Sanur, 25th of August 2018. After a couple of days chilling on the beach, we were ready to explore more of the beautiful island. We knew renting a scooter on Bali was the easiest, most convenient and cheapest way to discover the surroundings at our own pace. The challenge was that there were so many things to see and do - it was a bit overwhelming!
After some research, we defined two routes to explore by bike – one around waterfalls up northwards, and the other – beaches and temples westwards. We started with the former since the route was shorter (80 km) and allowed a gentle start for the girls joining us for the ride. The sisters had rented a motorbike for the first time in Indonesia.
To help you navigate
Map & Itinerary
Here below is the google map with key stops on day 1 - 80 km (covered in this post) and day 2 - 110 km (covered in a separate post). Click on the icon in the top left corner of the map to expand the legend and see all the stops.
About Indonesian hospitality
This is an anecdote from the night before we did the scooter tour. We felt like sharing it with you because it was very memorable for us and will give you a better feeling of what it is like to be in Bali and Indonesia in general.
One of the evenings we met up with two German sisters we had met back in Jakarta. Besides being lovely people super fun to hang out with, they had truly become our Yahtzee partners, so we were very excited to meet them again in Bali. Since the girls were staying downtown Denpasar, we agreed to meet in a pub between our hotels. Unfortunately, the chosen pub either never existed or seized to exist (again! Thanks, Google!) – instead of the pub we found ourselves on a small dark road in front of something looking like a garage.
Being in the middle of nothing-happening it was challenging to find any place to grab a beer. Stubborn, we were determined to find a solution. We got so lucky when a lovely lady running her little grocery shop just let us buy beer in a supermarket and hang out in her shop. She basically stayed open just for us. We did buy a couple of snacks from her to somehow repay her, but it was peanuts in comparison to the favor she did us. This is just another example of Indonesian hospitality and willingness to help – we were all awestruck and deeply grateful 🙏
Let the adventure begin!
Now back to our story 🙂
We left rather early - 08:30 (although with a slight delay). Somehow we just couldn't wake up in the morning and kept walking around like zombies, incapable of packing a bag for the road. Can't wait for the first stop and a cup of coffee!
Luckily, the morning grumpiness disappeared the moment we left the city and hit the narrower scenic routes of the countryside. It was fantastic – windy roads, rice fields, little villages, kids in their uniforms running to and from school and very little traffic. We were laughing and enjoying our time!
Stop 1 - Taman Nusa (only stopover)
The first stop was Taman Nusa – a temple we had found on google maps. Turned out it was not exactly a temple, but rather an ethnographic museum displaying cultures from all over the country. You could do all sorts of workshops with local craftsmen and explore architecture typical for various islands of Indonesia. It sounded truly interesting and something you would spend a whole day at. It was also unfortunately way over our budget (300 k/person). I am sure this would be a great place to go to with kids. All things considered, we voted to skip it and move on to the next target.
Stop 2 - Kantolampo
On our way we saw a sign towards Kantolampo waterfall and decided to make an unplanned stop – it was absolutely worth it! Once we descended a couple of rocky steps, we could jump into a river and stand under a waterfall.
Luckily, we had bought a plastic mobile phone holder which allowed us to take pictures in wet conditions. The pictures turned out slightly foggy, but at least we could take some without destroying the phone The fun extra service at the waterfall are guys constantly around offering to take pictures of visitors. These are not your regular legs-cut-off photographers, they knew exactly how "instagrammable" poses look like Was hilarious to watch. Either we looked not cool enough to way too cool (leaning towards the latter), but nobody offered us to take a picture, so we had to rely on our own skills and creativity 😉
Stop 3 - Tibumana Waterfall
Totally pumped and refreshed after the first waterfall we continued to the Tibumana waterfall. The little path which led to the hidden waterfall was gorgeous – there were so many exotic plants, colorful flowers, three million shades of green and a distant sound of water falling. Making our way through this wonderland, we felt like some nature explorers and treasure hunters. A pity the walk was so short! The beautiful Tibumana waterfall formed a little swimming pool with refreshingly cool water which we didn’t delay jumping into. We were full of childlike joy and happiness.
Stop 4 - Lunch
Excited about the waterfalls, we completely missed the lunch hour (as usual). To our absolutely delight, there was a little warung with a beautiful view over rice fields just around the corner. The woman running the restaurant was all alone since all her little helps were in a temple (the sort of information it would have been good to have before ordering). Naturally, us going for four different dishes and different fresh juices didn’t speed up the food preparation process. Luckily, when we almost started to get too hangry to hold a friendly conversation and slowly started considering cannibalism (jk), the food finally arrived. Funny how being hungry affects your social skills 😉
Stop 5 - Batuan Temple
It was getting late, so we had to skip a couple of points we originally had in our plan. We stopped at Batuan temple, got our colorful sarong and spent following half an hour exploring the woodcarving, painting and sculpture artwork of the temple. Looking back now, I wish there was a guide to tell us about the particularities of Balinese temples, deities, traditions so that we could have learned a bit more besides “just” admiring the architecture and getting our knowledge from Wikipedia.
Stop 6 - Pantai Purnama
It was necessarily the weather nor the time of the day for swimming, but we nevertheless stopped by the beach. The waves were wild and strong. There was a couple doing a photo shooting for their wedding album. Otherwise, there was almost nobody else except for us.
We took short break to observe the ocean, breathe in fresh air and see the day slowly into night. Another great day in Bali 🙂
Stop 7 - Man Shed
This is a great place to have a beer and banana pancakes after a day exploring the island. Despite what the name suggests, ladies (and even kids) can be spotted here. We really enjoyed coming here. The atmosphere is great, the service - super friendly and the little local cat - extremely charming 😉
A perfect spot to finish the day in a great company!
What to pack
- Dry bag - if you don't want to leave your bag on the shore, you might need something waterproof
- Waterproof phone bag
- Snacks (dried fruits, banana or whatever else) - have a quick bite not to starve
- A big bottle of water
- Long-sleeve jacket (for the evening)
- Dry clothes/underwear (not particularly fun driving around with a wet bum the whole day)
- Sunglasses (especially for driving on a scooter - sun/wind/insects - not all helmets have a shield ;))
- Travel first aid kit (better safe than sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
When it comes to shoes, it is really a matter of preference. You have three main options... Flip-flops are easy to get in and out, especially when jumping into waterfalls, but not the safest for driving nor walking on the slippery surfaces in the forest. Wet shoes are great for both, but are unpleasant to wear the whole day if wet. Sport shoes are comfortable and safe, but might be more time consuming to put on and off. A plus is wearing them in the evening when it gets colder. Did we make it easier for you? 🙂 sorry...
We drove in flip-flops, whereas the girls had sneakers on. You can always wear sport shoes and pack flip-flops, but it does mean more stuff to carry.
Daily budget for two
|Bike rental||60k IDR|
|Entrance to the waterfalls||40k IDR|
|Entrance to the temple||20k IDR|
|Lunch and dinner||200k IDR||Total||340k IDR (apx. 20 EUR)|
Planning to launch on a scooter adventure around Bali and still have questions? Make sure to check out our itinerary 2 - Beaches and Temples or drop us a line. We would be glad to help you with whatever we can 🙂