Nusa Lembongan – Highlights & Favorites
Only 30 minutes away by fast boat from Bali and you’re in a different world. The “fast boat” we took from Sanur was with a company called Rocky Fast Cruises. It was a rough, tough, melt-your-face-off experience, but it was pretty much smooth sailing as soon as the boat docked. (EDIT: we took this same company on the way back, and it wasn’t nearly as rough a ride. I guess it all depends on ocean conditions, which could never be blamed on the company. Just hang tight and take the sea sickness pills if you have them.)
We arrived there with our new friends Indah, Arnd and Alex. Arnd is an especially funny German and we loved his stories and outlook on life. His Indonesian girlfriend is Indah, who owns the tourist information center Bali OM in Ubud, and she organized this excursion for all of us. Alex was also German, and she was missing her boyfriend who is back at home. She mentioned that she felt like the 5th wheel, but I didn’t see her that way, because she was definitely part of what made the days fun. We all got along and it was a lot of fun to explore together the first few days. Becuase we felt there was so much more to discover, Abraham and I decided stay in Lembongan after our new friends left to go back to Ubud.
You can tell by the rugged coastal areas that the sea has had a long, ongoing dramatic affair with this beautiful place. We explored mostly by foot or by motorbike, and Abraham navigated the motorbike like he’s been driving one for years, carrying me along and following either Wayan or Arnd (our new friend from Germany) up and down steep hills, off-roading when the roads ran out, making turns at tight spots, and expertly navigating through some thick pedestrian traffic (cremation ceremonies just happened to be taking place while we were here). He was fearless driving us across the suspension bridge that connected Nusa Lembongan to Nusa Ceningan. I have so many fond memories of this place.
HIGHLIGHTS and FAVORITES
- DREAM BEACH. Dream Beach is in the south coast has some fine and beautiful white sand. It was my favorite beach for active swimming; watch for rips as depending on the time of day they could be very strong. Very young local surfers, relentless with their efforts in catching waves were extremely fun to watch. Oh the stamina of youth!
- DEVIL’S TEARDROP. A short walk from Dream beach, these tall cliffs get pummeled by tireless waves that splash high into the air and create many rocky pools filled with seawater. Lots of little creatures like crabs and tiny fish get caught in these pools and if they are lucky, they are carried back out into the sea with the next set of waves. A beautiful spot for wave watching and life pondering the cycle of life. (or any other pondering you want to be doing)
- SEAWEED FARMS. Hand-harvested seaweed! Seaweed farming is widespread in this area. When the tide is high, you wouldn’t even know these ‘farms’ existed. But as soon as the tide recedes, it is so easy to see the vast network of wooden stakes and nylon nets lining the beach. Row after row, it’s incredible to see these underwater farms and the workers picking and harvesting and generally going back and forth with baskets of seaweed on their heads.
- SNORKELING. Oh the snorkeling is so good in Nusa Lembongan! The water is crystal clear, the corals are gorgeous and the fish seem happy there. On our first day, we took a snorkel trip in the Mangroves which had a much healthier reef than we saw in Amed. We took another snorkeling trip a few days later which took us to 4 different snorkeling spots near Nusa Penida. If you like snorkeling and happen to be in Bali, don’t miss Nusa Lembongan. We took our first trip with Captain Blaxxy, and the next with Captain Nyoman from Jiva Warung. Both captains were experts and had good boats.
- SUSPENSION BRIDGE. The yellow suspension bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Clickety clack, rickety rack, over the river we go… After watching others use this bridge, we deemed it safe enough and Abraham got us from one end to the other safely on the motorbike. You can walk (watch for missing planks), ride a motor bike or bicycle over this bridge. If you’re on foot, be prepared to stand aside for the motorbikes, especially the ones carrying delivery boxes from one side of the island to the other. Kudos to the drivers of these delivery bikes, I envy their bravado and balance.