MY FIRST IMPRESSION OF INDONESIA
The Nusa Islands were an experience unlike anything I could have imagined. We spent four nights on the island, Nusa Lembongan. One of three islands off of the coast of Bali, and much more secluded than the main land. We arrived at the island on a ferry and I was immediately awe-struck by the beauty surrounding me. Crystal blue waters, lush forest, and an unbelievable vibe from the beautiful locals. We stayed at Taos House, a group of villas in the heart of Lembongan set on lush grounds. We were provided free breakfast every morning as well as a scooter that let us explore the entire island. The island felt untouched, its exquisite backdrop enveloping the entire island in beauty. There's little tourism on the island (could have also been the fact that the volcano had turned quite a few travelers away), but it was completely unlike the all-inclusive resorts I've experienced in the past. We immediately fell in love with the culture and truly sunk ourselves into it as best we could. The island is quite under-developed and although it was a shock at first, we became mesmerized by the islanders positive, kind spirits regardless of what their situations might be. Alongside the local feel, the island runs off of tourism and embraces an array of subtle retreats. There's no shortage of luxurious resorts with infinity pools stretching over cliffs with ocean views. We stumbled upon a couple of these hideaways and were pleased to find that most of them allow day access so long as you purchase food or drinks. We found ourselves drinking $4 margaritas while swimming in what felt like our personal infinity pools looking out over the ocean. It was a dream.
Once we felt we had seen our share of Nusa Lembongan, we drove our scooter across the yellow bridge to the nearest island, Nusa Cenigan. What might be the smallest in size of the islands was definitely not smallest in beauty. We walked along sheer cliffs overlooking crystal, blue waters. Eric found an ocean cliff-jumping spot where he nervously leaped out into the deep blue (happy to inform, no harm was done). We came across yet another resort with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean yet again and this time with a zipline running from one cliff, over the bay, to the cliff on the opposite side. We didn't hesitate to pay the whopping $8 to take part. On the third day of our Nusa Islands trip, we took the 30 minute boat ride to Nusa Penida, the largest of the three islands. It felt enormous on a scooter, taking us about an hour to visit each item on our list of must-see's. After reaching our first destination we were quickly discouraged by a monsoon that had us seeking cover in a tiny hut on the edge of Kelingking, otherwise known as the T-Rex. We were unable to do the walk down the cliff to the beach due to the rain but still managed to take some insta-worthy photos. It continued to pour down that entire day which unfortunately inhibited us from seeing most of what we had hoped to see. We made it to Crystal Bay but at that point were cold, wet and ready to get in a hot shower. A bit of a bummer, but a good excuse to have to go back some day! The food on the islands was amazing. For $4 we were able to walk out with full, satisfied tummies. We ate our fair share of Indonesian Warung but also managed to find a few more "modern" restaurants to keep our western taste buds satisfied. Favorite restaurants on the islands: - LGood Bar & Grill, Nusa Lembongan (Warung) - Tigerlilly's, Nusa Lembongan (Mix of modern and warung) - Oishii Bar & Grill, Nusa Lembongan (Only sushi on the island) Our experience on the Nusa Islands was abosulety amazing, we wouldn't trade our time there for anything. BUT, we do agree we'd love to come back some day when it isn't their rainy season... because we did unfortunately have to deal with A LOT of rain. We still made the most of our time there, but we could have seen and done even more had it not been monsoon season. So, it's just an excuse to come back again some day in the near future!