Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Cycling In Indonesia Bali 2018 Day 5: Welcome To Nusa Penida

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Cycling Indonesia Bali 2018 Day 5: Welcome To Nusa Penida
Bali, Indonesia: Sunday, 25th November 2018
This is part of a multi-mode tour Bali & Nusa Penida:
Speedboat Ride from Sanur Port To Sampalan Port: approx. 45minutes.
Motorbiking Distance (At Nusa Penida): 61 km.     |     Level: Hard even for motorcycles.
Motorbiking Time : 11:45am to 7:00pm
Motorbiking Time Taken : 7 hours 15 minutes (including stops for checking in, lunch, places of interests, dinner and lots of photo opps).

This is page 5 of a 6-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to D4 Ubud              |            Go to Other Days          |        Go to D6-7 Penida 2 >

Route Recommendations :
1. Traffic Directions!
    Traffic in Indonesia, is right-hand drive, so cycle on the left. Same thing applies when crossing the road, take note of the direction in which traffic is approaching from!
2. Route & Traffic Conditions  
    At Nusa Penida, the roads between the towns are okay, but the roads leading to the outlying beaches can be full of pot-holes or even untarred. These roads can be very rough even for driving, and it is advisable to rent a motor-bike to get around, good motor-cycling experience will come in handy. Cycling is possible at towns but would definitely be difficult on the untarred roads which can be rough and steeps at certain sections.
     We took a Grab Taxi from Kuta to Sanur Port at a fare of IDR73k as they are cheaper than the commercial taxis. There is an additional charge of IDR5k for cars entry into Sanur Port. Do note that the commercial taxis are rather monopolistic and have the Grab Taxi drop one a bit away from the boat piers. If one has ordered a Grab Taxi to return to Kuta, tell anyone who asked that it's a pick-up sent by the tour agency to avoid any conflict.

3. Weather
     Bali & Nusa Penida during end November can get quite hot, with temperatures averaging 31°C and 25°C for day and night respectively, so do re-hydrate regularly. Do expect some rain during this time too.
     Useful weather forecast sites for the Indonesia is AccuWeather. For more detailed weather, including cloud cover and wind speed, use Weatherspark and Ventusky.

4. Boats Fare - Bali To Nusa Penida
     Several companies operate fast speed boat (travel time about 45 minutes) between Bali & Nusa Penida. There are several options:
     - from 
Sanur Port (GPS: -8.7069, 115.2627) in Bali to Sampalan Port (GPS: -8.67205, 115.55893) in Nusa Penida. It is better to pre-book the boat tickets and this can be done through this website: Sky Penida. Return fare per pax was IDR300k. Show the booking receipt to the respective operator (in our case Idola Express) and they will issue the actual tickets, one for each way together with collar tags. Do not lose the return ticket.
     - from Sanur Port to Tayopakeh Port (GPS: -8.68165, 115.48756). Click here for booking website.
     - For the more adventurous, there are public slow boats from Bali to Nusa Penidaclick here for the link.
     Tips on riding the speed boats:
     - At Sanur Port, there are no boat piers and one would have to wade in the water to get to the boats, so wear shorts and keep your electronic stuff in water-proof bags. At Sampalan Port, the boat will dock at a proper pier.
     - The speed boats have two levels, the covered upper deck has better view but cannot seat only about ten. One can also sit at the uncovered front of the boat at the upper deck, but do note that getting up is via a external side ladder from the lower deck to the upper deck, AND once the boat moves one cannot climb down the ladder as it is dangerous. OR one can't get back from the uncovered front of the boat to the covered upper deck - I sat at the front and was exposed to the sun for the whole of the 45 minutes ride duration 😱😂.

5. Motorcycle Rentals At Nusa Penida
     Upon arrival at Sampalan Port, many touts will approach tourists to rent motorbikes as this is the favourite way to get around the island. Do not be pressurized by these touts as they may not give the best pricing.
     We rented a motor-cycle from a Mr. Wayan (Phone: +62-0821-4752-4841) of OKA SUKA MOTOR who has a nearby yard of Honda Scoopy for rental at IDR70k per day (24hours). They came with full tank of petrol, but on return one has to fill up the tanks too.
     As there were three of us, we rented one bike for two of us and had Mr. Wayan fetch the other to Manik House at IDR30k. For short distances for meals, three of us fitted on one bike 😃. The locals are very straight-forward & trustworthy, there was no need for us to pay a deposit or leave a passport behind as collateral. 
     For later touring of two of us went on one bike, and we hired a motor-cycle with a guide at IDR250k per day with our third riding pillion with the guide. Mr. Gebe of Manik House arrange for the motor-cyclist guide for us.

