Over 300km in five days, with numb bums and in ponchos, we did it. It was amazing. From Kuta we traveled through the middle and around the east side of Bali. Scooters are a lot of fun to zip around on but for this trip we needed something a bit tougher.
We rented two KLX 150s from Bali Bike Rental. They are a fantastic company as you get insurance, pocket wifi, a first aid kit, 24 hour customer help and the bikes are serviced before you rent them. It cost the three of us around £50 each for five days.
So we set off north to drive the three hours to Lovina. It POURED down. Luckily we bought ponchos and expected rain so we were prepared. It became a bit too dodgy on the roads though so we stopped in a small shop and waited for the rain to die off.
The roads were very slippery in some areas with very sudden turns so we had to be extra careful. About half way up the mountain, our back brake stopped working. Then it started raining again. We pulled into a lookout and discussed whether we should call Bali Bike Rental but that was quickly decided as we had no signal. So there we were; in the rain, no signal, back brake gone and then a five year old girl began approaching us with a giant snake to take photos. We continued on, hoping to get signal but ended up stumbling upon something much better. A BIKE MECHANIC! It was just like on Top Gear! We paid the mechanic £5 (three times his asking price) and watched him get to work. He was so fast and efficient it was brilliant.
It took a while and about four arguments to find our air bnb. It was situated in amongst the rice fields and absolutely gorgeous. Very peaceful and quiet apart from at night when the frogs and toads began emerging. The small town is lovely and the people even more so. Our hosts asked us if we would wanted to see dolphins and snorkel the next day and of course we said yes.
Incredible! One of my top traveling experiences. I even saw a baby one but didn’t manage to get the pup on camera. We were pretty lucky with the weather as well. It did rain but it was after the dolphin watching, so snorkelling was a bit poo but I was too happy to care.
Whilst in this area we visited Banjar hot springs and Banyumala waterfall. Here’s some tips and words of warning.
The hot springs aren’t that hot and aren’t that clean. I of course realised this after putting my face in it. It’s a great cultural experience and interesting to see a less touristy side of Bali. I enjoy seeing how the locals live and this gives you a good perspective without being intrusive.
I really love checking things out on Trip Advisor and saw that a lot of people had given low ratings because of the men staring at the women in bikinis. I’m not going to try and say it’s not true but please don’t let that put you off. The place is amazing just some people are a bit starey. (I know that’s not a word but I’m using it) Also, a lot of people complaining about the water on Trip Advisor. The water is quite dirty yes but with it being a natural spring and having no filter system, what do you expect.
Okay so the road to the waterfall is terrifying. If you’re thinking of going here on a dirt bike, only do it if you’re an experienced rider. Even then be super careful as there are areas where the road has just fallen apart, exposing 3ft deep cracks. I wouldn’t recommend a scooter even if you are very experienced, you won’t make it alive/in one piece. Very thrilling on the way down and even more so on the way up, even if it is very dangerous.
This is my friend Matt and I walking through the jungle looking like expecting parents in ponchos. I had my backpack on the front which at the time I thought looked normal. Now I see it looks like I’m pregnant with triplets.
This was probably the only stable path we walked on the get to the waterfall. From there onwards it was very slippery and the path disappeared. After Matt nearly fell 12ft off a ledge, we made it.
Totally worth the near death experiences. I have been to quite a few waterfalls whilst traveling and without a doubt this one is my favourite. It is huge and the water is so clear. It is however freezing so this was as deep as I was prepared to go.
To get to the waterfall we did have to back track a little but it worked out for the better. We drove past the twin lakes the day before and missed out on seeing them due to the weather being so foggy. This time it was completely clear with a breath taking view.
Even with the weather now clear, we still had to be careful on the roads and we did encounter some heavy traffic.
The views are so unreal I could only compare them to the sample pictures used for Microsoft screen savers. When in this area just be aware that it is quite touristy so you will be approached a lot, even in the restaurants to buy souvenirs. It sounds very rude but the best thing you can do is just say no politely and don’t get into too deep a conversation. The more you chat the more guilty you feel for not buying something I’m afraid.
Our next destination was Amed, famous for its black sand beaches. I was very excited to see this place. We stayed in a lovely little homestay but made the mistake of not checking for air conditioning. A lot of places list themselves as having air conditioning, however when you arrive you find an electric fan. It’s not the same! Whilst we were there we had a power cut and the whole town was in darkness. We went for a walk with our torches and managed to find a nice little restaurant, which was well prepared with camping gear. The kitchen was lit up with electric lamps and they were cooking on portable gas hobs. Obviously the dishes were limited that evening but that didn’t matter at all. It was so cosy in the candle light and the food was delicious.
In the morning, we found that a lot of places were shut on Sundays. So we searched around for a good hour before settling for a little cafe by the beach. With no coffee in our systems and getting progressively hungry you can imagine we were all the best of friends that morning.
Fed and watered, we set off for Bali Uphoria Chocolate Factory. (I know it’s spelled euphoria, this is the spelling they use). I’d seen a few photos of the swing but not so much of the factory itself.
For someone who is dairy free, I was especially happy that they use almond and soy milk for their products. So I happily consumed a large piece of chocolate cake and a moccachino. It was wonderful.
In my mind I thought I would make a comfortable perch for her to sit on. This worked out well in my mind but no so much in practice. Poor goose. I am so sorry for being such an awkward human. I got it right the second try at least.
After we were chocolated out, off we went to Padang Bai. The roads seemed to get slightly worse for us but at least it didn’t rain. It was amazing that we were only just able to battle the roads on the KLXs and then a little old lady on a scooter rips past you. A look on her face which can only say, “bloody tourists!”
We checked into our hotel at Padang Bai with sadly no air conditioning again so we headed for the beach. This is white sand beach otherwise known as virgin beach. It is a paradise, especially with a coconut drink in hand.
We spent our time here on the beach and eating freshly BBQ’ed fish. We were lucky with the weather too, no rain just sunny all day. Our tans improved a lot that day.
I really loved this trip and want to do it again someday. A lot of people come to Bali and just stick to Kuta then decide its not for them. If you just explore a bit more, even with a driver taking you, you will most likely fall in love with Bali like we have.