Nusa Penida, Indonesia

Nusa number 2 ..


6/21/20233 min read

An island for diving, sunsets, and Instagram beaches..

The little boat trip from Lembongan was quick and easy to catch from the obviously named 'yellow bridge'. Rather than a set time-schedule, it leaves every time the boat returns from Penida, and there are 14 people waiting to go! Luckily for me, the wait was very short.

I have to admit.. upon arrival I was disappointed at my choice of accommodation this time. I guess it had to happen eventually. Lesson learned .. ** read the negative Google reviews, not just the good ones (and if there seems to be a 'theme', rather than the odd one-off complaint, then it's probably a thing). Afternoon #1 I resolved to looking at the positives and making the most of what was here, otherwise, for the first time on the trip, I felt there was a risk of home-sickness and/or loneliness setting in, if I didn't.

Aside from the diving or manta tours, or touring the island in search of the Insta-famous beaches, there's not a lot to do here, and for me, I wasn't feeling the same vibe as other parts of Bali I've visited so far.

So I settled in to my nicely-airconditioned room for some blogging - (thus avoiding the over-chlorinated pool) - and found a full-day Island Tour to book for one of the days I was here. THIS is where the Island redeemed itself.. the pictures can speak for themselves! 😍

We visited Crystal Bay first. The most populated beach on the island, although I wasn't sure what the fuss was about.. I think I've been spoilt with all our stunning beaches at home in the Bay of Plenty, NZ. There were way too many people here, squashed onto a relatively small and unremarkable beach, looking bored as far as I could tell. Next, to Angel Billabong and Broken Beach, with amazing rock formations and every colour on the green and blue spectrums. Then finally, we saved the best for last.. Klingking beach - to navigate the gnarliest rock-step path I've ever seen, to the beach below, where the whitest sand and the azure blue waters took my breath away (oh wait - no that was the steps πŸ˜₯) The headland is famous for its' resemblance to a T-Rex head (and it really is!!), the monkeys are everywhere and as hilarious and cute as ever, and of course, the 'piece de resistance' .. the sunset!!! For the bargain price of $70 NZD, I had a driver to myself for the day, and it included all the parking and entrance fees that were required, and he was happy to sit and wait as long as I wanted at each spot. He asked me on the way home for the day, what I rated each place - and I had no option but to give Klingking a 10/10. If you did come here - I'd recommend packing a good picnic and enough supplies for the day, and heading down the challenging path to the beach there, and just spending the day swimming and relaxing - then of course, sticking it out for the sunset. The other thing I will say, is that a tour on the island is like rally car driving on a winding, pot-holed, jungle road, often with cars and bikes going in two (or 3?!) directions, even though there's barely room for one car on most of it😯 My driver 'Anggi' had me laughing all day though.. almost his first question was "do you like music" and when I answered "yes", his face lit up and he proceeded to crank the stereo, blasting his techno-indonesian-party beats, while we bounced around the island roads all afternoon. I must have looked concerned once or twice when we came devilishly close to peril on the road, but as his English was limited, all I got was - "you like fast drive, or safety first?" so I stressed the safety first option and although he laughed, he did look slightly offended, and assured me "but I have skills". Less than 10 minutes after that, he scraped my side of the car along a rock-edge, trying to squeeze past another car, so I was glad I had asked for the safety first option.

** I think groups or couples on Penida would occupy themselves easily enough, but personally, I wouldn't recommend it for long-stays or for solo travelers (if you are a solo, make sure you book in the main part of Penida so there are more people around, and more eateries to choose from)

Now back to the Mainland for a 2-night stop in Sanur, before heading to West Bali for the next 3 weeks (and a highly anticipated return to the Uluwatu region that I fell in love with on my first visit to Bali πŸ’•)

Picturesque Penida ...