Just myself, a backpack with a towel and change of clothes and a motorbike.
The island had a different vibe then the main land it was so serene and encapsulating, almost as if it absorbed you into its world and never wanted you to leave…or maybe I just never wanted to leave.
Nusa Penida is an hour speed boat ride from the main land of Bali. It’s popular amongst tourists to come see the beautiful sights, but it is not nearly as busy or built up as the popular towns on Bali. The lack of tourists made it all that more enjoyable, exploring without anyone around reminded me of Iceland, it felt as though I had the entire world to myself.
Since it is not as built up as the main land the roads are well… shit.
Riding a motorbike on the mainland is dangerous because of the other drivers, riding a motorbike on Nusa Penida is dangerous because the roads are essentially a death trap.
The roads reminded me of being on a wooden roller, super bumpy, uncomfortable, and scary… an experience that is invigorating, but not all that enjoyable. Going down steep hills, the roads were extremely rocky and bumpy and I had no control over the bike…the breaks were useless. All I wanted to do was close my eyes and scream, but it was a ride that I was in control of… my eyes had to stay open. And good thing I did because I managed to leave the island unscathed, but my hands are a bit sore from squeezing the handlebars so hard. Although life threatening it was also exhilarating I found myself frequently gasping Holy Shit when getting back to flat road.
This enthralling experience reminded me of this experience of life…how sometimes life is rocky, uncomfortable, and unpleasant and all you want to do is shut your eyes until its over, but you can’t do that because this roller coaster ride of life is one that you’re in control of…one that requires an active participant in order to make it through.
I finished my first day of exploration at Broken beach, a cliff with an ocean expanse-the perfect location to watch the sunset. I got a coconut, and was really enjoying the Balinese guys singing karaoke but knew that if I stayed for the entirety of the sunset my ride back on these roads was not going to be pleasant. Thank goodness I left, because my motorbike light wasn’t working. So most of my ride back I had some light left from the sun, but the last 20 minutes or so I was in complete darkness unaware of what the road was like before me and if those coming towards me could see me – another heart wrenching experience.
Oh, but the adventures didn’t stop there.
The roads brought you to the beautiful cliff views, but if you wanted to enjoy the majestic ocean or the waterfalls that cascade into the ocean below that required a bit of an excursion. I give mas props to the Balinese people who managed to design a way for people to maneuver their ways down these cliffs. I definitely had a little too much faith in their architect capabilities, but it was so worth it and very fun as well. I wish more hikes required scaling cliff walls and sketchy wooden ladders, it really makes you feel like your livin’ on the wild side.
Every sight on the island is amazing, but one of my favorites was Seganing Waterfall, after a half hour of scaling the cliffs I made it to the bottom. I was happy to find no one else had made the trek. I had the sound of the powerful ocean waves crashing into the walls, a pool filled by the waterfall, and the majestic view all to myself.
I left the island with sore legs and arms, but every heart wrenching experience was so worth it. The exploration is unlike anything the main land has to offer. If you come to Bali, Nusa Penida is a must! (if you’re looking for an adventure at least)!