We have really settled in to Lembongan, just as it's time to leave. Typical. The island gets a lot of day trippers and some one night stays for the famous sunsets and the locals obviously chance their arm with the amount of tourist tax you pay for a lot of things. I was parked up on the bike the other day outside a shop and a couple were renting a scooter from the guy next door, I asked what they were paying and it was 120,000 IDR. I thought it must have been for two days as we have only been paying 50,000 IDR a day but it was only for one. I told the guy not to take it as it was far too much but he didn't seem to want to listen. I guess when people have more money than sense and don't want to listen then you can't really blame the locals for taking advantage. His girlfriend really listened to what I was trying to say but the guy just didn't want to now. Their loss. I guess with anywhere though once you get to know the locals you are more accepted and start to get closer to the local price and that's whats happened over the past week or so. You go back to the same shops and after a few days they really take an interest in the fact that your still on the island and that your staying for a while. The shop I've been using is owned by a lovely friendly family and to be fair their prices were already a half or a third of what some of the other places are charging already, but even in the last couple of days the prices have reduced even further. My coffee came down by 50% to the price that the locals pay yesterday and you don't just pop in or out anymore, you stand and chat away for a good ten minutes before you've even picked up what you need. These are people that are already friendly and warm but after a while they really start to make you feel at home and welcomed into their lives. I guess what I'm saying is that it's making it really hard to leave here. The Visa runs out on Monday and our flight to KL is already booked but it's certainly given us food for thought about our future travels. We need to move on as there are so many new places and experiences we need to explore but I'm starting to think ahead to our next trip already and how different it may be. I can see us starting to settle more in one place at a time and as well as being a richer experience it will also massively cut the cost as well meaning we need to spend less time in the UK working and saving to get away again.
Another aspect of life I admire in this part of the world is how family life works
So what have we been up to the past few days then? Well it's been a nice relaxing time really. Daily trips along to secret beach on a morning and late afternoon. It has to be one of my favourite beaches in Asia. Like I said not as secret as it once was, and yes it really is called secret beach by the way not just a name we gave the place! But if your there early before the day trippers arrive or come after 3pm when they have left it's a beautiful quiet beach to relax on. Nice to dip in the sea every now and then to cool off a bit when the sun becomes too much. I've also finally managed to finish reading the Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy as well. A book that seems to have been on my list for as long as I can remember. It's a quality read, hilarious for most of it and if you haven't dabbled with it before I recommend giving it a go
We have also had some amazing food of late as well. We had been eating at some of the more local warungs and always figured that the places that came up near the top of Tripadvisor's reviews would be more up market expensive places to eat. We could not have been further from the truth. The past two days we have indulged in some of the tastiest food we have had so far. Tuna in banana leaf with Balinese sauce, Snapper curry, spring rolls, Sticky sweet pork Mie Goreng, Javanese beef rendang, some amazing flavours at great prices. If you ever come here I recommend you do not miss out on Putu Warung and Bambu, both do the kind of food you would expect in an expensive up market restaurant, all still local ingredients and recipes though and all for the price you would pay for a half pint back home.
We took a scooter again as well for another few days after our snorkeling trip with Ketut so as well as making secret beach more accessible we have been off exploring again
That my friends is pretty much it for Lembongan. It's been a great was to spend a relaxing week and a half. Compared to the two weeks we spent riding round Bali it has flown over. Most likely because it has been fairly laid back and lazy compared to being off out every day in search of new adventures. As always we didn't want to leave, I hate leaving Bali or the islands any time I come here and this feels no different. Still we have two more nights in Sanur now before we fly on to new things in Malaysia so I'm sure we will make as much of that time as possible.
Saturday, April 02, 2016
Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia