Day 4 of our adventure would see us experiencing island life for the first time.
Our plan was still on track, so we had a lovely lie in that morning and some more free breakfast; honestly, I love Balinese hospitality. Then it was time to check out once more and hear to Sanur, this was the main area to catch boats and ferries to the islands.
Veera and I got into stealth mode and ordered a Grab (or a chicken which we called it, because you LITERALLY couldn’t talk about it out load). We made note of the rego and the colour the car, so when he arrived, we could divert past the local taxi drivers and hop in with no issue.
We were dropped off in Sanur, which wasn’t the prettiest, and booked our ferry to Nusa Lembongan. The lady in the shop tried to sell us additional tickets to Gili T and back that were unbelievably overpriced, so we politely declined. No one messes or tries to scam us!
We had a few hours to kill and we didn’t really know the area, so just hung out in KFC and Dunkin’ Donuts. I obviously had to try the cultural fast food, so in KFC I had wings with salted egg sauce – wasn’t a fan – and in Dunkin’ a coconut donut, which was good. They did have a parmesan cheese and chocolate donut, but I really didn’t think that would taste good.
It was then time to board the boat, it was a bit mad but – surprisingly – everything worked out. However, it was at this point Veera told me she wasn’t a fan of water and didn’t really like boats. My friend who had travelled Bali before had said how choppy the water was, so I decided to keep that to myself and reassure Veera that it would be a quick one-hour journey. It wasn’t a horrendous journey (that was to come) but it was still tough for poor wee Veera, I’m scared of flying so I completely understand, and I applauded her for staying tough.
We got off the boat and walked right onto the pure white sands of Nusa Lembongan. It was gorgeous. The crew then proceeded to throw our bags off the boat and onto the beach; my zipper had broken so some clothes came flying out (including my dirty laundry) but I managed to retrieve them, with a red face…
The boat company also arranged hotel drop off with our tickets, which was a great surprise! We had booked to stay at a place called Linda’s the night before, because we loved that viral video of the wee boy.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up.
We hopped on a wee truck and went through the streets of Nusa Lembongan. It was a lot quieter than the mainland, but the lack of road rules still made it hectic. Everyone was dropped off at their hotels and we were the last to get off. Our driver pulled in to this dodgy area and shouted ‘Linda’. It was at this point Veera and I thought we had fucked up, we knew another $10 hotel with free breakfast – located right on the beach – was too good to be true. So, we got off the truck slowly and he grabbed our bags. We looked around the surroundings: there was a random fire burning; these man-made huts with basic beds on the floor; no toilets, chickens roaming around and these three random children who started to play with us. We were so confused. The driver then turned around and saw our faces, to which he replied, ‘we’re walking to the beach’. So, we followed him up this alley, and came out to a vast beach with white sand and the clearest blue water. It was such a contrast. He then took us up to Linda’s which was a gorgeous hotel and we said goodbye to the children.
I felt terrified, confused and relived in a matter of minutes.
Oh, and in no way am I trying to disrespect how the locals live and that we deserve better, purely because we’re white. We just didn’t understand what was going on, we were tired and had a rough idea of Linda’s based on the pictures.
Just wanted to clear that up.
We checked into our hotel, got changed, then went straight back out to explore. Nusa Lembongan was a small island, so we pretty much covered everything in a couple of hours. The beach was the main thing to explore, which we did:
Then we settled at a beach bar to watch the sunset and have some long islands.
Once the sun set, we headed back to our room to change for dinner – because we weren’t rushing around for once!
Veera had her heart set on a place called Scooby Doo Bar, I think because it was themed around a dog, so we walked up the beach to find it. Bless her, it was completely dead. So, we headed to a busier place, that was still on the beach.
They had a grill going where you could buy ‘lobsters’:
I was fascinated by their colour, but noticed their claws were tiny and that’s where the best meat was. I later found out they were in fact crayfish. So, instead, I went for a range of seafood starters; crab bruschetta and smoked salmon with dauphinoise potatoes:
Eating fresh seafood by the beach, outdoors and in the warmth is my perfect evening.
Veera had a mushroom dish which she wasn’t a fan of; I tried it too and it was bland.
Then we headed back to Linda’s for a couple of nightcaps; espresso martinis. We had the pool behind, the sea in front and a dog either side of us, Alan & Lana is what I recall Veera named them.
It was perfect.
I also made a Balinese boyfriend, who kept trying to take us to a random beach. Which we politely declined once more and headed to bed instead.
It was a great introduction to the island life. I think we needed a chilled day.