Southern peninsula

Saturday, March 12, 2016
Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia
The day after Nyepi we went out to find a scooter to hire for a week or so to get round and explore the island a bit more. I love the freedom of getting around on two wheels, you get to experience and see so much more and thankfully my haggling skills in Bali haven't deserted me one bit. We managed to grab one for only £2 a day from just round the corner and with a full tank of petrol only costing another couple of pounds we were sorted with our hog. So with our transport for the next ten days paid for we sorted through our bags and threw the very bare essentials into our day packs and left our big back packs with the family at Di Kubu homestay to collect when we returned.

So where to next then? We hadn't really explored the Southern peninsular of Bali before having mainly covered the North and East last time so South it was for something new . Onto the busy bypass we headed and away we went. The traffic particularly in the South around Kuta and the airport is usually pretty horrific and sure enough it was total chaos. Thankfully having done a fair bit of riding in Asia before in particular through Vietnam and into Saigon in the middle of the night during a monsoon I had my wits about me and within 40 minutes we had passed the Airport and found our digs for the night in Jimbaran. Unfortunately though those digs ended up being at the side of the busy bypass. Noisy is not the word but it was cheap and clean enough so can't really complain too much.

As soon as the bags were dropped off we headed out for a look round Jimbaran. Down to the beach road and past all the crazy priced resorts. The Four Seasons, The Ayana, The Amarta....the list goes on. The kind of places where you see little golf carts zipping around ferrying over weight middle aged folk from the reception to their rooms 30 meters round the corner. The beach itself is quite nice with some lovely seafood Warungs lining the edge but other than that I wasn't massively impressed with Jimbaran . It didn't seem to have a lot of character about it and feels a bit like an extension of Kuta South of the Airport. Looking it up later I found out the area has now been named as South Kuta so I guess if the cap fits wear it! What I seriously do recommend though if you are nearby is popping down to the seafood warungs for tea at sunset. We read up and headed to a popular place called Made and Bagus Warung and boy we were not disappointed. It is easily the best seafood I have ever had. A whole lobster, a bunch of massive King prawns and a snapper. Absolutely to die for. The prawns fell out of their shells and the lobster was succulent and had so much meat in it. No fancy little pliers things for this fishy bad boy. It was served on it's back, opened up and all we had to do was simply pull the meat out with our fingers. All smothered with an explosion of Balinese spices. A large Bintang to wash it all down with and a sunset not to be sniffed at finished the evening off nicely. Back at the guesthouse I drifted off to the roar of motorbikes screaming past ....then woke...then drifted...then get the idea.

The next morning we left where we were staying. I couldn't take another night next to the bypass, I hardly slept and felt ruined. We headed further South and to a place away from the constant screaming traffic. A little closer to Uluwatu with it's famous temple and Kecak dance which we wanted to check out along with a few beaches en route. Reading further into it before we headed out for the day we decided against the temple and dance. It was expensive at around £10 each t go see the dance and as impressive as the dance looks (take a look on You Tube) it just seemed a little too much tourist driven. As many people crammed in as possible for tenner a go and the temple although perched high on the cliff tops didn't seem as impressive as I had hoped. You see a lot of temples in Asia and after a while takes something fairly special to get your juices flowing and this didn't seem like it would fit the bill. So a beach day it was then . We decided on Dreamland beach, world renowned for its surf breaks. After riding for a good half hour through some crazy locations including a massive purpose built park of empty and derelict massive hotels with some new constructions being built in between we finally found the beach we were looking for. It was decent enough. Not a big beach and not too busy either. We parked up for a while and sat watching the surfers (far too big a swell for my very novice skills) and were quite happy there really until the clouds closed in you could see the rain creeping towards us from the North along with a very excited and cheeky puppy who decided he wanted to chew every single item we had with us. I'm well aware of the fact that rabies is fairly wide spread in Bali among the canine population and trying to wrestle our gear back out of the wee mites jaws was interesting and a task to say the least while avoiding his saliva and chomping jaws. Eventually we managed and after having enough and the rain imminent we headed back off on the bike to look for a really interesting Warung that we had spotted on the way there.

The Warung didn't disappoint. It was very cheap and more of a pick and mix Indonesian buffet than your standard one dish affair. Curried eggs, satay, chili fish, rich bbq style chicken. Yet another awesome meal under our belt and all for less than £3 with a beer to wash it down with. With sunset fast approaching we rode back along to Jimbaran bay grabbing a Bintang from a supermarket en route and parked up on the beach with the locals to see the day out.

The South of the island is still very much Bali. Amazing food and the usual infectiously happy locals that grin from ear to ear all day long but it's not for me. It's too busy and too touristy. Tomorrow we will head back North again and see where we end up.

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