The first time I visited Indonesia was in 1982, as part of my journey round the world. I stayed 4 weeks in Java and 2 weeks in Bali. After 32 years I finally returned to this beautiful country wih its many islands. This time I explored some of the Sunda Islands on motorbike, a Honda Tiger 2000. The trip was organized by Travel2Explore and was called the Sunda Islands Motor Challenge 2014 and took place from 10 September till 4 October.
Click on a day image to go to the photo album of that day (not for day 1, 2, 3 and 25).
On Wednesday morning September 10th I met my 2 fellow travellers Martin and Ronald at Schiphol. At 12 o'clock the plane left and with Malaysia Airlines we flew to Bali with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur where we arrived around six o'clock in the morning. It was a long night without sleep.
Around nine o'clock we continued our flight and 3 hours later we landed safely at Denpasar Airport, where we had to wait for an hour before a driver from an Indonesian travel agency finally arrived. He drove us in a minivan to our hotel, Puri Kelapa Garden Cottages, in Sanur on the southeast coast of Bali.
Puri Kelapa Garden Cottages had a few dozen cottages, situated in a lovely garden, full with trees and plants and a swimming pool and was run by a friendly and helpful staff. The Warung Taman Restaurant was on the same ground and run by a group of charming young girls. In the late afternoon and evening a very friendly lady, called Mama by most of the customers, was in charge of the place. She was always in for a chat and most of the time she did that in the customer's language. I soon found out that she was willing to serve us dishes that were not really on the menu, like es campur. It was no wonder then that we had all our meals at this place! The hotel was also near the beach, just a 5 minute walk down the street.
In the late afternoon we explored Sanur. The area near the beach was full of restarants, souvenir shops and bars. It was an easy going place with a relaxing atmosphere. Ronald and Martin went to a bar for a few drinks, while I headed back to the beach to go for a swim. Too bad it was already low tide, so not much swimming was done. Instead I followed Sanur's beachfront walk, a long promenade lined with expensive resorts, beachfront cafes small boutiques and wooden fishing boats. I took the northern path which was about 1 kilometer long. At the end a group of Hare Krishna's were making music while the women were dancing. I was quite surprised to find them also in Bali, but as the leader told me later, they started the first group in Bali just a few months ago. He asked me to visit their temple on Sunday, but then we were already on our way towards Flores.
In the morning I went for a swim. The surf looked good, but as I soon found out, it was also very dangerous to go beyond the flag. The current was very strong and I had a very difficult time swimming back to the beach. Luckily a rescue boat was already on its way and pulled me out of the sea. No more swimming in Indonesian waters for me!
We spent most of the day waiting for Erwin, our tourguide, to come with the motorbikes. Unfortunately he did not answer our phonecalls. But in the afternoon Mama give us his telephone number she had and we finally got hold of him.
In the late afternoon Erwin finally showed with the bikes and Sam, a trainee to become a tourguide. We introduced ourselves and finally we had our first ride on the bikes. But it was already too late for a long ride, so we just rode a few hundreds meters and back to get the feeling of the bike.
After a good breakfast (banana pancake with pineapple juice) we said goodbye to the friendly staff and kicked our bikes into life. In the early morning they were already blessed by the some of the staff to give us a safe journey. Finally we had hit the road!
It was rush hour by the time we left, but the traffic was not too bad. The road was good and the weather hot and sunny.
The first stop was at Pura Goa Lawah or Bat Cave Temple on the coastal road to Padang Bai. It is sacred cave full with bats. A few people were making offerings to the gods. Also at the beach across the road preparations were being made for another ceremony.
It was a short drive to Padang Bai where we had to wait a few hours before we could board the ferry to Lombok. The crossing to Lombok was nice with nice views of Mount Agung, Bali's highest and holiest mountain and a no longer active vulcano.
About five hours later we arrived at Senggigi on Lombok. From here we took the northern coastal road with spectaculair views over the Bali Sea. We were just in time to watch the sun set behind the Gili Islands. The next few hours we rode in the dark, with a short stop to eat a martabak, a stuffed pancake filled with eggs and topped with chocolate sprinkles, at a local foodstall. Around 8 o'clock we finally arrived at our hotel Pondok Indah Senaru with nice cottages in Senaru.
Distance: 159 km.
The hotel was beautifully located in the hills with nice views over rice terraces, tropical forest and the Sindang Gila waterfall. In nearby trees monkeys were having their own breakfast.
After our own breakfast, pancake with fruitjuice again, we left Senaru and drove the bikes over small winding and sometimes steep roads. All day we passed ricefields where people were harvesting the rice, plantations where fruits, onions and tobacco were growing and green forests. And Mount Rinjani was always in sight. From a viewpoint we and other visitors had nice views over Sembalun valley.
In many villages cloves and chillies were spread out on the streets to dry. In Lenek, a small village, we visited the local blacksmith and brick factory. Erwin explained that these villagers worked in corporations so that everyone could benefit from their hard work. After lunch in Pringgasela, a traditional weaving village where we and another tourist group were shown around, it was a short ride to Labuhan Lombok to board the ferry to Sumbawa. Two hours later we arrived at Poto Tano where another long ride in the dark lay ahead of us. But finally we reached the Kencana Beach Cottages, a few kilometers past Sumbawa Besar. The place was nice with cottages close to the beach and overlooking the Bali Sea.
Distance: 189 km.
In the morning we visited the exotic pasar Syketeng where we were also a nice attraction for the locals. After the visit to the market we went for a short tour round Sumbawa Besar. In a village nearby we visited a blacksmith. The people here lived in traditional wooden houses built on stilts.
For lunch Erwin took us to his sister who lived outside Sumbawa Besar. Her husband was a teacher in mechanics at the local highschool. They found it an honour to have us visit their home and Erwin's sister made us a very nice lunch with rice, meat, eggs, tempeh and vegetables. We spent the rest of the afternoon in our hotel. I went for a swim in the sea, exploring the underwater world, while Martin and Ronald were having a few drinks in the restaurant.
Distance: 40 km.
The main road was flat and quite busy with trucks, buses and motorbikes. The scenery was nice with ricefields and lots of trees such as palm and banana trees. Every village we passed had at least one mosque and sometimes another one under construction. It was easy and joyful riding. In Plampang we had a teastop where we made friends with a few girls travelling by bus and three men travelling on bicycle from Bali to Flores. We also visited a small woodcarving shop nearby.
In the Lambul Jambul area the road followed the coastline. We visited a small fishing village with a boatyard where wooden fishing boats were built. The temperature was rising into the forties by the time we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant on a hill top near Batas. The breeze was cooling, but we took a long rest before going further. The road was winding its way over low passes and along the coastline. Around every corner there was another nice view on the mountainous landscape or the coast with the many inlets and deserted beaches of Saleh Bay. We made another small stop at a salt field and finally late that afternoon we arrived exhausted at our hotel La'mbitu in the centre of Bima. In a small warung we ate dinner with our hands, a nice experience for some of us.
Distance: 265 km.
It was still dark when we left Bima and an 2 hour ride through the mountains of Eastern Sumbawa to Sape where we boarded the ferry to Flores. The ferry took us around the northern side of the Komodo Islands. It was an enjoyable voyage, just relaxing, reading, watching the locals and Erwin talking again to beautiful girls. After 7 hours we reached Labuan Bajo on Flores.
Our hotel, Golo Hill Top, was just a few kilometers away from the harbor. It was a nice place, situated on a hill and overlooking the bay and run by 2 Dutch women. It had a nice swimmingpool and the sunset view was beautiful. We had dinner in one of the many street restaurants at the bayside. They mostly served delicious seafood, but Erwin was willing to teach the girls of our restaurant how to cook a vegetarian meal. On the way back to the hotel we drank a few beers and fruit juices at the Paradise Bar where a local rock band was playing.
Distance: 80 km.
