the bottom is pretty perilous! There’s a sign at the top that advises all visitors not to attempt the descent, but you’ve gotta go at least a third of the way down to get that amazing picture! After a dusty and muddy scramble back to the top, we hopped back into the car and headed to our next stop. The roads here are terrible, so many rocks and potholes – you really wouldn’t want to attempt it on a moped unless you were an expert driver!

The next stop on the tour was the Angels Billabong, and Broken Beach. Broken beach is a naturally formed hole in a cliff, that would have been a cave hundreds of years ago. It’s created a huge cove that is filled with brilliant blue water and crashing waves. There’s no way down, or up again, so you can only view it from the cliffs edge or if you’re crazy enough to take a boat through there! The Angel’s Billabong is a natural infinity pool, carved out in the rocks by the fierce waves over the years. It’s got a thick carpet of seaweed underfoot, so it’s actually quite nice to walk through and take a picture overlooking the Bali Sea.

Our last stop was Crystal Bay, with its calmer waters and soft sand, it was the perfect way to spend the rest of the afternoon. We swam and sunbathed before heading back to the car and taking the trip back over to Lembongan.

Once we were home we headed straight to Sandy Bay for a swim in the pool and a snack and chilled there until sunset. For dinner we ate at Papa Tarros as we’d heard they had the best vegetarian Thai food on the island, and we weren’t disappointed!

Kelingking beach

broken beach

Infinity pool at Angel’s billabong

Crystal Bay

NUSA LEMBONGAN day 84 & 85

After a chilled breakfast at Blue Marlin, we checked out, left our bags there and went for a last walk along the coast. We had a drink and a sunbathe before heading for the jetty to check in for our boat. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the bumpiest boat I’ve ever been on. The driver seemed like he was just sailing us straight into the middle of a tidal wave or something and everyone was getting thrown about all over the shop! We finally made it safe and sound (just about) to Nusa Lembongan, and waited on the beach with our bags and the rest of the people from the boat for our ride to the hotel. There are literally no cars on the island, just mopeds and buggy’s. Their version of a taxi is a truck that looks like a cabstar with benches and a roof fitted on the back, where you just load your bags in and hold on for dear life!

After checking in to the hotel we had a swim in the pool and then decided to have an afternoon explore. We set off for mushroom beach and after getting lost twice along the way we finally made it there. The sun had set by the time we arrived at the beach but you still got a pretty good view of the mountains in the distance. We had a wander around looking for a good veggie restaurant (and failing) we settled for pizza and chips at Bali Hai beach club. It was the most expensive meal we’ve had so far – and it was just pizza! The beach club was lovely though and we chilled out there until finding our way home by torch light.

After breakfast in the hotel (I’m almost getting bored of mie Goreng for breakfast now) we decided to venture out to find dream beach. We hadn’t been walking for long when one of the taxi trucks pulled up next to us and gave us a free ride as he was headed there anyway! Dream beach is really picturesque, and so much more wavey than what we’ve been used to in Gili T. We had a swim and a sunbathe and had a bintang in the beach bar just up the cliff on the beach. Next we headed along the coast a little to the Devils Teardrop. It’s a huge cove where waves come crashing in creating massive splashes in the air, and lots of spray (which is why it’s also called smoke point as the spray looks like smoke). We even managed to spot a sea turtle swimming around inside the cove. For lunch we walked to Sandy Bay Beach Club for some amazing jackfruit tacos and guacamole – can’t forget to avocado fix now can we!

After chilling at the hotel for the rest of the afternoon we walked (without getting lost this time) to mushroom beach for sunset. We were uninspired by the food down by the beach again so decided to just head back to Sandy Bay for dinner and a drink instead!

Devil’s tear drop

Lunch at Sandy Bay

GILI T day 82 & 83

After a surprisingly cool night in the hut (thank god for the fan) we checked out of begadang Backpackers and hopped back in to a horse and cart to take us down to the jetty. We had a speedy boat ride back to Gili T and then headed straight to our hotel, Blue Marlin Divers. It was a bit early to check into our room so we just chilled at the bar and got a couple of smoothies (Owen got date, cashew nut and avocado, which was interesting to say the least).

