After Gili Meno, Lombok and Nusa Penida it was time to go back to Bali. We took the public boat from beautiful Nusa Penida and arrived again in Padang Bai.
Our next accommodation was booked for three nights in Candidasa.
Vacation from Vacation
Candidasa is a nice town 20min by car in the north of Padang Bai. In my personal opinion: I think we are not the target audience.
The city is a more of a coastline than a city. There is nothing to do or see (except one big stinky pond which is called lotus lagoon).
Due to it being off-season, there are many good resorts and hotels with great discounts (78% off!). Thats the reason why we booked us a nice bungalow next to the sea in a four-star resort and spa for three nights. Additionally, it was valentines day <3 So, why not? (Man gönnt sich ja sonst nix)
For the two of us it felt a bit weird, like vacation from vacation. But we had a good time there. Playing in the Pool, doing some Yoga, taking a massage and eating good (yet expensive) food. Anyway, Candidasa is not bad, but it was also not really exciting or very special.
After Candidasa, we wanted to move more towards the north of Bali. A local from Candidasa warned us that we should not go into the mountains because it’s super cold there. Yes, thanks for the hint, that’s exactly what we are looking for.
We decided to stay in Bedugul (a small city in the mountain area) for two days. The shuttle bus was good and surprisingly professionally organized. We arrived in Bedugul at midday. Enough time to find a nice accommodation on site.
Our biggest Garden yet
Bedugul is famous for two things. First, a small Hindu temple in the sea (pricy and very crowded) and secondly, the botanic garden. The garden is known for its Orchid collection and is the biggest one in Indonesia. On my last trip trough Indonesia, I visited the botanic garden in Bogor, next to Jakarta, and I was super impressed. Therefore, it can’t be a bad idea to go to the biggest botanic garden in the country. We found out that there is even a guesthouse directly in the garden and decided to stay there.
We just walked into the garden and luckily they had a room for us at a reasonable price. The guesthouse has around 15 rooms, a gigantic entrance hall and space for some meetings. It is intended more towards botanic researchers and conference attendees than backpackers and also not well advertised.
The man at the “reception” however, was super kind, even without any English skills. He showed us some rooms and tried to communicate with us as best he could. After check-in and payment we planned to go out for a walk. He just gave us the key to the whole building, because we were the only guests that day and he was going to leave soon.
After the temple visit and some street food, we went back to the guesthouse. The receptionist was still around and offered us some tea and coffee. (Apparently leftovers from some meeting in the guesthouse earlier that day).
It was a bit strange to know that we are the only ones in that big house in the middle of nowhere. The night was very quiet and we woke up pretty early.
Our plan for the day:
Explore the botanic garden and organize a transfer to our next accommodation in Seririt on the northern coast of Bali.
The day in the botanic garden was lovely and very calming. We just wandered around and explored the beauty of the tropical nature. A gigantic tree with a monkey, stunning view over the volcanic sea, beautiful flowers, a rainforest walk, many fern-trees and a bit crazy Indonesian people (one women just flipped out because she really wanted a selfie with me and was too excited to handle her smartphone).
Inside the botanic garden, there is even a high rope course. It is a bit pricy (I think similar to German prices), but a welcoming distraction from our trip and it was a lot of fun.
Some bruises, scratches and adrenaline rushes later I was done for that day.
In the afternoon, we found out that it is not as easy as we expected to get from Bedugul to Seririt. Most of the tourists want to go to Lovina. After a while we found a man with very limited English skills, who promised to organize “something” at a reasonable price. What exactly he organized got lost in translation. But so far everything worked out somehow. No reason to panic.
On the next day, we woke up quite early, did some frisbee and worked out in “our garden”. After packing our bags and checking out, we walked into the city to have breakfast in the only bakery far and wide.
The man from the previous day just showed up during our breakfast and told us that someone will pick us up at around 12. Money changed ownership and then he left again.
We waited very patiently – Everything will just work out! At 12:45 we discussed if there is reason to panic. We decided to contact the man on his WhatsApp. Five minutes later, the man and a public bus showed up and we were off towards the north.
The weather suddenly turned from super nice to super bad, nearly no visibility and as we reached Seririt it started to rain.
Since we arrived in a public bus, our transfer ended in the middle of a very rainy Seririt, about 4km away from our accommodation.
I don’t no why, but after one pastry we decided to walk the 4km to our next accommodation. Luckily the rain had stopped while we loaded up on sugar, chocolate and banana, but that also meant the sun was back. To make it short: exhausting, long hike.
Nothing to see
Seririt is known for… nothing. Maybe that is the reason most tourists aim for the nearby Lovina? Anyway, Seririt has good hotels at the coast and during off season they are pretty cheap. We stayed there for 3 nights in an awesome location. A Bungalow in the middle of rice fields with sea view. And again: we were the only guests. It was nice to have a chat with the owner, a widely travelled Australian guy.
We rented a scooter, because the bungalow was far off the beaten track and walking the 4km to Seririt once was more than enough.
We found a very good (but pricy) bakery in Lovina and visited the Holy Springs in Banjar. Travel-pro-tip: go there as early as possible and during the week. It was a nice experience to get a massage from artificial water falls and watch local families having fun in the hot springs, but I was especially happy that we were almost the only tourists.
Near to Seririt is a spectacular Buddhist Temple. It is well worth a visit and felt like a somewhat hidden and very calm place. It also made us learn a bit more about Buddhism afterwards.
Seririt was our last stop on Bali. The city itself is meaningless, the surroundings are nice, the street food is good and the locals are very nice and welcoming.
On our last evening on Bali, we had our first and at the same time last Bintang during sunset at the black beach. We looked back on the last month, spent on Bali, Gili Meno, Lombok and Nusa Penida. It was an amazing month with so many new impressions. One can spend way more time in that area of the world. But for now it’s time to move on. However, we are not leaving Indonesia – At least not yet. We are going west, towards Java. I really look forward to it…