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Bali’s Bukit is Surfer Bliss

bingin

 

Surfer’s don’t care about resorts

cold showers do the trick.

 

balangan

 

They don’t need fancy restaurants

fried rice and Bintang will suffice.

 

uluwatu

 

Techno clubs and drugs don’t woo them

they’d rather rise for the surf.

 

padang padang

 

Reggae and relaxation suits them fine

to ride well they have to hang loose.

 

uluwatu surfing

 

They conquer fear and boundaries often

focused only on the direction of the wave

 

balangan

 

so go where the surfers go

if rugged gems are what you crave.

 

uluwatu

 

In my two years of following wave riders

all across the world

 

uluwatu

 

nowhere quite embodied their lifestyle

as much as Bali’s hilly South Coast.

 

uluwatu

 

Where the road dips and rises wildly

the fearless ride recklessly

 

uluwatu

 

cows graze in grass on the sidelines

simplicity still outnumbers luxury.

 

balangan

 

Golden sand beaches nestle

at the base of craggy cliffs

 

uluwatu

 

surfers walk down stone carved steps

absorbed by the waves in the distance.

 

balangan

 

Balangan is long and gorgeous

with just a string of local warungs

 

balangan

 

barrels break over a reef bed

thrilling, and lots of fun.

 

bingin

 

Hippy yogis chill

on Bingin’s striking white sand

 

bingin

 

surfers ride the short and crowded wave

or paddle to Impossible for a long left hand.

 

padang padang

 

Vacationers clutter Padang Padang

thanks to Eat Pray Love

 

padang padang

 

but early morning surf sessions

can be quietly observed from the road above.

 

uluwatu

 

Experts only at Uluwatu

when it’s big and low tide

 

uluwatu

 

paddle out from inside the cave

or sit back and watch the pros ride.

 

uluwatu

 

Immersed in surfer heaven

wooed instantly

 

uluwatu

 

by the dramatic cliffs

and glowing sea

 

balangan

 

“I want to live here!”

I professed effortlessly.

 

balangan

 

But after struggling to communicate in Vietnam

wandering the street markets in Thailand

and staying in rugged villages in Cambodia

 

balangan

 

now, in my easy paved existence in Indo

I wondered where did all the Balinese go?

 

bingin

 

I saw them in fleeting moments

on a procession leading up the hill

or playing by the ocean on a rainy day

 

balangan

 

but never eating on the roadside

or owning the wailing waves

 

uluwatu temple

 

in fact even the sacred temple

appeared to be a tourist trap.

 

balangan

 

Feeling like a vacationer instead of a traveler

passing my lazy days

 

dreamland

 

the more I opened my eyes

the more questions I raised.

 

uluwatu

 

I witnessed luxury resorts

popping up on this once rugged coast

 

uluwatu

 

I met partying tourists from Kuta

and found stores selling designer clothes.

 

bingin

 

And after a month in Lombok

a world less discovered where I befriended locals

 

balangan

 

being back in Bali I wondered

what future does this place  hold?

 

uluwatu

 

So book it to the Bukit

before there’s too much change

 

uluwatu

 

go now to the Bukit

while the surfers still rein.

 

 

The Best of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula

 

The Temple Lodge

Bingin

$10 for a yoga class, $5 for breakfast

Built up on the cliff overlooking Bingin, The Temple Lodge is yogi  heaven. Elegant rooms surround the infinity pool with expansive ocean views and guests can enjoy onsite yoga and massage and organic healthy food. If you can budget it, I highly recommend staying here, otherwise stop in for a Hatha yoga class in the morning followed by raw muesli and homemade yogurt.

 

Merta Sari Balangan Bungalows

Balangan

250,000 rupiah ($20) for a bungalow for 2

These bungalows may be the most luxurious I stayed in anywhere in Bali. The big bed had soft white linens, an elegant wrap around mosquito net, and they even sprinkled yellow orchids on the bed. The bathroom had a huge hot water shower with excellent water pressure. I could hardly believe how nice the place was for the price. The grounds are small and intimate with a swimming pool, though it was still under construction when I was there. A big breakfast of fruit salad, tea, juice, and a choice of pancake or eggs and toast is included in the price.

 

The Mango Tree Cafe

Padang Padang

$3-7 for breakfast and lunch

This darling cafe on the main street in Padang Padang has a wide variety of  international dishes from huevos rancheros to healthy quinoa salad. Check out the bakery country for freshly baked goodies.

 

Buddha Soul

Padang Padang

$5-10 for breakfast and lunch

Get your fill of green juice, organic salads, and other healthy goodies at Buddha Soul in Padang Padang. It’s an idea spot to sit for a few hours checking in at the online “office” while hnibbling on some fruit and muesli and taking a shot of wheatgrass.

 

Single Fin

Uluwatu

$7-10 for Western dishes, $7 for cocktails

If you make it to Uluwatu, you will most certainly find yourself sipping on a beer while watching the surfers from one of the many oceanview decks at Single Fin. This bar always has good music, great vibes, and you can’t beat the view. The Bukit shuts down early most nights, surfer’s need their beauty sleep before rising with sun after all, but Single Fin is the one exception. On Sunday nights they host the biggest party on the peninsula, and possibly the most fun party in all of Bali, with live Reggae music starting at sunset and DJs playing all night long. Don’t miss it.

 

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu

20,000 rupiah per person

It may be overrun with tourists and monkeys intending to steal your stuff, but the Uluwatu temple’s dramatic views are worth a visit. Apparently on full moon days at sunset many locals come dressed in traditional attire.

 


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Comments

  1. Hi Camille, Glad you were able to spend some time there before corporate ruins it (even further). Hopefully that never happens in Puerto Viejo and the surroundings. I am actually writing you from Toucan in Punta Uva. Met a lot of great people so far on my trip. Got a massage from Kristin 2 days ago. It was great; thanks for the recommendation. So where you off to next? “Home” misses you! Pura Vida, Jeff

    • Camille Willemain Says: February 24, 2014 at 12:10 am

      Thanks Jeff. The more and more I travel all over the world the more I cherish and appreciate Puerto Viejo and Costa Rica as a whole. Ahhhh I love Punta Uva so glad to hear you are enjoying it! Make sure to get a Reiki session from Kristin, she’s the best. I’m now on Koh Lanta in Thailand, love it here but it’s time for Koh Phagnan. Two more weeks on my Thai visa then I’m off to Cambodia again. So much of that country I’ve yet to see. I miss Puerto Viejo every day but for now I’m enjoying this magical place :)

  2. As the many posts before this one reminds me that there is need for me and my family to capture this time in our life. One that preserves happiness and health with every soulful breath. I have say thanks again for the insight. …..pura vida, shanna