6. Points of Interests
    Along the route at Nusa Penida were several places of interests, some of which we visited others we did not for lack of time:
Sampalan Port (Pelabuhan Tradisional Sampalan) (GPS: -8.67205, 115.55893) has very clear water.
Paluang Cliff (GPS: -8.75370, 115.47629).
Kelingking Beach (GPS: -8.75090, 115.47404).
- Broken Beach (GPS: -8.73246, 115.45119).
- Angel's Billabong (GPS: -8.73342, 115.44926).
- Crystal Bay (GPS: -8.71558, 115.45914).
Dolphin Beach (GPS: -8.73067, 115.44977).
- Manta Bay/Manta Point (GPS: -8.79184, 115.52495).
    Note: some of these places needs walking down to, and there are parking charges.

7. Food
Although Nusa Penida is an island, seafood is hard to come by. Most shops serve chicken dishes, other meats are seldom served.
Breakfast: Balinese fare with rice at D'Warung Sepakat Nikmat (GPS: -8.73466, 115.16658) in Kuta.
Morning Tea: Santan (coconut milk) ice-cream at Sanur Port (GPS: -8.70690, 115.2627),
Lunch: Jakarta Style Chicken Noodles at Mie Ayam Jakarta 77 (GPS: -8.67821, 115.4905) in Nusa Penida.
Tea: Magnum Ice-cream at Broken Beach (GPS: -8.73246, 115.45119) in Nusa Penida.
Dinner: Chicken Meat & Ball Noodles at Warung Dua Putri (GPS: -8.68167, 115.48852) in Nusa Penida.

8. Accommodations
Our accommodations in Nusa Penida were two rooms at Manik House (GPS: -8.67667, 115.49385near Tayopakeh.
Rate: IDR470k per twin sharing room for two nights.
Address: Jl. Pendidikan, Ped, Nusapenida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771, Indonesia.
Phone: +62 817-9791-217 / +62 823-3963-1263

9. Communicating with Each Other
    When travelling in a group it's important to be able to communicate with each other, especially if one got lost from the rest. There are booths selling these just after exiting the arrival hall of Bali (Ngurah Rai) Airport. We opted for Telkomsel's at it provides the best coverage even at many of the remote areas of Nusa Penida, and got their Simpati prepaid sim cards with 10GB of data valid of 30 days at 250k rupiahs. 3G internet is available in the more populated areas but can drop to the slower GPRS or even Edge in remote areas.
    Most hotels, motels, home-stays, restaurants, and airports have free Wifi; do note that these free wifi may not be secure and registration could be required. But one can safe on one's mobile data by using these especially for uploading or downloading videos.

10. Communicating with Locals
    As Bali, is a favorite tourist destinations, many locals speak fairly good English. At the smaller towns, locals speak some rudimentary English. The older generation speak very little English, so knowing some basic Bahasa Indonesia (or even better - Balinese language) will come in handy and also warm one up to the locals.
11. Navigation
    We used Google Maps in Driving Mode for navigation but there is a lag when starting off, so one would have to cycle a bit to get the orientation right. Google Maps is also useful as it shows updated places of interests that may not be shown on GPS units.
    Alternatively, download the MAPS.ME app together with the relevant country maps. This app can be used offline.

Brompton Cyclists wearing Balinese Udeng headgear at Sukawati Art Market.
The previous day was our last day of the "We Love Bali" cycling event organized by  the Brompton Owners Bali (BOB). It was a non-cycling day and we were bussed over to the Sukawati Art Market at Guyung before we bid our goodbyes and went our own ways. A few of us will be staying back as we were #StillInBaliMode. Some will explore more of the main island while the three of us decided to go off island to another smaller one called Nusa Penida. It is an island with beautiful scenery and wonderful beaches. What had brought this about? Well a cycling buddy, Baki Zainal had posted photos of his visit to the island, and those photos had enraptured us, we just have to visit too!

This above is a motorcycling route of the west side of Nusa Penida. It is one goes on rough roads leading to a reward of beautiful hidden beaches. Zoom out to see the route from Kuta to Sanur Port.
Motor-cycling Distance: 61 km.     |     Level: Hard (even for motorcycles as many stretches of the road were full of pot-holes, un-tarred rough and steep roads. Some motorcycling skills required to traverse these difficult roads).

Today we left our bicycles to behind at a store in Dedy Beach Inn in Kuta and took a speed boat over to Nusa Penida. But make no mistakes; I will still be the AhPek Biker; instead of riding a bicycle I will be riding a motorcycle as it is the easiest way to get to the isolated beaches of Nusa Penida.

Breakfast was a surprising heavy meal of rice with Balinese dishes at D'Warung Sepakat Nikmat in Kuta. It's a big breakfast as we anticipated that it could be way past lunch time when we reached Nusa Penida. They sell Green Coffee here too, we wanted to try but they had ran out for the time being.
We bagged our bikes and stored them at Dedy Beach Inn, said our goodbyes to David (who won't be joining us), and hailed a Grab Taxi to head for Sanur Port

There are several ways to get over from Bali to Nusa Penida; the best way is by pre-booked fast speed-boats from Sanur Port on the east coast of Bali, it's about an half-hour drive from Kuta.
The thing is this port does not have proper boat piers, and to board the boats one will have to wade in the sea. Sometimes it could be wading waist deep; lucky for us, today it was only knee deep. But we still took precautions in keeping our electric and electronic gadgets in a waterproof bag.

For those with big luggage bags, porters can carry them across the water to load them onto them boats though I am not sure whether it's part of the service or have to be separately paid.
Better still, for those who don't wanna get themselves wet, the porters have a carry-passenger-on service 😂.

It was a 45-minute boat ride and the speedboats had two decks; there's a ladder at the external side of the boat to climb up to the top deck which gives a better view .....

10:30am: The boat sets off! Nusa Penida here we come!!
The top deck had a covered section which sits about ten, and also an open section which at the front. Jolly ol' me being the adventurous fella went to sit up front. Er.... the thing is once the boat moves one can't get back in or climb down that ladder; it's just too dangerous a thing to do as the waters here can be choppy.
So there I was, stuck up front, under the sun. Well, might as well just cross my leg and enjoy the view while getting a 45-minutes tan at the same time!

We reached Nusa Penida, but the boat does not dock yet, it swung north-east past the Toyapakeh port, skimmed between Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan islands to head for Sampalan Port situated on the north side. From the boat, we could see resort chalets sitting on the hillside of the island....

As we approached port, most of the fisherman had already finished their work for the day and had parked their fishing boats on the beaches save for this fellow, slowly putting out his out-rigger boat to go for a second round of fishing.

We docked at Sampalan Port and immediately I fell in love with the place. Even at this busy port the water was crystal clear, exuding a bluish green hue. It's so clear that one can see right to the bottom, and observe the clown fishes and anchovies darting around at the pier.

Ann waving, "Let's go!" as we Wayan took her along the streets of Nusa Penida.
Immediately upon disembarking we were thronged by locals, all shouting for us to rent motor-bikes from them. They are quite persistent and stuck to us like leaches even as we walked away. My advice here, is just to stay calm and politely turn them down, don't act rashly to rent from them as most of them are touts and won't be able to give the best prices. As we walked away with the horde following, we noticed a fellow following but hanging to the back. Slowly the rest peeled away as we got further from the pier, the fellow who hung back then approached us. Yes! This was, Mr. Wayan, the actual owner of a bike rental. He took us to his yard situated about two hundred metres from the pier; over there were more than fifty motor-bikes for us to choose from.
Now, the thing is there were three of us: Ann, Fenn & me; so rented a Honda Scoopy from Wayan, and at the same time got him to be a motor-taxi for Anne. The bike rental for a day was IDR70k and taxi services was IDR30k. It was a good deal as often, bike rental ranges around IDR90k.

12:00 noon - It was a good thing that Wayan took us; being familiar he led us straight to Manik House our lodging for the two night stay on the island. Here we were met by Gede, the owner and operator of this cozy place.
Before we go on, one will notice that most Balinese tend to have similar names, and there's a reason for this. In general, Balinese people name their children depending on the order they are born, and the names are the same for both males and females. The firstborn child is named Wayan, Putu or Gede, the second is named Made or Kadek, the third child goes by Nyoman or Komang, and the fourth is named Ketut. If a family has more than four children, the cycle repeats itself, and the next ‘Wayan’ may be called Wayan Balik, which loosely translates to ‘back Wayan’. So just for note, both our motor-taxi driver (Wayan) and our home-stay host (Gede) are the eldest in their family.
Manik House was a lovely place with about eight rooms that lined up on both side of an indoor garden. Two of the rooms are on permanent rental to staff of the nearby Puri Medika Nusa Penida, the island's hospital.