We made ourselves ready for a 2-day boattour to the Komodo Islands to see the famous Komodo dragons. It was just the five of us that boarded the little boat. The crew made us welcome aboard and for the next two days they would really take good care of us. We left Labuan Bajo in the morning and sailed around the many islands towards Komodo Island. In the afternoon we arrived at Pantai Merah (Red Beach), a lovely stretch of pink sand located at a small piece of land on Komodo Island. Here we explored the beautiful underwater world with its colourful coral and thousands of fish. In the late afternoon we sailed to Pulau Kalong (Bat Island), a small island covered with mangrove trees to watch a beautiful sunset and the thousands of fruit bats leave their nests to search for fruits on other nearby islands. That night we slept on deck with millions of stars to count.
In the morning we visited Rinca Island, which is part of the Komodo National Park and less visited than nearby Komodo Island. At the ranger camp our guide gave us some instructions before we set out for a 1 hour walk. We spotted the first Komodo dragons near the ranger camp. Amazing animals and not very active at this time of the day. The guide led us through some dry forests where we saw a few more Komodo dragons, some deer and a wounded waterbuffalo, attacked by a dragon. On the way back to the camp we saw a small Komodo dragon running passed us, probably on his way to the kitchen for a late breakfast. On the way back to Labuan Bajo we had a stop at Pulau Kelor for a nice lunch and some more snorkelling. We spent the night again at the Golo Hill Top hotel and for dinner we visited another small street restaurant at the bay side for another nice meal of seafood and vegetarian dishes.
We left Labuan Bajo in the morning and followed the Transflores highway. A nice road with lots of curves. We saw plenty of ricefields, some nice mountain views and all sorts of trees, such as banana and durian trees. But the small bamboo bushes were really impressive. When the road went through the mountains the temperature dropped a few degrees. After a few hours of riding we parked the bikes in Cara village in Cancar where after climbing a small hill we had amazing views over the lingko or spider web rice fields. I have never seen such ricefields before!
A short ride took us to Ruteng where Erwin had difficulties to find our hotel since it was located outside the center of the town in a small and nice neighbourhood. The rest of the afternoon we had enough time to do some laundry and resting. For dinner we had to ride to the center of Ruteng to find a cheap restaurant for dinner.
Distance: 133 km.
We spent another day on the Transflores highway with its countless curves and beautiful (mountain) views. Just outside Ruteng we passed the mysterious Ranamese lake, a deep crater lake surrounded by green forests. The roads were pretty good but every now and then whole stretches of roads were under construction with no warning signs to be found. So you still had to drive carefully as not be surprised by again another road construction. Because it was very dry those roads were pretty dusty and they gave you a sort of off road experience which we did not have much on these islands.
In a small village we visited a local arak distillery, but none of us felt like buying a small bottle of this very strong arak. We continued and in the afternoon we reached Bajawa, a pleasant town at a altitude of 1100 meters, which meant sweaters in the evening! We stayed at the lovely Happy Happy Hotel, which is run a Dutch couple.
Distance: 142 km.
This day we visited two traditional villages of the Ngada people. It was a short and nice ride from Bajawa over small and steep roads flanked by bamboe trees to the first village Gurusina. The huts were made of natural material and were built around the main square at different levels. In the middle of the square some small offering huts were built. The second village we visited was Bena, at the foot of Mount Inerie and just a 5 minute ride. We walked around the village and found a nice sheltered place to watch over the valley and the mountains surrounding the village. We took the long way back to Bajawa, riding over small roads and through little villages.
In the late afternoon I walked to the centre of Bajawa and had a look at the local market. Like most towns we had visited or came through sofar Bajawa was also not very interesting. The houses were simple and the streets dirty and full with traffic. The local mosque was small and still under construction. The most interesting place was the local market or bazar where it was always busy with people shopping. Almost everything was on sale here. At the end of the day small and nicely decorated vans were riding up and down to pick people who, after shopping, were going back to their own villages somewhere in the Florinese highlands.
Distance: 45 km.
