day seventy-one: december 9, 2015:
Traveling from Gili Meno to Bingin was one of the longest transit days we've had. Not just time-wise, but the combination of traveling by boat and by car. First, we caught the 8:50 AM public boat from Gili Meno to Gili Trawangan. There we waited for the 11:30 AM fast boat to Padang Bai. We arrived at Padang Bai around 1:45 PM and boarded a small shuttle for the 1.5-2 hour drive toward Bingin. We somehow ended up in a small van fit for eight passengers, but the driver squeezed ten people in. While in transit, the driver stopped two times and swapped passengers with other vans. Needless to say...it was a cluster. Around 4 PM we arrived at the Temple Lodge. The wait was worth it. This place was amazing. Another thanks to our friends Zak and Gena for the suggestion! The hotel is owned and run by a family originally from Italy, but also has lived in many different places around the world. Ame, the owner's son, was an incredible host and showed us our room and the premises. Each suite at the lodge had a different theme and was built from local materials from around Bali - antique Balinese doors, river stones from Ubud, driftwood collected from the beach below. We joined several other guests for dinner that evening from South Africa, Australia and the UK. It was easily one of the best meals on the trip so far!
From the lodge, you could watch the sets rolling in at the break The Impossibles.
day seventy-two: december 10, 2015:
The best way to explore in Southeast Asia is renting a scooter, so that's what we did yet again. We spent the day cruising to different beaches around the Bukit Peninsula. We stopped at Balangan Beach, Dreamland Beach for some body surfing, Padang Padang Beach for a quick bite to eat and then headed south to Karma Beach based on a suggestion from a friend on Facebook. Unfortunately, when we arrived at Karma Beach we looked down at hundreds of stairs and didn't feel too motivated for the climb. We sat at the top for a little bit and enjoyed the view which was pretty spectacular.
After, we headed to Uluwatu Temple for the sunset. Sadly, we were a little disappointed by this temple. It's positioned on a cliff, but isn't all that impressive and seems very touristy. We did manage to snap some awesome photos of the resident monkeys at the temple, until it was clear they were done having their photo taken.
It seems that Chinese tourists are everywhere now, and selfie sticks all over. At Uluwatu Temple, this one lady was using a iPad mini on a selfie stick, which was a new one and her husband was trying to take a selfie from behind. Quite entertaining.