Once we’d checked in we had a dip in the pool to cool off and then headed to the Banyan Tree for lunch. We had the most amazing purple tortilla wraps with falafel and vegan mayo (which was actually so nice!). After lunch we had a wander around the shops, I bought a couple of pairs of floaty shorts as it’s just way to hot to wear denim ones here! We decided to hire a couple of bikes for the rest of the day cause it makes getting around the island so much easier, and then headed for Exile beach club. We spent most of the afternoon swimming and sunbathing there, and then made our way a little further along the coast to Casa Vintage. It’s another cool little beach bar with bean bags and umbrellas, except it also has a vintage clothes shop too. We got some delicious cassava chips and dips (kind of like a hybrid potato / parsnip type thing) and chilled there until the evening when we had to drop the bikes back.

After much deliberation (and wandering around aimlessly) we ended up at the Banyan Tree again for dinner. It’s just too good not to eat there! We had some delicious dhal and curry and then crossed over the road to Sama Sama for another night of Bali’s best reggae band.

For our last full day in Gili T we decided we wanted to head out to sea again to see if we could spot some more turtles. We’d seen these cool clear plastic kayaks a few days before so went to see if we could hire one for the morning. The idea of a see-through boat is great, until you get in it and start rowing and realise that you’re constantly flicking sea water everywhere which makes it pretty difficult to see! But after very little rowing from me (the boat is designed so your facing eachother – making it impossible to both row at the same time… not that I was complaining) we managed to head round to the curve of the island known as ‘turtle point’. With a bit of help from a little girl that was snorkelling near by, we were lucky enough to spot two more sea turtles!

We decided that we’d have to hire some snorkel masks so that we could see them up close again, so headed back to shore to swap the boat for some fins and goggles. We swam out to where we were in the boat, and sure enough we could see a turtle chilling out on the sea bed. As it swam up for Air we were able to float along right next to it, and followed it a little way along the shore until it headed out to the deep. During our snorkel we managed to swim with two other turtles, one baby one and one that was absolutely huge! There was a little kid swimming above it and she was honestly the same size. It was amazing to see and I can’t believe we’ve been so lucky in spotting so many of them!

After a long morning of swimming we headed into the centre of the island for some late lunch at Pituq, where we ate on our first day in Gili T. We were pretty knackered after our busy morning so we spent the rest of the day chilling in the hotel pool and sunbathing. We didn’t fancy dinner so opted for some frozen yogurt at Gili Yo instead!

Exile Beach Club

Kayaking

Swimming with the turtle

Horse and cart

GILI AIR day 81

After a last breakfast of banana pancakes at Sama Lama, we squeezed ourselves and our bags into a horse and cart and headed for the jetty. The boat to Gili Air is pretty speedy, even with a stop at Gili Meno for people to board the boat via a little transfer vessel while we were still out at sea.

Gili Air is noticeably smaller than Gili T, but doesn’t lack the bustling atmosphere or abundance of bars and restaurants like Gili Meno does. We hopped back into a horse and cart and headed north to Begadang Backpackers, our home for the night. After a few weeks of pretty luxurious accommodation, it was funny to be back in a hostel again! It had a big pool shaped like a mushroom, a bar with bean bags and all of the bedrooms were little bamboo huts. It was like camping out in the middle of the jungle, with just a mattress, mosquito net and a fan (thank god) in our room.

It was a boiling hot day so we jumped straight in the pool and cooled off with an amazing coconut frappe from the smoothie bar in the hostel. In the afternoon we borrowed bikes from the hostel and cycled to the Sate Bar for some lunch. We had some delicious Tempe & vegetable satay with the best peanut sauce and little crunchy fried potatoes. We spent the rest of the afternoon cycling around the island, which was pretty tricky in parts as there are even less roads here than in Gili T so it’s very sandy!

After our longer than planned bike ride (cycling through sand in the boiling hot sun is pretty hard) we headed back to the hostel for an evening swim and a beer. Once we’d cooled down we headed back out on the bikes to watch the sunset, and then to Pachamama for dinner. It’s the most beautiful vegetarian restaurant, decorated like a lush greenhouse with tons of plants and tea lights. We had delicious eggplant burritos with amazing vegan pesto and a couple of bintang for good measure. It was a pretty treacherous cycle home in the pitch black (we weren’t lucky enough to have head torches this time!) and then a nights sleep in our little jungle hut with geckos scuttling around above us.

Our little hut

Lunch at Sate Bar