The best ribs in Bali – Ne Warung, Ubud

Well where to go for food on my last evening in Indonesia? Those that know me, know I love my food.

Took a wander up the road and ended up on Jalan Goutama at a place called Ne Warung. A cool old dude in traditional Balinese dress greeted me and I sat at one of their three tables. It’s a pretty small place and they have quite a small menu, but at least they are not trying to be a jack of all trades and master of none!!

The coolest dude ever:

Well they are masters of ribs. They were gorgeous. The meat fell of the bone, there was loads of it. Bloody great. Not in the picture but got some green beans and bean sprouts in some tasty coconut sauce which were also a delight. Washed dolwn with a beer. Happy days…

Seen as the ribs were great, at under a £1 I tried the Bubur Injin which was a Balinese black rice pudding with brown sugar, coconut milk and banana. Doesn’t look too appetising in the photo but it was lovely.

Time for bed soon. It’s Kuningan festival tomorrow morning so will hopefully see it before I head to the airport.

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Back in Bali and a short jaunt to Ubud – Thursday 8 June. Getting lost…

I know its been a while since I’ve posted and I’ve got so much more to post about Palmyra Indah, Astam and his 24 brothers and sisters, and Lombok in general, which by the way I think is way better than Bali!! However those posts will have to wait for a bit as I am having memory card issues.

Yesterday (Thursday) I decided to take a long walk out of the main area of Ubud. It kind of ended up me partially getting lost and having to climb up the side of a valley but I will come to that in a bit.

I took a well trodden route called the Campuan Ridge. Basically you walk uphill for a while and end up walking above two rivers that run parallel either side. You walk on the ‘ridge’ between, hence the name. It’s all pretty and you end up quite high. As I left the ridge I went off the traditional route a bit and headed down to the edge of the Ayung River. Had to walk down stacks of steps to get there. My map suggested you could more or less walk along the east side of the river back to Ubud. This was fine for a little while until I hit a building side on the edge of the valley and no way through. Couldn’t go down, could have gone back – but I had come a bit of a way, so I saw a bit of a path/climb up. Well I didn’t quite realise how steep it was. Thank god for holding on to roots of trees and that I had trainers on rather than flip flops. I reckon if I had slipped I might have been a bit f**ked, or dead!! This is where I was glad I have quite good upper body strength. I got myself about halfway I reckon. Was knackered but the view down was nice:

You can see that bloody building site in grey/white just on the left of the river! Looking back down made me really think now is not the time to slip. I continued my ascent and got to some level ground in the middle of someones farmland. Nice view, but I was a bit tired. I had gone out for a leisurely walk, it was now baking hot and I had pretty much rock climbed. This is where I popped up:

I figured if I was in farmland sooner or later a building or person would pop up. I also have a reasonable sense of direction and knew a road wouldn’t be too far off. I went up the paddie field ledges and saw some buildings, but they only had cows in. I continued on a kind of path, saw some more builings and chickens. I could hear a road. I walked through a little housing area. Saw some people at last and got onto the road. Fortunately where I popped up was next to a nice mans shop who had drinks in the freezer. Yippee. We had a good chat, his English was pretty good. He laughed at me for getting a tad lost, feeling refreshed I then went on my way with a second iced drink from him.

Continued my walk after the near death experience (probably exaggerating a bit!!). Went up and down some steep and bendy roads – why am I the only loon walking??? Cut onto a path with electricity cables in my face and also some smaller paddy fields:

Some were being harvested:

As you can imagine at this point I’m starving. Spotted somewhere that looked nice for lunch called Moksa. Turns out it was some vegan joint – slightly disappointed as I could have eaten a big fat burger at this point – however I had something that was trying to be a vegan BLT, was actually quite nice but I wouldn’t make a habit of it:

So after a very healthy lunch went on my way back towards my hotel…

More bloody steps!

I got back about 5 hours after leaving having walked 10 miles. Not really my intention but loved it nevertheless. Even getting ‘lost’ was great fun and is what these trips are about. So glad I booked into Villa Ubud Sunshine which has a nice cool pool to chill in after a fabulous adventure.