We left Bajawa and headed north, across the mountains over small and winding roads, with nice views over the dry countryside with the mountains in the distance. At a teastop Erwin was again making friends with a local beauty. One hour later we reached the northern coast and had magnificient views over the seventeen islands of Riung, a small fishing village. We checked in at the Pondok SVD, a guest house built by a Catholic priest, a member of the Society of Divine Word. We left our luggage in the guest house and walked the 20 minutes under a hot sun to the waterfront where we boarded a small boat to sail to one of the seventeen island of Seventeen Islands Marine Park. While lunch was being prepared we explored the underwater world with its colorful coral gardens and thousands of fishes in all sorts, sizes and colors. After a tasty lunch with roasted fish, rice and salad we did some more snorkelling, swimming or resting. It was nice to get off the bike and enjoy the wonders of a tropical island. But much too soon we sailed back to Riung. The guesthouse had prepared a very nice dinner for us in the garden and with our beers and fruitjuices we enjoyed the food.
Distance: 74 km.
We said goodbye to the friendly staff who came to see us off. We followed the coastal road towards Mbay where we turned south, across the mountains again and followed another even more beautiful coastal road with views over black sand and cobblestone beaches and the blue sea to Ende, where we had a long lunch stop. It was another very hot day but after Ende we headed north again and into the mountains where it became much cooler. It was a very nice mountainous road to Moni at the foot of Mount Kelimutu and surrounded by green terraced ricefields. We stayed in the friendly guesthouse Bintang Lodge where dinner was served in random order.
Distance: 187 km.
It was still dark and cold when we left the guesthouse to see the sunrise at Mount Kelimutu. We parked our bikes in the National park and walked the last kilometers to the summit of the mountain. Unfortunately we missed the sunrise, because of our late departure. But is was still very nice to see the three crater lakes, each in a different color. It was a nice place to wander around and enjoy the views.
We went back to the guesthouse for breakfast and from here we started our last day of the tour. It was again a nice ride through the mountains, over small and winding roads, past ricefields and tropical forests. In the afternoon we reached Maumere at the northern coast, which we left quickly behind us. We followed the coastal road for a few more kilometers until we reached the Sea World Club Resort at Waiara beach, a real nice tropical holiday resort with beautiful cabins right on the beach. What a nice place to end a beautiful bike trip over 4 different Indonesian islands!
Distance: 130 km.
The last few days Erwin and I had been discussing how to spend my last week in Indonesia. Although the trip was more or less finished, Ronald and Martin would fly back the next day from Maumere to Denpasar and then back to the Netherlands, I still had one more week left. Then Erwin came up with the plan to ride the bikes back to Bali and spend a few days in his house in Lombok, so he could show me a bit of Lombok. Normally they would bring the bikes back on a truck, but with me here and Sam also willing to ride a bike, we only needed a fourth person for the remaining bike. Since Erwin knew quite a few people, among them many tourguides, on these islands, it was not a big problem to find him. The man he found was called Jensen and was willing to ride the fourth bike back to Labuan Bajo.
So it was time to say goodbye to Ronald and Martin who would spend another day in this luxurious beach resort, before flying back to Bali. We have had a nice time together with good rides, drinks and talks, thanks guys!
So it was back on the road again. The four of us, with me being the only one orang blanda in the group, left Maumere and headed the same way back to Ende and followed the Transflores highway to Bajawa. Sam was happy to ride a bike in stead of sitting behind Erwin as he had done the last 2 weeks. We were travelling the Indonesian way now, eating at cheap local restaurants and sleeping in cheap hotels where only Indonesians stayed. Sometimes these hotels were so cheap that they came wihout blankets and/or towels. But I liked it and it felt good to ride all the way back to Bali, although it was more or less the same route.
Distance: 275 km.
