If I now talk about Nusa Penida and that it is how Bali should be – this might be a little unfair, because right at the moment, I didn’t see too much from the main island.
But: it definitely is a little paradise. This lovely island is the bigger, but not-so-much-tourism-ruined sister of Nusa Lembongan. Right after the first night in Sanur, I came by speed boat, which was already the first adventure. My host Jackie from the lovely Jati Bungalow guest house organised it for me, so I didn’t have to organise anything except the taxi that brought me from my first stay to the harbour. The ride was funny, one of the guys asked us if we want to sit on deck instead of inside the boat, and of course we wanted. What a view, some sun and a great time with other travelers.
After arrival, I already was picked up by my driver, also organised by Jackie, because I wanted to see the island without risking my life on a scooter driving on my own. Good for me that I once in my life followed the advice of not driving on my own on a scooter I found on pages of several bloggers! The main roads are ok and it is just the normal Asian traffic craze, but as soon as you get a bit offroad, it starts getting really, really nasty. I will dedicate this experience an own blog post, it was crazy and cool at the same time.
I was shown all the bigger spots: Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach, the peninsula (including the climb I gave up after the first half because it was simply to hot for such a dangerous climb), several villages, … and finally -for sunset- Crystal Beach. To be honest, even though the tourism is still on a low level here (also because there are not many accomodations or bars), you can see, that they bring more and more people to those spots. Also day tourists are around, always in a hurry to see everything before leaving with the afternoon boat. Still, especially the sunset was amazing. It took us about 5 hours to come back to Toyah Pakeh, where I had dinner and fell into my bed. Also, because I had to get up early for my next adventure.
I wanted to go snorkeling and see the mantas in the water, which my driver showed me from the cliff above the day before. So we started with the boat and went to several snorkeling spots, for example Underwater Buddha (loads of people there) and – of course- Manta Bay. The problem here is: as soon as the wind comes up, the waves get high, and there is also a very strong drift. As little as people don’t like high waves, as much mantas seem to thate them as well. Because except about 20 boats with people like me, there was nothing. I mean ok, if I was a Manta, I’d give a shit about the fat tourists too, but yeah – no manta, just exhausting strong drifts and waves for me. We saw many other nice fish, corals, sea snakes (I’m glad it just swam away from me) and jellyfish. After 3 hrs we returned to the island, where I got rid of my wet clothes and the salt on my skin (my skin is “slightly burned” on some areas, since I forgot to renew my sunscreen yesterday. Then I borrowed a scooter and drove to Ped and further to discover the areas there. The road is way better there. I had a small lunch in a warung and tried the seawead salad with an awesome view to the sea and Mt. Agung. Afterwards I stopped by at Penida Colada for a coffee and some relaxation, even though I was warned that due to the latest Lonely Planet it is crowded and the warung next to it way better. That might be true and I will try this for tonight’s dinner, but for a nice afternoon chill it was definitely nice.
So for the rest of the day I will just relax, have some great food, watch the sunset with a Bintang and enjoy the last hours in this tropical paradise. Tomorrow I will go back to Sanur and then take a bus shuttle to Ubud, because yeah, finally, I will check in in my lovely Blooming Lotus Yoga retreat.
So if you ask me, if you should go to Nusa Penida, I’d definitely say yes. It’s a great place to relax, calm down and have a chilled time. If you want to party or get drunk, you can save your time and go somewhere else. But hey, I wanted to slow down my heartbeat and this is was happened. But be quick – in a few years I’m afraid that tourism will have more importance and since you can see hotel construction sites already, you can be sure, that the lovely loneliness and tranquility will vanish….