Island life.

Saturday, April 02, 2016
Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
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 . Given the past year with my mam it's something that is closer to me now more than ever and it's beautiful to see how closely knit the families here are. The elders are always looked after. They are the most respected and cared for members of the family. Nobody here has money for care homes etc in fact I doubt such things even exist. The younger generations ensure that care is provided from within, and when it comes to their time they know they will also be looked after in this way by their children and grand children. Any Small businesses such as Homestays or Warungs are true family affairs. Yesterday we were out for lunch and the Warung we were at was really busy so it was all hands on deck. We were served by one of the younger sons, maybe only 7 years old. He was so happy to be doing it as well, grinning away with his infectious smile. His even younger brother around 5 years old, getting the drinks ready at the bar for him to take out while his mam, dad and possibly Grand mother were all sweating away in the kitchen to get the orders out . Everyone chips in to give the place the best possible chance of making them a decent living and being a success. These are the lucky few that do have their own businesses and they do everything they can together as a family to make it work.

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 . We found a great local wood carvers shop nestled down a small back road with some great artwork on display which was nice and also found some other temples and back roads that we didn't know were there. It's been fun and easy going at the same time. Speaking of Ketut we popped along to see him again as we were looking to head out mangrove point for a couple of hours and we wondered why we hadn't seen him around for a coupe of days. When we finally caught up with him he was a bit more subdued and not his usual happy joking self. He had been over to Bali for a couple of days as his grand daughter who lives in Denpasar was taken into hospital with Dengue fever. Thankfully she is ok and recovering now but it was obviously quite the scare as she is only two years old and Dengue can be a killer if not caught early enough or treated correctly. I believe it can still kill anyway even with good medical support. While we are on the subject of things that can kill you I popped along to see the lads at Nyomans Homestay that we know and were told that a Chinese tourist had died the previous day . Apparently he was along at Devils tears, the place with the high cliffs where the sea swells and pounds the rocks. He was taking a selfie and stepped back too far and off the cliff to his death! The Chinese are crazy for taking selfies and all kinds of photos to be fair, I'm surprised they even see or enjoy their holidays as it's all spent staring at their Ipad and mobile screens but to die for the sake of taking a selfie is lunacy.

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.




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Comments

Moira
2016-04-03

So pleased to read that your enjoying travelling again. Photos are fab x

andrewtaylor1980@hotmail.com
2016-04-06

Brilliant mate!

2019-08-22