We felt sad to be leaving Jukung Guest House and Sanur as we had really loved our time there and felt very comfortable. We enjoyed our last delicious breakfast, packed and checked out.
We ordered a Blue Bird taxi to take us our next stop: Legian Sunset Residence, Legian, near Seminyak, which we booked using AirBnb. We were impressed with the size of our place, being the first time we’d had a lounge area and kitchen since we left the UK – not that we did any cooking during our stay!
Upon arriving, we did our usual and headed out to explore the local area, including grabbing lunch and dinner.
Seminyak had a similar feel to Sanur, but had more boutiques and upmarket shops and restaurants, including a big surf scene.
We decided that our first full day had to be a beach day! The beach strip works its way for miles and we walked along it north from Legian Beach all way to Petitenget Beach around two miles. It was a stunning walk with the sea breeze and walking with our feet in the ocean the whole way. We stumbled across this swing on our walk… they do like a swing in Bali!
Being bare foot on the sand away from the water was so incredibly hot and our feet were literally burnt bright red afterwards.
Part of our mission walking up the coast was to arrive at Cafe Organic to enjoy some smoothie bowls and wow they were delicious!
After our tasty smoothie bowls, we fit in some beach lounging time while listening to Ed Sheehan; who we have discovered either Balinese people really love or they think tourists do (which is pretty accurate, we guess) as he is playing everywhere. We went to a ‘Warung’ for dinner, which is a small, usually family run restaurant or cafe, serving traditional food at a cheap price, similar to street food. We both ordered crispy noodle dishes, which just seemed to be uncooked noodles with chicken and vegetables, they tasted pretty okay considering… we just wouldn’t order it again!
We then caught the incredible sunset on Legian Beach, it was beautiful and even though it was busy, we managed to get close to the seafront to take in this wonderful view.
After being in Bali for nearly two weeks, instead of the pancakes and toast style breakfasts, we both finally chose to have a traditional Indonesian breakfast, which was Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Mie Goreng (fried noodles), cooked this time! These dishes are served with fried egg, vegetables and crackers and it was surprisingly enjoyable at breakfast time…still slightly strange though!
Then one of the most ‘normal’ things we’d had to do since we arrived…laundry, where we found a place around the corner who charged IDR20,000 / £1 per kilogram, to clean, dry and iron everything, which we were sadly quite excited about.
That morning after checking the Bali Sea Turtle Society’s Facebook page for days hoping for a turtle release event, they put a status up saying they may have enough turtles for a release that afternoon. This was enough to get us rushing down to Kuta Beach with everything crossed! We arrived and saw a queue had already started and a signboard saying there would be a release at 4:30pm. Lauren couldn’t contain her excitement. After waiting quite a while we collected our tokens which we had to bring back at 4:15pm to collect a baby turtle. It was so exciting sitting with the tokens knowing we would be collecting a baby turtle in an hour. We waited nearby at a beach bar and had a drink to pass the time.
Then the time came to collect our turtles, together with 250 other excited people, and line up along the beach to release them into the ocean. Ours were pretty quick and scurried off towards the sea in no time at all, considering how far they had to go! It was a magical experience being able to release a couple of baby turtles into the ocean and to support the cause. It has been on our bucket lists for a long time, and is now ticked off!
As we were in Kuta, we decided to wander around but we were not really impressed. It felt like a cheaper and busier version of Seminyak and Sanur and more people trying to sell you things – you do say the words ‘no thank you’ more than anything else in Bali, even more so during our short time in Kuta. We did however enjoy an incredible sunset before heading off!
As we walked home we walked through the bustling club and bar scene, which was like nothing we’d experienced. It wasn’t that late and already there were so many lights and so much music blaring into the street…we can safely say that we weren’t tempted to stay!
We arrived back near our hotel and after awkwardly walking past a restaurant right nearby everyday, where the owner asked us in for dinner and lunch every day, we finally obliged and enjoyed some good food and company. It was interesting to get to know him, being the only people in the restaurant, and to hear more about the Balinese way of life. Throughout our stay it has been so impressive how good the local peoples English is, especially considering how little we know of other languages.
Super relaxed day, which included finding a local vegan restaurant called ‘Tasty Vegan’ for dinner.
Our day began at 6.40am being picked up from our hotel by a lovely driver, Wayan. We arrived at Sanur harbour to catch our boat to Nusa Penida. We did arrive extremely early and had an hour wait before our boat, so decided to walk along the harbour and grab some coffee at a nearby coffee house. We met a friendly Australian couple there who had moved to Bali just over a year ago and had a good chat about Bali and Australia.
We then caught our boat to the island and met our lovely driver there… another Wayan! In Balinese culture most people name their first born child Wayan (which is why there are so many!) or Putu or Gede. The second born is called Made or Kadek. The third born Nyoman or Komang and the fourth Ketut. These names are given regardless of gender and once a family has had four children the cycle is repeated again. All we could think was how difficult it must be in the schools!
We headed straight for Kelingking Beach, which was about an hour drive up some very steep and incredibly bumpy roads! We arrived early and it was already quite busy but people were curtious in lining up and allowing people time to get photos and sit on the edge. Having our private driver also meant private photographer, which was great to be able to get some shots of both of us… he even climbed a tree at one point! The views were spectacular! We had seen photos of it and were worried it wouldn’t live up to expectations, but it looked exactly the same and so beautiful with the blue sky behind and vibrant blue sea.
Next, we visited Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach, which were next to each other, enduring more bumpy and hazardous roads. We were most impressed here, maybe because we’d seen and heard less about the two spots. Either way it was awesome to walk around and capture the sights.
Lastly, the tour involved a couple of hours at Crystal Bay, where we had snorkelled on our previous tour. As we didn’t realise we’d have so much time at this place we hadn’t packed swimwear and didn’t fancy sitting on the beach. Luckily, Daniel spotted a inconspicuous stairway leading up from the side of the beach, that didn’t look very well travelled. We decided to see where it would lead and were very glad we did. It lead right up to the top of the cliffs. We could see across the whole bay, which was stunning. As we climbed up we passed a couple of travellers coming down who told us that the path lead up to the top and then back down the other side to a ‘secret beach’. It was a real hidden gem with only four other people there. We spent some time there before climbing back to Crystal Bay.
Having had an incredible day we were ready to catch our boat back to the main island. The tour was great, we loved our drivers and guides and Nusa Penida island has been a real favourite place for us. Our driver told us it has only been visited by tourists in the past two, three years and is vastly becoming a hot spot to visit; we saw lots of building work happening while we were there.
We were feeling pretty shattered after our long day in a Nusa Penida and had a relaxed day at the hotel. Lauren fit in massage number two at Luna Spa, which was a lot less relaxing this time including some serious back clicking, cracking and whacking!
After watching two sunset evenings on the beach whilst taking photographs, we decided to enjoy one with no cameras and to just watch from the beach and take it all in, which was really romantic. Then we treated ourselves to some late night desserts and drinks before heading home.
Overall we liked Legian and Seminyak, both very similar trendy, surfer areas with wonderful beaches and restaurants. The Bali Sea Turtle Society and sunset were the best things about Kuta by far and we wouldn’t rush to go back there. After experiencing the beachy areas of Bali we were ready to go to Ubud and experience more of the tradition and culture and to buy some sarongs!
Daniel and Lauren’s favourite thing – the turtle release on Kuta Beach
So that’s it for Seminyak and on to Ubud…