The drive downhill was a steep and nice affair of winding roads through local farming villages, until housing got denser and denser and I finally reached the town of Singaraja, the ancient capital of Bali in Dutch colonial times. The weather was hot and sticky, what a change from the freshness of the Bali mountains.
From there, it was only a 15 minutes drive towards the tourist area of Lovina, where I checked in at the Lata Lama – a magnificent boutique resort located in the middle of the rice fields, a collection of 3 Java joglo houses with pool with 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms respectively, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Lovina tourist scene and the traffic of the main road. I must say I really enjoyed my time there, I felt like a colonial attache’ relaxing and contemplating life in the tropics. For this reason I decided to just take it easy, put some order to my notes, do some writing and enjoy a couple of days at leisure. In the evening, after a great meal at Lovina’s vegetarian restaurant Akar Cafe’ vegetarian & vegan food – Jalan Pantai Binaria, 081936644190 –
I booked one of the most popular activities in Lovina: a boat trip to watch dolphins.
The morning alarm clock rung at 4am, and it was quite hard to get out of my comfortable bed, but dolphins awaited so I made my way to the beach, where our pick up boat was scheduled to arrive at 5. What a magnificent trip that was, read all about it HERE !
In the afternoon I took a drive along several of the small roads that take to the Singaraja hills and mountains, I visited Banjar Hot Springs and took a detour to a Buddhist Temple not far from the springs. On the way back, I had a great meal at one of the colourful and picturesque road stalls that dot Seririt town main street each evening. Needless to say, the menu is meat meat meat, with goat being one of the favourite food served.
The morning after, I struggled through a big and earthy breakfast of muesli granola and natural yogurt, croissants butter and jam, boiled eggs and fruit, after which I said goodbye to my host Seger and his lovely staff at Lata Lama and drove west towards Bali Barat National Park. I passed the tourist coastal village of Pemuteran, with its restaurants and diving shops, and reached Labuan Lalang Pier, the starting points for the boat trips to Menjangan Island – about 30-40 US$ for a boat for 10-12 people, or about 8-10 US$ if you come alone and wait for a boat to fill up, guide is included. There I parked the car, refilled with a Bali coffee at one of the local joints, and joined one of the few boats that take the cruise to and around Menjangan, the island of deers.
Back from the boat trip, I drove back east and made a quick stop at the Pura Pabean temple, in time to enjoy the sunset and also deal with insolent monkeys that came out to meet and greet me. I then continued to a fantastic peninsular area called Ume Anyar, where I spent the night at a Mayo Resort, a great resort with good character, and right on the beach. The pizza at their signature Bora Bora Restaurant was nice and crispy, the way Italians like it!
TO BE CONTINUED… STAY TUNED !
A drive around Bali – Part 6 – the West coast
The Toyota Agya was kindly supplied by Echo Bali Car Rental