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Bali – Nusa Penida


July 2018
We are spending a few days on Nusa Penida a craggy limestone island mostly ignored by travelers but only 30 minutes by fast boat from Sanur. We are – Irene, Jude, Cathy, George, Harry and me.

Day 1 – Nusa Penida East Coast
It’s early morning as we hustle our way through the crowds at the Sanur harbour, we wade knee deep, climb aboard and skip across the waves.
We hire scooters and head east around the island, through Sampalan, past small fishing villages and seaweed farms. We climb the 130 steps up to Pura Goa Giri Temple and then shimmy ‘Indiana Jones’ style through a tiny entrance into the massive temple cave.  We push on past a sea temple to the cliffs overlooking Atuh Beach and find a nice little warung for lunch. Then we head inland to Tanglad a traditional weaving village and have a lovely ride back through the green terraced hills.

Day 2 – Nusa Penida West Coast
A leisurely start down the west coast to dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery. A village ceremony closes our road and sends us the back way along small broken lanes.
A sprinkling of adventurous backpackers on scooters and a surprising number of day trippers in tour vans. More broken roads on our way to Kelingking (little finger), a huge white cliff overlooking a stunning peninsular and a golden beach, it’s a long way down the steep steps so most visitors settle for a selfie… and I add to my ‘Selfie Collection’.
Just down the road is Pura Paluang or ‘Car Temple’ with two wonderful concrete car statues. It’s a bit of a story but in the end I also add to my ‘Concrete Statue Collection’ (see below). Around the corner we stumble across boisterous locals at a cock fight.
Then it’s slowly up and down more broken and dusty roads to Broken Beach and Angel’s Billabong where huge waves crash into the cliffs and fall back down like waterfalls. It’s time for lunch at the local warung, the broken roads are taking their toll so we head back via Crystal Bay where locals and travellers swim, snack and chat. At sunset we relax and dine at our local beach with Bali and Mt. Agung in the distance.

Day 3 – Nusa Penida to Padang Bai
The swell is up this morning and all fast boats and some car ferries are cancelled. Our leisurely start is abandoned as we are told to quickly pack and rush to the car ferry at Sampalan. We are not alone as locals and hapless travellers do the same. The queue is long, we pay a scalper a premium, bypass the mayhem and make an early claim on the deck, by 8.30 the ferry is full and we are chugging our way to Padang Bali. We chat with a couple of locals heading back from yesterday’s cock fight and then we wait at the harbour for two hours for the ferry to dock, the terminal is chaotic, we find our transport and enjoy the run home.

Thank you Irene for organising our great trip and herding the cats. Thank you Nusa Penida for your unspoilt beauty, craggy limestone cliffs and especially your Car Temple…

Photo Collections:
Concrete Statues: Nusa Penida
Near Kelingking Beach and its huge white cliffs is Pura Paluang or ‘Car Temple’ with two unusual concrete car statues in the inner courtyard, however visitors are seldom allowed to view them. I’m standing alone at the intimidating temple gates wearing my sarong and scarf. I modestly ask the custodian if I may enter, he stares me down, then surprisingly says ‘OK Pak’. We walk in silence through the outer to the inner courtyard. The special annual temple ceremony was yesterday so it is still fully decorated…then I ask permission to take photos ‘OK Pak’…. I am indeed blessed.
I love the quirky Concrete Sculptures scattered around Indonesia, I photographed several on this tour and have included a couple in this post. However, I was most excited about visiting the Car Temple. Here is the link to the full collection:

Selfies: Nusa Penida
Indonesians and especially the teenagers love to take selfies. While easily derided I find them colourful, joyful and animated and a pleasure to watch and photograph. There was a great opportunity to add to my collection at Kelingking Beach and I have included a couple in this post. Here is the link to the full collection.



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