Monday, December 04, 2006


Continuing North I reached the coast again at the beach town of Lovina. A lot smaller than Kuta, it can easily be walked around. Consisting of lots of restuarants a few pubs, and a stretch of sand. Although the sand isn't as nice here, bit darker but okay. I rented a bike and cycled over to Sringraja the state capital. Much busier here lots of traffic when I joined up with the main road. I had taken the back roads to get there, which was hillier but quiter. I stopped off for a look around some statues. I think it was of the locals trying to repel the Dutch, not a great idea when you have a spear and they have a gun. A bit of Nasi Goreng for lunch, I dropped in at one of the small restaurants that line the road. I doubt they get many foreigners, but friendly enough and tasty food.

I came back to Lovina and then jumped back on the bike for an hour before sunset. I headed out the other direction and ended up cycling through a small village. Trundling along the dirt path between the coconut trees, trying to avoid angry dogs. See a few people who look suprised to see me.

Back into town and I had a look round the pubs, a couple of bands were playing. The first band wasn't that good, so I had a look elsewhere. The unmistakable riff of Smoke on the Water came thundering through the air, so I went in there. And for the rest of the night they played reggae, sheesh!

After Lovina I headed to the East Coast, the town of Padang Bai. A couple of Dutch people were travelling down there also. We had arranged it through the hotel for the bus to take us, but as there was only three people we ended up in a battered old jeep. It was a nice road winding along the coast for sections, before heading inland past the large volcano and on through the stepped land of the rice paddies, before emerging back beside the coast. I had a seat up front, so had a good view of the trip. Once in Padang Bai, I spent a couple of days there. The next day I headed over to Candid Dasa, a short bemo ride away. More of an upmarket resort area, with pricier restaurants. Not much beach here. The Lonely Planet says the barrier reefs were harvested in the 80's to provide lime for the concrete mix needed for the big new resorts. However without the barriers, erosion rapidly destroyed the coast. Within a few years, Candid Dasa was a beach resort with no beach. Some concrete barriers have been added to try and cope, but the damage had been done.

Back at Padang Bai, I had a beer with Paula and Frank. We were all going to the same place tomorrow. The Gili Islands.

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