Our boat journey to Nusa Lembongan from Bali was a little on the choppy side, but we made it in good time and arrived to brilliant golden beaches and turquoise sea.
This little island is a popular stop off between Bali, the Gili islands and Lombok, and has managed to keep quite a traditional feel to it considering the amount of visitors it receives.
As seems to be the common theme at the moment there were more beautiful weave decorations hanging over roads, and offerings in weaved banana leaves scattering the beaches and pavements.
Outside every house you will see a kind of ‘alter’ which is made out of the same material as the street decorations – offerings are also placed in here too. We beleive the main religion here is a form of Hinduism. On reading up about the offerings we keep seeing, their purpose is to appease the spirit who influences the elements of nature. Offerings of agricultural products are offered to the spirit.
I took this photo early one morning at our homestay – you can see the many offerings on the tray being held by the man. These will be spread around the homestay’s grounds and outside on the pavement.
Interestingly we also keep noticing the swastika symbol out here alot – this is the main symbol of Balinese Hinduism, and is also called the ‘wheel of the sun’.
More temples are seen dotted along the small lanes. Some look very old whereas others are being built with the same archeticual design however they just look newer.
We rented out a scooter for two of the days we were on the island, as this is by far the easiest way to get around.
The island is very small so you can easily do a circuit of it within a day.
We stopped off at ‘Devil’s Tear’ which we were absolutely blown away by. One description says it all – ‘Mother Nature at her most impressive’.
The current along this stretch of the ocean is fierce, and the waves come in at a huge height and crash into the rocks. Over time this has created a peice of rock which sticks out into the ocean.
I have never seen such an angry ocean before. The strength of the waves hitting the rock face was immense.
Next door to Devil’s Tear was ‘Dream Beach’ however I’d beg to differ with the name, the waves were anything but a dream!
The following day our exploring took us to Nusa Ceningan, the neighbouring island of Nusa Lembongan. The bridge leading us over the sea was a slated mini suspension bridge. It was a noisy ride over, and you didn’t have much room to manoeuvre so you hoped you wouldn’t meet another scooter in the middle.
This island is much more rural and has had little impact from tourists yet, however I’m sure the construction of this bridge will change that now – whether it be for good or bad remains to be seen.
We drove through a small village, on a pot holed dirt track.
All the local people we saw were very pleasant – smiling and waving. All the dogs were well behaved too – no one nipping at our ankles as we drove by!
We passed many upturned whicker baskets which contained cockerels. The only possible explanation we could think of was the unfortunate sport of cock fighting, however we didn’t witness anything like that so it’s only our suspicions.
We stopped off at a popular view point called the ‘Blue Lagoon’. This is where people take the plunge and participate in cliff jumping. However the sea was still very rough so nobody was braving it that day. Still, it was an incredibly impressive view.
We got accousted for a photograph stopping off at one particular view point – one guess to which nationality he was!
We spent another day scuba diving here – unfortunately to Manta Rays to be seen (they can be a common sight around the island) however we did spot (very briefly) two dolphins whilst on the boat. The coral reefs were extremely healthy which was fantastic to see, with abundant fish life. We also saw a beautiful Hawksbill Turtle swim up to the surface, take some air, then dive back down to continue grazing on the coral. We will never tire of seeing these graceful animals.
We jump back on the boat for a 2 hour trip to Gili Air, famed for its beautiful beaches and laid back atmosphere.