More Ubud to follow…

Lazy day in paradise (Sunday/Monday)

On Sunday evening after my epic adventure round Gili Gede I had a well deserved Bintang while the sun went down:

I had also ordered whole fish for dinner. Was told it was on the BBQ. Went over and Astam was busy grilling away:

This was result. Bloody lovely. It was filled with peppers, shallots, tomatoes and was gorgeous. With a full tummy off to bed I went.

Woke early Monday (guess it’s the early nights). Took a wander down to the pontoon to watch the sunrise. It was so serene with just the roosters waking everyone and the odd fisherman passing by. Here comes the sun, which rises over Lombok…

Look who’d made herself comfortable on my balcony when I got back!! They have three pet cats here. She is the most friendly and she loves me.

I spent Monday just jamming on a massive bean bag with a book watching the world go by.

At around 3.30pm after being a right lazy sod, I decided to grab a kayak and go into the mangroves.

As I entered saw a rather long snake starting to swim across in front of me. Having spotted me it turned around, waited until I passed then swam across. What a considerate snake. Didn’t know they were taught the green cross code!

I was hoping to see a Monitor Lizard that live here but no luck today. Saw loads of kingfishers, herons, massive beetles and loads of one claw grabs. Tried to get some snaps and videos from the kayak. Please excuse my camera work which is a bit crap.

Kingfisher below:

Some one claw crabs having a bit of a ding dong!!!

It looks like these crabs go down the gym but only ever lift weights with one arm. Turns out they are Fiddler crabs – what an apt name!

Decided to kayak back a bit sooner as the sun was setting and didnt fancy being dinner for the mangrove mozzies. Watched the sun go down from my kayak before returning home for the evening.

Entrance to home. Do I have to leave???

Sunday – Gili Gede – island adventure with me, myself and I!

After a Sekotong breakfast over looking the water with Gili Gede in the distance, it was time to get over there by kayak.

Having got kayak burn in Thailand a couple of years ago; Danielle, Beca and Charlene got it too; I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again, so cream on, t-shirt on and off I went. Just before I left I was chatting to an Aussie lady who had kayaked the other way earlier and suggested a parking spot on a little beach for when I arrived. She had come over to my place to get away from her three kids and husband whom she had left on their boat moored at Gili Gede. Turns out they bought a boat in Melbourne last year, sailed here which took eight months. Flew back to Melbourne then have flown back here two weeks ago to sail around for five months. Was chatting to them both when I returned and their rationale for doing the trip was to give their kids a great childhood that they didn’t have. The kids are about 7 (twins) and 10. They’ve hung out here for a few hours and are great kids who are clearly having the time of their lives.

Anyway I digress. Off I paddled to Gili Gede. Parked up and went on a five hour adventure round the island. It was pretty much me and locals. I saw four other tourists staying at some bungalows at the opposite side of the island but that was it.

My kayak parking space. Tied it to a tree so it didn’t float away in case the tide came in.

The people are clearly very poor but mostly pretty smiley, and I saw a couple of well old ladies.

Generally they all have some chickens, goats and cows, that are all very healthy looking – I guess this is down to the lush vegetation. They are clearly self sufficient but its only a quick boat ride to the mainland should they need anything. There are tons of kids around – many of whom high fived me!! The kids, and adults alike, were transfixed by my freckles – although I had my shoulders covered most of the time, just out of respect, as it is a Muslim area and currently Ramadan – so also kept my water in my bag and drank when people weren’t around.

For most of my walk it was just me and maybe some livestock. The water is clear as you like and there are lots of tiny little white beaches at every turn.

There is some sign of development but not a great deal. I think it is a bit of a day trip place with a few bungalows here and there for tourist accomodation but not much at all. I hope it stays this way, but I doubt it.

Got chatting to a local guy who I bought a drink from at Tamarind Bungalows, the place I saw four tourists and with the toilet with a tree un inside, and he said just a couple of years ago there was no tourism there but it is slowly arriving. He was mocked by his family for studying tourism but he said it is slowly paying off!!