It was another long day on the road. We made another stop at that same arak distillery in one of the small villages we passed. This time Erwin bought a bottle of arak as a present for one of his friends. While we were resting a group of three persons on motorbikes passed us. Later in the afternoon we met them again at Ranamese lake. Two more guys on bikes stopped there and we were exchanging info about the road and so on. The three guys, a father and his two sons Hendrik and Jimmy, decided to join us, because they were also going to Bali and from there to Java where the father lived. But somewhere along the road we lost sight of the three guys when we had a lunchstop in a little town. Just as we wanted to leave it started to rain, the first and only rainshower I had in Indonesia. We waited a while but decided to leave anyway, because Erwin wanted to reach Labuan Bajo that evening, so that we could catch an early ferry to Sumbawa the next morning. The ride in the rain was cold and slow, but luckily it did not last very long. And when the sun came out our clothes were drying up fast. Just before we reached Labuan Bajo my gearcable snapped, probably because of the last kilometers of bad roads. It was fixed by Erwin and Sam in no time, but it was already dark when we went looking for a cheap place to stay.
A friend of Erwin had invited us for dinner and lots of drinks, mostly arak and beer, afterwards. After playing a few rounds of chess by Erwin and his friend, who was also a tourguide, we headed around midnight back to our hotel.
Distance: 265 km.
We thanked and said goodbye to Jensen who would take the bus back to Maumere, a two day journey. We boarded the ferry already early in the morning where we had to wait for a few hours before the ferry left for Sape on Sumbawa. The three guys from yesterday were also aboard and Erwin invited them also to his house in Lombok. The father rode a Honda scooter and the 2 sons rode expensive 150cc Yamaha's, where Jimmy's bike was really fancy with flashing head and tail lights in different colors. When we were riding in the dark his bike looked like a disco on two wheels! In the late afternoon we arrived in Sape where Erbon, another friend of Erwin, was waiting to drive the fourth bike back to Bali. We rode, mostly in the dark, via Bima to Dompu where we spent the night in another cheap hotel.
Distance: 113 km.
A long day of riding lay ahead of us, because Erwin wanted to reach his house on Lombok that evening. That would give me a whole day to see a bit of Lombok and an extra day on Bali. The roads were good and mostly flat, so we made good time. No more sightseeing stops, just short stops for a drink, a bite and a smoke. Erwin brought us again to his sister near Sumbawa Besar for another good lunch. And again we were very welcome by her and her husband. They were also surprised and happy to see me again.
We arrived in time in Poto Tano to catch the ferry to Lombok and a few hours later we set foot in Labuhan Lombok. We rode straight to Erwin's house in Pringgasella where we arrived exhausted around eight o'clock in the evening. I recognized the house from an earlier visit. The house we had visited two weeks earlier in the weaving village of Pringgasella turned out be Erwin's house and the woman who had served us lunch was his wife, Anna! She had made us all a very nice dinner and soon after I went to my room on the first floor. Erwin explained that he was still working on his house, the first floor was not finished yet. My room and also his children's rooms lacked doors and windows. There were also no beds, so I slept on a matrass on the floor. Erwin was honoured to have a foreigner sleeping in his house, but I also felt honoured to have been invited into a local house for a few nights. When I was taking a shower the three guys decided to leave, because they wanted to catch a night ferry to Bali. It was really sad that I could not have thanked them for the nice time we had together. Although we could not speak to each other it was nice to ride and share food together.
Distance: 315 km.
After a very early wake up call by the local imam from the mosque next door and a good breakfast a few hours later Erwin took me for a ride to the coast to show me a few deserted and beautiful beaches. In a small village nearby we visited a local tobacco factory. A few minutes later we made another stop and had tea with Erwin's second wife, who lived in a separate house together with their young son. Sam's place was nearby, so another stop was made and more tea was served. I met his wife and baby and some of the neighbours who came out to see a white foreigner. After the tea we headed for Labuhan Haji, a fishing villahe at the coast. From there we followed the coast in a southern direction. We visited a local salt factory, where the salt was piled up in baskets, looking like giant icecream cones.
