Batukaras (Java) - Padang Padang (Bali)
8am we set off in the rain on our mopeds for a 1hour ride from Batu Karas back to Pandangaran. We then jumped on a 2 hour bus to Banjar for 50,000RP (£2.75) each. Banjar to Surabaya in ‘Executive Class’, the only class on the train with A/C and big seats, costing a whopping 385,000RP (£21) each, much more expensive than any other trains we’ve taken in Asia!
We initially were going to try and head from Batu Karas to Padang Padang in one very long go (as it’s possible to do so) including a day train, overnight train, boat, bus and then grab taxi...but decided better of it and spent one night in Surabaya. We slept at ‘My Studio Hotel’ with double bunk bed pods for 90,000RP (£5) each including breakfast. So glad we did as the thought of travelling for 36 hours and trying to sleep in a seat again just didn’t sound great!
Next up was a 6hr train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi, the last stop in Java. ‘Executive’ class again for 170,000RP (£9.50) each. Nice views of volcanoes, paddy fields and little villages. Jumped on a 1hr boat in Banyuwangi to Gilimanak in Bali for 6,500RP (40p) each, after touts trying to rip us off to go with them. Also got hassled once on Bali soil by people trying to overcharge us for a public bus journey. After some arguing, we paid 70,000RP (£4) each for a 3 ½ hr hot and uncomfortable bus ride to North of Denpasar. Got a grab to Padang Padang (buses aren’t allowed in the Uluwatu area) for 120,000RP (£7) for a 1 hr ride with 'Mr Jack'.
What we did:
Turns out, I’d left my phone and cards in Mr Jack’s taxi at midnight when he dropped us off :/ Jack was so concerned, mainly because we’d got this far without losing anything! Luckily Mr Jack was a lovely guy and he brought it to us the next day :). It’s a very different place to Java and Sumatra here in Bali! Obviously it depends where you go, but Padang Padang seems to be very up and coming with quite a few tourists and hotels popping up, but the beach and coast there are still beautiful and untouched. We spent most of our days sunbathing, surfing and exploring the temples and coasts on our little moped.
‘Kubu Containers’ is where we stayed at Padang Padang. One of the cheaper places in the area, it cost 700,000RP (£39) for 3 nights for the two of us in a A/C double room in a container with a private outdoor bathroom, it was actually really cool, near restaurants and only 2min moped ride to the beach.
Mr Jack picked us up after 3 nights in Padang Padang and we headed to Senur to jump on a local 1½hr slow boat with stabilisers, along with all the freight, to the lovely local Nusa Lembongan Island
What we did:
We spent the first day exploring the island, heading over the ‘yellow bridge’ connecting to Ceningan Island and rode to see the beautiful ‘Blue Lagoon’, chilled out on Secret Beach then rode back through the mangroves. The next day we did a snorkelling tour we booked with the Guest House for 150,000RP (£8) each. It was an interesting tour, the sea was rather rough and we both felt a bit sick. It was also carnage, there were so many snorkelling boats and as soon as a manta ray was spotted all boats and snorkelers were at full speed to see it! Having said that, swimming alongside the manta rays was an incredible experience. Managing to swim besides one, we saw how gigantic and so graceful they are. We also swam in Crystal Bay, where obviously the water is beautifully clear, and the coral and tropical fish were so colourful. Beers with some Kiwi’s we got chatting to at Wanung beach shack (yummy cheap food on the beach) for our final night before we head to New Zealand. Can’t believe we’ve travelled from Jersey to Bali overland in 9 months, it’s been incredible.
‘Nyoman Guest House’ is where we stayed at on Nusa Lembongan Island. We stayed in a lovely new double chalet with private outside bathroom again. It was 200m walk from the beach and had a lovely deep pool with sunbeds around that we swam in a lot! It was amazing value for money too, only costing 675,000RP (£37.50) for the two of us for 3 nights including a big breakfast. Really enjoyed our last stop in South East Asia.