I took stacks of photos but just a selection below with a few comments, but most dont need much explanation:

Of course there’s a football pitch in the middle of the island.

Spot the fisherman perched on a post.

I had to climb over a few rocks to get round the island.

I didn’t just stick to the edge of the island as tempting as it was with the many many little beaches. I criss crossed here and there too. Here are some inland pics:

Strolled through another cow field.

Saw some brand new chickens and goats in additon to gazillions of grown up ones.

I think we know who is in charge here!

Looked like whitebait or similar being dried in the sun.

Had a delicious lunch at a deserted restaurant called hula hoop. Just me there again!

Stopped for a wee in a toilet with a tree in the middle!

As i came to the end of my walk I could see my kayak but how to get there?? Its in the orange circle…

Down a few steps, over some rocks and a spot of wading I made it!

Head wind for my row home but wasnt too bad!

Kuta area beach adventure – part two

Following from this mornings trip off I went again. Headed to the furthest beach I wanted to see. Great ride there over rolling hills on what appeared to be a freshly tarmaced road.

Selong Belanak

After an hour or so I pulled into Laur Biru beach club for lunch. Wandered in from the car park onto Selong Belanak beach. This is what greeted me:

Plonked myself under a tree and had lunch overlooking paradise:

This was the beach club. It was lovely.

Popped for a swim in the clear clear sea and had a stroll up and down the sand.

Its pretty good surf here. Not that I can surf. Although it wasn’t that busy as you can see:

Above is where you can hire a board, get lessons etc.

As I walked in the sand I noticed loads of pretty patterns:

Turns out, it was loads of little crabs (again!) rolling up sand balls:

Although it has more people on I think this is the best beach yet. It is just stunningly beautiful:

I spent a good few hours here – why wouldn’t you???

Are Guling beach

Then I got back on the mean machine to head back to Kuta. On the way back I saw a sign to Are Guling beach about half way back. Took the turn and went along quite a bumpy road then through a cow field!! Seriously:

Now this place was in complete contrast to Selong Blanek. Another rugged one. There was one little family with a kitten running a shop there. A couple of guys fishing and me. Another beautiful serene place, it’s just a shame about the rubbish that has washed up here. Bought some water. Took some snaps and continued my journey.

One thing that is great about southern Lombok, from what I’ve seen, is that it hasn’t yet been killed by multinational hotels (with the exception of Novotel) so it is still pretty authentic, relatively chilled and the lanscape is awesome.

With all those miles racked up on my moped I was a bit zapped so returned to my hotel for a welcome dip in the pool, then back to Matcha for a traditional Balinese massage. Damn it was good. Just what I needed.

For my last supper it was pulpo (my fave) and pizza at Sapori.

Some of that pizza is going to be lunch tomorrow I think for my journey to the middle of no-where.

I’m heading to the Sekotong area to stay in a bunglow for three days off the beaten track. I have to get to a small harbour then take a water taxi there. Can’t wait!! I’ve no doubt there will be Wi-Fi. If not see you in a few days.

Kuta area beach adventure – part one

Hired a scooter for 50k (about £2.50) and off I went heading out east from Kuta. Here is the mean machine:

Tanjun Aan

Headed off to Tanjung Aan. Days ago on Gili T a lady in my hotel said to make sure I came here. She was not wrong. See pics and videos below. However, I’m not sure they really show how vast it is.

The local kids are awesome surfers that you should see in one of the videos below. Enjoy:

So that was Tanjung Aan. Don’t think I need to say much more, but stunning.

As I left I was a little low on fuel so stopped at what I think was a seven year olds petrol station. She filled my tank for 50p and I continued by journey.

The lanscape on the roads between beaches is so green and lush. There is lots of farmers with cows and farmland growing allsorts. The roads take a lot to be desired but hey, I’m in Indonesia:

Segar beach

Next I headed off to Segar beach. Much more rugged and covered in seaweed and only me and my moped there. It was really peaceful. A guy turned up to collect his little boat but that was it.

Lets see where this afternnon takes me. I think to the westside massive!! Part two to follow…