Erwin took me to a few beaches around the Ekas Bay area, in the southeastern part of Lombok. The roads in this area were really bad, so we did not see many tourists. One beautiful beach was reached after descending a rocky path on bike. Here we saw a few Indonesian tourists and in the bay a few sailing boats were waiting for tourists. After a quick foto stop we headed back to the main dirt road and followed it further to the next beaches. Some of the beaches were only accessible on foot, descending a steep path, other beaches could be reached also on motorbike. It was rough out here with nice views over the many white sand beaches of Ekas Bay. It was really undeveloped out here, with just small paths or bad roads. There were a few fishing villages but no hotels or resorts and also no palm trees. Do not come here if you are looking for a postcard tropical beach!
We had a cold lunch, cooked by Anna, on a beautiful deserted beach. In the late afternoon after some more off road riding to see more deserted beaches we rode back to Erwin's second wife for a tatsy diner together with Sam.
Distance: 145 km.
We left Erwin's house just before sunrise and rode directly to Senggigi, a two hour ride, to catch the fast ferry to Padang Bai on Bali. A few hours later we were back on Bali where we followed the main road to Denpasar. Around lunchtime we reached the hotel where I had stayed before, the Puri Kelapa Garden Cottages in Sanur. The girls from the restaurant and the staff from the reception gave me a warm welcome back. It was time to say goodbye to Erwin and Sam, they would take the bus back to Lombok, early next morning. Terima kasih banyak for a wonderful and adventurous holiday and hopefully see you all soon again.
In the late afternoon I went for a swim. It was low tide so I just floated lazily in the shallow water, letting the last weeks pass by again. The beautiful beaches, the mountains and volcanoes, the ricefields, the good food and healthy fruitjuices and of course the colorful and friendly people of the Sunda islands had made it a holiday never to forget!
Distance: 115 km.
The day before I had booked the Bali Rocky Downhill Mountain Cycling Tour, organized by Bali Rocky, a small Balinese company that organizes adventure programs such as cycling and rafting in Bali. I was picked around seven o'clock and the second person to be picked up in Sanur was Bob, a very friendly guy from India. We had to pick up some people in Ubud, so we had enough time to get to know each other. He had quit his job in IT and was now travelling around South East Asia, before returning back to India. In Ubud 2 women and one man from Australia and two guys from the Netherlands stepped into the mini van. We were complete now and the driver took us first to a small park with birds and reptiles in cages and where we also had a coffee and tea try out. After trying out some (un)known tropical fruits we continued and arrived finally in Kintamani, a small touristy village on the crater rim of Mount Batur, a still active volcano. In a small restaurant we had breakfast with nice views of Mount Batur and its crater lake.
After breakfast it was a short ride to the starting place where the bicycles were already waiting for us. We choose a bike and a helmet and started cycling mostly downhill over small roads through villages, past temples and green ricefields. Unfortunately one of the Aussie women crashed, while warning us for a bad stretch of road. She was hurt pretty badly and decided to continue the trip with the backup van, joined by the other Aussie woman for support. We had a short stop at a school and a traditional house in one of the villages, where we had some conversations with the family. Our guide, a young Balinese guy was very enthousiastic and explained us many things about the places we passed and Balinese life. Almost every house in Bali had a small altar or temple in the garden for daily offerings. Many villages had, before entering the village, statues on both sides of the streets. It look really nice, but I had no idea what their purpose was.
After a few hours the cycle tour ended, much too soon to my liking, in a restaraunt where lunch was served. The ride back to Ubud, where we got stuck in a traffic jam on Monkey Forest road for almost an hour, and from there to Sanur took several hours. In the meantime Bob and I had decided that we would hire a car to do some sightseeing the next day. When I finally arrived in Sanur it was too late to go for a swim in the sea. Later I went for dinner at the usual restaurant and Mama was so glad to see me safe and well that she give me a big hug. She had been very surprised when Ronald and Martin came back without me last Saturday. She was happy for me that I had enjoyed the trip and Erwin's and Sam's company.
Bob picked me up after breakfast and explained that due to the Balinese road system it was not possible to see all the places he and I had wanted to see. The most roads ran from south to north. There were not so many roads that ran in eastern and western directions, so most of the time you had to go back the same way you came, go east or west and then north again. Also the roads inland were not that very good that you could do a lot of mileage in a day. So Bob and the taxi driver had had some discussion earlier about what places we could see that day. For me it was okay, since I had already seen a few places in 1982.
The taxi driver knew quite a lot about his country, so he and Bob were talking most of the time and discussing topics about religion, politics and history. I really enjoyed listening to them. The first stop was in Mengwi, north of Denpasar and on the road to Singaraja on the north coast, to visit the beautiful Taman Ayun Temple. We walked around for an hour, looking at the pavillions and the temple complex with its many towers and shrines. We drove further north to Bedugul to visit the beautiful Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, a Balinese Hindu Temple, set at the lakeside of Bratan.
We had lunch in a nice and small road restaurant named Cafe Tahu in the Bedugul area, where they only served tofu specialties. As dessert we had es campur, a first time experience for Bob. Next stop was at Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest, near Tabanan, where we fed peanuts to the monkeys and saw huge flying foxes hanging from a tree. From here it was a short ride to Beraban where we visited the famous Tanah Lot temple on a large rock in the sea. On the way to the temple we passed a shopping street with lots of souvenirshops. It was a very touristy and commercialized place so we did not stay very long at this beautiful place. It was low tide so we walked to the cave below the temple. In here was a source for freshwater (a holy spring) and if you made here a small offer, you were allowed to visit the temple on the rock. On the way back to the car we bought some souvenirs in one of the larger shops. The plan was to continue to Uluwatu, another famous temple near the sea and south of Denpasar, to see the kecak or monkey dance, while the sun was setting. Too bad that we got stuck again in a traffic jam, since there was only road through Denpasar to get to Uluwatu on the Badung Peninsula. Instead we the driver took us into Denpasar to visit the Bajra Sandhi Monument, also known as the monument to the Struggle of the People of Bali. It was already dark when we arrived at the monument, but it was already closed. So the last few hours of our trip was a bit of a disappointment, but overall it had been a nice day. We had seen some nice and interesting places, the driver had given us lots of information on Balinese life and Bob was a nice person to travel with. Too bad that Bali had become such a touristy place, but there were still enough places left to be visited a next time. Back at the hotel I thanked Bob and the driver for a wonderful day. It was really nice meeting you, Bob!
Since my flight back to the Netherlands was in the afternoon I decided to rent a bicycle and cycle along Sanur's beachfront walk, taking this time the southern part which ran for a few kilometers along the coast. Again I passed luxerious hotels and resorts, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. The promenade ended near the main road to Kuta and why not, let's go to Kuta and Legian. It was busy on the road to Kuta, but I arrived safely in Kuta and found after cycling around for a while the road to the beach. The whole area was packed with hostels, hotels, bars, restaurants, boutiques and souvenirshops. The beachline itself was less packed with hotels as I had expected. On the beach a few surfing schools were explaining the students the beginnings of surfing.
In August 1982 I had stayed a few days in Legian in a small losmen, a simple familyhotel. These losmens were of course not around anymore. I also did not recognize anything I saw in Kuta and Legian, but what did I expect after 32 years? After a short rest at the beach I cycled back through Kuta trying to find the road back to Sanur. I ended up on a different road, passing small villages until I reached the main road just before Sanur. Via some back streets I reached the promenade again and rode back to the hotel for a last lunch. I thanked the girls from the restarant and the staff from the reception for their kindness and friendliness. Terima kasih banyak and selemat tinggal Indonesia and see you next time!
A taxi brought me to the airport where I had problems checking in. For some reason I was not in the system of Malaysia Airlines. It took the staff about 20 minutes to get me into the system and without any more problems I boarded the plane to Kuala Lumpur at 4 o'clock. With another stopover in Kuala Lumpur I arrived after a long flight around 7 o'clock the next morning at Schiphol Airport.
Click here for the roadmap.