Nusa Lembongan

Welcome to Nusa! A little paradise in paradise.

Because I didn’t feel confident enough handling a scooter around the sharp twists and turns on the island, Bram – a roommate I’d befriended – had offered to take me on the back of his. He had driven a scooter all over Bali in some of the busiest places, so it was a sensible choice if I wanted to see the island I had paid to visit.

At breakfast we sat and planned our route, making a list of the key sites we wanted to see on Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan – a small island neighbouring ours. Reception staff had a A5 colour map of the top sight seeing spots of both islands and with the help of Google Maps we compiled our bucket list. It was agreed that I was to be navigator on the back so Bram could drive, which worked really well.

Connected to the island of Nusa Lembongan (or Nusa L) is Ceningan – another island. The Yellow Bridge is the link between the two and is just wide enough for a motorbike to get across. Our first stop was The Blue Lagoon located on the south east side of Ceningan and is a stop I recommend everyone to make.

Look at that blue. There’s no filter on there.

A short drive from Blue Lagoon was our second stop: Secret Beach. Nestled between two cliffs and at the bottom of a small resort, was a small stretch of sand and a very choppy sea. Large pieces of dead coral as sharp as knives were dotted around the beach, making getting in and out the water a challenge.

Next to the farthest cliff were rounded stones, smoothed over by the sea and covered in growing seaweed. Bram had made is way to them and seeing me struggling to get into the sea where I was, called over to me to follow an easer path.

I found my footing on one of the rocks, no easy task given it’s slippery nature, and when the tide was out prepared to lower myself in. Confidently I dropped in thinking it would be shin deep at the most and hoped there were no large black crabs hiding underneath ready to pinch me. But instead of finding ground, there was nothing and I went under completely. It was so deep that even with my head fully under water I still couldn’t reach the bottom. I bobbed back up shocked. There was absolutely no way from the top you could even suspect its depth. It truly looked no deeper than a rock pool.

Bram laughed.

We body surfed the waves for a while, ducking under them before they broke and fighting the current trying to pull you out. It’s not hard to see how people can drown out at sea. The current was so strong it could pull you down even in ankle deep water. A dead fish floated on the surface and someone’s boyfriend picked it up and threw it away. It hit a rock, bounced, and landed somewhere happily far from me. I lost my headband, found my headband, and choked on salt water. Bram, whose name at this point I couldn’t remember and had mentally re-christened him Adam, took that moment to ask me again what my name was and in my panic of not being able to touch the bottom coughed out ‘Rhianna but with an ‘n’ on the end’ – a comparison I wouldn’t normally do. I don’t think he understand because he never referred to me by name during the whole day. I asked him his again,

‘Bram.’

‘Like Bram Stoker?’ I said.

‘Don’t know I’ve never met him’.

Mercifully getting out was slightly more graceful than getting in. We dried off in a matter of minutes whilst we (I) decided where to go for lunch (‘you hungry already?’ – Bram, ‘I just love food.’ In my defence it had gone 12pm).

Next Level Cafe served great food and great views. We both had the pinkest drink I’ve ever had in my life and chatted about this and that.

Despite recovering from my Ubud sickness the week prior, my stomach was still off so I played it safe and ordered pesto spaghetti, which turned out to be delicious, and my friend ordered a noodle dish.

With bellies full, I pulled out the A5 colour map and we planned where was next on our bucket list: The Devil’s Tear. It was hot, but riding along with the breeze in my mad, frizzy, salty hair felt nice. We made a quick stop on the yellow bridge for some snaps, and posed for a Chinese lady who seemed to want a photo of two white people on a moped, before whizzing off again.

With my awesome Google Map navigation skills we arrived at the Devil’s Tear. What we hadn’t anticipated was the bazillion Chinese tourists also visiting. Now no offence to any Chinese readers but they are some of the rudest and obnoxious people I have ever met. It’s no exaggeration when I say the women acted as though they were on a photo shoot: holding up their scarves in the wind, posing, making their husbands get down on all fours for the best angle, playing music… I’d managed to somewhat forcefully get through (because my ‘excuse me’s’ were ignored) to get a decent view when a women sitting next to me twice PUSHED ME out the way because I was in her camera shot. Do you think I moved? Did I f***. She moved.

The shouting, the swarms and downright rudeness cut our patience short so we went for a walk to the other side of the cliff where there were no tourists.

The cliffs were amazing and the tide rose so high with such power that the tops of the cliffs were flat as tables, green as shamrock and shimmering with giant, clear rock pools. Like The Blue Lagoon, the summits were razor sharp dead coral, indicating a time when sea levels were so high they encompassed the cliffs altogether.

The Devils Tear

Next to these cliffs was a bay and after consulting our maps, it turned out to be fourth item on our list – Sandy Bay Beach.

With photos exhausted, and sweaty in the afternoon heat, we headed back to the bike more than ready for another swim. If the current at Secret Beach had been strong then Sandy Bay Beach was the king of currents. At one point I had been crouched down on the shoreline, a wave came and was so strong it threw me against a rock. The sheer power meant volume wasn’t necessary. My feet are bruised and scraped from jutting them out to take the force first. With every throw of the tide, chunks of sharp coral or rock were thrown against my ankles then dragged back around them on the recede, leaving me with red marks for days.

This beach was the only time I felt some kind of panic in the water. Not of drowning, but of injury due to being thrown against rocks, or in one case, washed off one altogether. we swam for a while but the roughness became too much so we left.

The day was drawing to a close and afafter exploring a neighbouring area, we made one final stop.

Bram, being a responsible driver, settled for a pineapple juice. Haha.

And so concludes our day of fun.

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