Snippets of life, Travel Tales

Beach Hopping in Nusa Penida

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.

Broken Beach

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.

Angel’s Billabong

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…).

Kelingking Beach

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:

  1. Nusa Penida is stunning.
  2. 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).
  3. 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:

Postcards from Nusa Ceningan

Christmas on the Island

7 Ubud Favorites

Campuhan Ridge Walk

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  • Reply aggy87

    SO gorgeous Dixie! I love the Kelingking Beach, so stunning. I also worry when people ignore safety, especially when on a boat, can’t believe your driver was smoking :(!

    March 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Thank you Aggy! Kelingking Beach is one of my favorite spots in there too, despite its popularity it was relatively clean (unlike Crystal Beach!). Safety is my biggest concern here (I’m paranoid by nature so I always assume the worst), and I think in Indonesia, particularly in the tourism industry, it’s not the top priority. I think the lack of awareness is down to the barely existent control & regulations by the Indonesian government 🙁

      March 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm
  • Reply Christa

    Definitely putting this in my itinerary! 🙂 We’ll go in November… I know it’s still a long way to go but never too early to plan, right? 😉

    March 11, 2017 at 4:45 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Haha NEVER! 😉 It truly was a great experience, despite the barren land, everything was stunning and so pure, hadn’t touched yet by the investors with big bucks. Although when I was there, there was a construction of something that looked a lot like a 5-star resort, so I think it’s better to go there soon to experience the true feel of the island 🙂

      March 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm
  • Reply ohdearria

    Beautiful pictures Dixie! Love the Angel’s billabong. We’ve never been there, my husband always wanted to go there, but I’m skeptical about it. The pinky beach also nice. Defo will go there one day!

    When we were in Manado and went to Bunaken on a medium size boat, the crew also smoked near all those engines and guess whattt…..the engine exploded and the rear of the boat caught a fire! There were about 10 people including us on that boat. Omg, I’ve never ever forget that experience and how furious I was to those so called capten and the crew! Lucky, they managed to get the fire down pretty quick but we were very ready and close to jump to the sea! So, I can relate to your annoyed feeling!!

    Thanks for the post 🙂

    March 22, 2017 at 2:16 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Nusa Penida is relatively quieter than Nusa Lembongan, but also less accessible without a motorbike or car. Angel’s Billabong was stunning, but when you go there you might want to start early in the morning as it’s one of the touristic spots and it gets considerably hotter during the day.

      Omg, my experience was bad but it was nothing compared to yours! It sounds horrible, thank god nobody was injured. My last few trips in the recent months opened my eyes about the safety issues here, particularly in the tourism industry. I might write a post since I have a lot to say about that.

      And you’re welcome! Thank you for reading 🙂

      March 22, 2017 at 1:35 pm
      • Reply ohdearria

        Noted. Thanks again, Dixie. Btw, are you with WordPress? Somehow your feed doesn’t come out on WordPress app.

        March 22, 2017 at 2:55 pm
        • Reply Dixiezetha

          You’re welcome 🙂 And yes, I’m using WordPress, I don’t know why this happens. It’s been like this sometimes since I moved to 🙁

          March 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm

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