When I made a plan to go to Nusa Lembongan, I knew right away I wanted to visit Nusa Penida as well. It wasn’t that easy though, since my friend who’d been there told me the island was humongous compared to Nusa Lembongan, and there’s no way to explore the island without a motorbike. None of us could drive a motorbike, so that was out of the question. Having no other choice, I chose to go for my least favorite option for traveling, going on a tour with a travel agent.
To be honest, I’ve never been really keen on this kind of tour, where you’re driven from one place to another with restricted time in each place, making exploring and being spontaneous near impossible. However, I think we made the right decision. Nusa Penida is big and barren, and while the island was stunning, there wasn’t much to do in each place. Except for the fellow tourists and a few warungs, there wasn’t anything else.
We started the day by getting up and early in Nusa Lembongan, then off to the quay at the northeastern part of the island. This area was also famous for the mangrove forest and snorkeling spots.
We hopped on a traditional boat with a man called Captain Bobo, and this is where I began to feel both panicked and annoyed. Clearly, there wasn’t any concern for safety whatsoever, as there was no life vest on board (only one old, rustic ring), and the so-called captain parked himself at the rear of the boat (where all the engines were), then continued to drive and smoke. Smoke! With all the fuel and everything was there. I half expected the fuel tank to explode at some point, and it made it impossible for me to enjoy the boat ride, even with this view.
Twenty minutes later, we arrived safely at Toya Pakeh, the port in Nusa Penida. While waiting for our tour guide, we dipped our toes in the water (so refreshing), and I took some pictures. The place looked promising already, but we hadn’t seen anything the island had to offer.
Fifteen minutes later, the tour guide arrived and we began the trip. The road was long and winding, and the drive was really bumpy. It was clear that this island wasn’t as developed as Nusa Lembongan, or even Nusa Ceningan. Everywhere we looked, there were only trees and bushes, and no people (barring the touristic spots). It felt like the time had stopped, and we were in another dimension.
Our first stop was Broken Beach (no idea why it was called Broken Beach. I should’ve asked my tour guide). When we got there, it was quite early and there was no one. Having the place all to ourselves was a treat!
Our tour guide then asked if we wanted to go up on a cliff on the other side of the beach. “But we need to be careful,” he said. Feeling adventurous, we said yes.
And so we walked on the rocky ground to a cliff that was jutting out into the sea, with the waves roaring below us. I had to step really carefully and avoid thinking what would happen if I lost my footing, so I distracted myself by taking lots of pictures.
And this was the closest I could get to the edge, before the vicious sea below made me dizzy and forced me to retreat.
The next stop was a neighboring spot, Angel’s Billabong. It was a 5-minute walk from Broken Beach, which doesn’t sound much, but the sun… Oh the sun. It definitely made it feel a lot longer.
The Water Blow
After Angel’s Billabong, we hopped into the car and drove again, this time to a place called The Water Blow. We had to walk through the cornfield to reach the end of the peninsula, and once again found that we had the place to ourselves.
And once we were there, we knew why it was called The Water Blow.
Witnessing this was somewhat relaxing. You could see the waves coming from afar, getting closer and closer until they finally crashed onto the rocks, exploding into million droplets and forming a fleeting translucent curtain. Within moments, it was gone, and the white bubbles left a trace on the surface, making a patch of light blue in the sea of cerulean blue.
If you stand too close to the edge, you’re putting yourself at risk of being drenched.
This place was seriously a marvel, and the fact that no one was here made it feel like we were on a private island (well, I could dream…).
The literal translation of ‘kelingking’ is ‘pinky’, as in the small finger. And maybe, it has something to do with this feature of the beach…
Well, it does look a bit like a pinky.
This place was incredibly beautiful, although it was quite full of people when we were there. The clear sky, the blue water, the stretch of rocks, everything looked as if they just came out of a photo which had been edited with the contrast and saturation set to the maximum.
There was a (dead) tree at this place called Pohon Cinta, aka the ‘Love Tree’. I cringed at the name, but it was a popular photo spot, with people lining up to get their pictures taken. To be fair, it was quite picturesque, all the more so with the blue sky and ocean in the background.
The tour guide was urging me to climb the tree so I had a photo of me there, so I did. It was scarier than I’d thought! The branch was a lot higher than I’d expected, and I was literally hugging the trunk the entire time as I felt I’d fall down if I let go. Anyway, there was no good picture of me on that tree, sorry! 😉
Crystal Bay Beach
The last beach on the tour, and unfortunately the worst of them all. I could tell this was the ‘famous’ tourist spot, thanks to the telltale sign that marks most of popular touristic places in Indonesia: litter everywhere. A very sad truth.
I found it hard to take photos without litter and/or people in it. I finally managed to get some, but I wasn’t too happy with the results (thanks partly to the gray sky as well).
We were planning to snorkel here, but canceled due to the bad weather (besides, the litter was such a huge turnoff that I doubt we’d have gone with the plan even if the weather had been stellar). We spent less than 15 minutes in this place before going back to the port.
A few things I learned from this day trip:
- Nusa Penida is stunning.
- And it’s really big. The local weather seemed to differ from one another. Forget the weather forecast, it was useless (or maybe it was just my app).
- I’d never seen that many shades of blue before. I didn’t even know there’d been that many shades of blue. This place has a lot more shades of blue than any other place, I think.
Nusa Penida, you’re a beauty. There are only very few things that make me proud to be an Indonesian, and this is one of them.
Other posts from the trip: