The North of Bali

After having breakfast we checked out the hotel in Ubud and started our tour to the nor of Bali, to Lovina. Luckily we could let our big bags at the hotel for the 3 days we are away and only had to carry my backpack with the camera and a small bag with some clothes. We drove to a bigger town called Mengwi and from there all the way up to our first big stop at the temple “Pura Ulun Danu Beratan”. On the way there we had to drive up a lot and it was getting colder when we arrived the temple at 1200 meters above sea level. To park our scooter we had to pay 2000 rupees and another 30000 each to get in to see the temple. It is a beautiful garden and the part built out in the lake is very beautiful. In the beginning there were not too many people but 10 minutes after we arrived also some of the big buses full of tourists arrived and it wasn’t possible anymore to get a good picture without any head of some stranger in it. So this was he moment we decided to finish our small tour and go back to get our motorbike. At least we walked a little bit and relaxed our legs!

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After the temple we had to drive up the “mountains” and it was really cold up there. And of course we didn’t bring a pullover or jacket! We arrived a height where we were inside the clouds and it started raining. Only for a short time but I was happy when it finished. I didn’t like the wet roads too much 🙂 The way down went by fast and there were sitting a lot of monkeys beside the roads in the woods.

When we arrived Lovina, people started to talk with us. If we need a hotel or Dolphins tour or whatever. We said no for a lot of times but in the end they got us and 2 guys followed us to the hotel to show us their offers. We booked one day diving in Menjangan Island in the northwest of Bali and Dolphin watching in the morning before diving. We also got a private dinner for two at sunset on a small boat just outside the beach.

The hotel was almost empty and there were only two more guests around. The pool was nice and they had a big garden at the “Banyualit Spa ‘n Resort Lovina”. Also it was not expensive. After a swim in the pool we went down to the beach and had a beer while waiting for the sunset dinner. We started 18:30 and there was a fish and candles prepared and the view to the sunset was amazing!

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The next morning we started with Dolphin watching. The boat left 6 o’clock in the morning. Here were sooo many boats going out so I thought they will only scare the Dolphins and we won’t see them. I was right but the “captain” said we can’t go the next day again for “free”. We had to go back becaus pickup for diving was 8:30 and we had to eat breakfast first. We had enough time to do so and pickup was on time also. We went to the dive shop, Malibu Dive, to get our equipment and then left to the point we entered the boat for Menjangan Island. It was a little more then one hour by car until we arrived there.

The view to the island was great, the weather good and the sea very calm. It took us 15 minutes by boat to reach the first dive site. I was very excited and we had a good dive with some turtle, a shark and other fish swimming around! After that we had lunch and then left for the second dive. It was nice again but here is too much plastic at the dive sites! The corals are covered with plastic bags and all kind of packing stuff, bottles, cans, plastic bags and more is swimming around.

On the way back we asked a French guy what he paid for the diving as I had a bad feeling about the price as it was very expensive. And I was right. We payed so much more then he did! That’s he problem going to new places without getting information in advance. I should have known and be more careful with the guys selling this kind of day trips “on the street”. But he had a shirt from the dive shop, the recipe was branded with logo and address and everything looked correct. The book with prices, dive sites, … All was fake. And I was naive an thought they do this because it is off season!

Recipe Malibu Dive
Malibu Dive was great! Just the recipe was a fake.

The guy’s name was Brah. just in case someone reading my blog meets him around Bali, slep him in his face and kick his nuts! Thank you.

Brah's Contact Card
Brah’s Contact Card

In the evening we went for a beer to the beach and met Brah’s friend and dolphins watching captain Putu who told us that he will go and search Brah. Of course he didn’t returned. We waited there and had some more beer, then live music began to play and because we were the only guests we were talking with the guitar player and the service staff.

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It turned out a funny evening end ended with Indonesian Arrak.

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The next day we were at least picked up for the next try to see Dolphins and this time we were lucky and saw a lot of them! After his we went to the dive shop to ask why they work with Brah and then they told us he faked all the things he uses and he also has depts with them. So we went also to the Tourists Police just to feel better but of course they were not interested to help us a lot. Ari at least could drive in the police car try to find him and I followed by motorbike. They the. Called the number Brah gave us, the police talked to him, he wanted to talk to Ari, she told him to be a fraud but he just answered: “That’s my job!” At least this time he was honest 😉 after all this we finally started to drive back to Ubud. At was already after 13:00 and it was a long way.

We went to see mount Batur next to the city of Kintamani. It was cloudy and foggy so we didn’t see too much of the volcano.

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We continued our way to Ubud and shortly after we left we had our second meeting with the Indonesian police! This time they were more active then the ones in Lovina and closed all the road to control the cars and motorbikes. And of course I didn’t bring an international drivers license but that’s exactly what they wanted to see. After telli us we have to pay 1000000 rupees (70€), Ari told them that no and started to bargain with the police. We ended up with 400000 rupees what still was too much but I wasn’t in the mood and only wanted to return and give back the motorbike after the long drives these days.

In the end it was the best idea to rent a scooter to explore Bali! And we were told that also with an international drivers license it can happen that you have to pay as they say it’s not valid for Bali or tell you some other lies. Corruption is corruption and probably the best way is to know how to bargain / behave with the local police.

We arrived at our hotel again and went for dinner to an Italian restaurant. We had a delicious pizza and went to sleep early as we had to wake up early the next morning to get to the airport for our flight to Labuan Bajo, Flores!


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