Bali Off-Track: Nusa Lembongan - Page 2
Eminently homeless and mildly concerned, we asked the friendly hotel-keeper for other options similar to Secret Gardens. He suggested taking a stroll down the beach to see what the other bungalows had available. It sounded dubious, but as it turns out, due to the supremely low-key profile of Lembongan, there are dozens of pretty, well-equipped, beach-adjacent properties not listed on any travel site. We walked no further than across the road when a older gentleman with that beaming Bali smile greeted us. “You need room? Come look.” That's how we found Jepun Lembongan Villas.
Just fifty meters from the beach (literally a one-minute walk) Jepun has everything the off-track traveler needs. The property is just six months old, and the rooms have fresh teak furniture and the cleanest, most newly-appointed bathrooms I've experienced in Indonesia. 200,000 rupiah (about 24.00 USD) gets you a simply-decorated room with fresh beach and bath towels and a private outdoor veranda with a view of the lapis-tiled, heated swimming pool. Breakfast is also included, which consists of a fresh tropical fruit plate, fresh juice, toast, and coffee. There's no WiFi, but internet is accessible through the various restaurants and cafes.
With a new home base, we toured the island to get the lay of the land. Often tourists rent scooters to tour the island, but wanting a slower, more physically-fit experience, we opted to hike around a bit south to Mushroom Bay. It's about a 2.5 mile walk from Jepun, but the roads are clearly marked and easy to navigate, with lots of little watering holes and shops along the way. Take caution while walking, as you'll share the road with scooters, cows, chickens, and the occasional tourist shuttle. Again by accident, we followed signs to The Beach Club at Sandy Bay, a perfect slice of paradise with all of the modern conveniences of the commercial mega-resort without the crowds, noise, or prices.
A stunning cliff-framed oceanscape greets you as you walk to the back terrace, where you can flop down on a canvas beach bed next to the small but pristine infinity pool. The Beach Club offers a simple menu of sandwiches, smoothies, and fresh-squeezed juices, as well as a fully-stocked bar. Relax, check email (I know, it's sounds wrong, but the connection at Sandy Beach is better than most), and soak up the sounds of crashing waves and gurgling local birdlife. Finish the visit with a healthy scoop of mint-choco ice cream (you'll have earned it after trekking back to Lembongan Villas—it's about a five-mile trek, roundtrip.)Continued on the next page