Now to look for a guide; Gede volunteered himself but had some chores to handle first. So of we went, the three of us fitting onto on motor-bike, to the nearby Mie Ayam Jakarta 77 for Jakarta-style dry chicken noodles lunch first. The odd thing about Nusa Penida is that, although it is an island, seafood didn't seem to be easily available. So were pork (in deference to Indonesia being a Muslim nation) and beef (as the Balinese are mainly Hindu); so most places sell only chicken dishes!
This restaurant also sells Jus Terung Belanda; roughly translated it means Dutch eggplant juice but it was actually Tamarillo juice - those three bottles in the photo above. It tasted sweet with a slight tang.

Hahaha!! The interesting password for the place's wifi.... oops.... I should be laughing Hihihahahohoheheh!

Gede is back, and with him guiding us, we rode away from the main roads to head for those isolated beaches. The roads became narrower and undulating as we cut winding through the hilly interior. The roads here were suppose to be notoriously rough, and I was thinking to myself " Hey! It's not that bad, they may be narrow and winding but still smooth.

That was until we went further inland and the roads became really bad full of pot-holes and exposed gravels. Often we had to slow down and ride a zig-zag route to avoid deep potholes.

At certain stretches, it was just gravel and very steep. Ann decided play safe and forgo her valour - it was better to dismount so that Gede could more easily control the bike going up this steep hill!

We did not let the difficult ride deter us or detract us from enjoying the rural country side; along the way were tiers of planting, but these were not like the tiered padi fields of Tegallalang. Here, instead of rice, fruit trees were planted on the tiers.

And small Balinese temples...

And friendly locals just lazing around in the hot afternoon. Oh... by the way, this is a 'petrol station" selling bottles of petrol outside while indoor is a mini-convenience store!

Life in the interior is simple, often locals get around by walking, carrying their stuff in their hands and sometimes on the head too!

After a torturous meandering journey, we reach our first gem - Kelingking Beach. At the adjacent Paluang Cliff vantage lookout point, a local had constructed a "boat" sticking out from the cliff. Tourist pay IDR5,000 (about RM1-50) for a turn to stand sticking out there with the bright blue sea and frothing white breakers below.

Kelingking Beach is also know as T-Rex Bay as on one side the hill sticks out into the sea looking like the head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur. The hill curls around the beach to end in it's tail at the other side.

On the way out, Gede spotted a tree and climb up like a monkey to get at those Monkey Apples, quite the monkey he is 😂.

The next gem was Broken Beach, about ten kilometres away. It's a mini lagoon with a small inlet that is formed by an natural archway that "breaks the cliffs surrounding the lagoon. This place and the nearby Angel's Billabong & Dolphin Beach needs a bit of trekking to get to.

The stratified tiers of the cliffs have been exposed by millennia of wind and water erosion.

Peer down into the lagoon and there is a small beach, fingers of eroded black volcanic rock stick out into the blue lagoon breaking up the beach; some of which have green seaweeds growing on them. This formation reminds me of similar ones which we visited during a cycling tour at the Batanes in the Philippines a few years ago.

Three monkeys taking a "Magnum" ice-cream break at a nearby stall 🙈🙉🙊.

Just a short walk away was Angel's Billabong, it's a small creek formed by erosion with sharp craggy rocks lining its sides. At the far end it drains into the sea like an infinity pool, a row of green contrasting the edge of the small waterfall against the blue sea and the bright sky.

It was up the bikes for a short ride over to Crystal Bay; we reached there just in time to watch the sun set with the fishing boats and Pulau Batumejinong silhouetted against the darkening sky.

 Well, that's it for today. We rode back to Manik House, freshened up and the three of us popped onto our Honda Scoopy and headed out for dinner at the nearby Warung Dua Putri. Yup, you guess it right - it's noodles with chicken slices and chicken balls..... Haiz!

(Tomorrow we explore the east of Nusa Penida!)

(For more photos of the day Click Here)
This is page 5 of a 6-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to D4 Ubud              |            Go to Other Days          |        Go to D6-7 Penida 2 >


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1 comment:

  1. Hey loved you post. Nusa Penida is amazing https://thenorthernboy.com/broken-beach-on-nusa-penida