After leaving Ubud we caught a shuttle bus to Sanur, the ferry port which links mainland Bali to the Nusa islands. We somehow managed to haggle a return journey from 600K each to 300K for both of us. Jess was mortified to discover the passengers of the ferry had to walk into the sea to get onto the boat, so in her only jumper and trousers, we climbed in! When we arrived at the Full Moon Bungalows, we were met with a gang of cockroaches sharing our shower system. To escape, we hired one of the staff members mopeds while he was on shift and rode to Crystal Bay. Nusa Penida’s roads aren’t kind to drivers; Being both very narrow and seriously steep! The repetitive signposts for tsunami evacuation zones didn’t help us settle in much either! Nevertheless, The coasts are beautiful and some of the best in the world for diving and snorkelling.
On day 2 of the 4, we’d booked on the island, it was torrential rain and no internet so the only thing to occupy our time was to eat lots of toast very very very slowly! The Nusa Penida attractions are all based outside and only accessible on motorbikes. Once we were able to check the weather forecast for Nusa Penida and seen that it was going to be the same for the rest of our time there, we decided to change the return date of the ferry to that day and book a last minute hotel in Sanur.
Our knowledge of Sanur was minimal and was booked on the basis that it was close to the ferry port and hopefully had a little more to do out of the rain! Surprisingly, Sanur quickly became one of our favourite destinations in Bali due to having more of a local vibe and far less pushy salesman on the streets. On the first night, we found Sanur’s night market, offering some of the best Balinese food we’d tasted at ridiculously cheap prices! The Second day was spent taking full advantage of the sun which had finally decided to show its face and the pool we had in our hotel – resulting in us both being burnt to a crisp! Our final night in Sanur was spent in the night market eating 5p spring rolls and the best dessert we’ve had on our travels – a small loaf of bread, cooked on a pan filled and topped with chocolate – a must try if you’re in Sanur!
With our time in Bali fast coming to its end, we decided to head to Kuta, the famously loud town full of Australian party goers. After securing a cheap hotel and taxi there from Sanur, we arrived to what was a surprisingly nice area considering its reputation. After putting some clothes in to wash, we headed down to the beach where we were hounded with offers of surf lessons and beers. These were swiftly followed by swarms of people trying to sell us hair braidings and bracelets along with bow and arrows and knives. The evening in Kuta was spent trying to find somewhere affordable to eat, in the end we found a Japanese fast food restaurant.
Our second day in Kuta was spent at Waterbom, Asia’s top-rated water park. After a free breakfast at a hostel which we weren’t staying in but who seemed to think we were, we walked the short distance to the park. Sam was wanting to go here as soon as flights to Bali were booked for one ride, “The Climax”, a looped water slide with a disappearing platform to start. Waterbom was the highlight of Kuta for us, the only advice we’d give anyone visiting is to plan out of Indonesian and Australian school holidays so you aren’t faced with hour-long queues. Our final day in Bali saw us looking round the knock-off shops that line the streets of Kuta before finding a surprising little Warung called Bamboo Corner. They were serving incredible fish dishes for half the average price of anywhere else in Bali; the perfect end to our time on the island.