After five nights in Ubud we headed across the mountains to the calm and gentle waters of northern Bali with its black-sand beaches. The journey took us past the beautiful Temple on the Lake which is immortalised on the 50,000Rp note. Sadly, the weather was so bad, the rain so heavy and the fog so thick we couldn’t see a thing! I guess that means we’ll just have to go back!
We visited the Gitgit falls instead as the rain had finally cleared. On the walk in we saw clove trees, coffee trees and the remains of what I am guessing was a European garden planted by the Dutch…roses, azaleas and camellias are not native to Bali but they were there in amongst the tangle of jungle.
Lovina is only 40 minutes from Gitgit and we arrived at Gede’s Homestay in time for a late lunch of fresh marlin. Lovina is actually an area of villages that are strung together along the fishing-boat lined beach. Ketut filled us in on the Balinese Calendar explaining why we had seen so many cremation ceremonies between Ubud and Lovina. It wasn’t because a lot of people had died in the last week but because the date was auspicious for cremations and the Balinese have to save up for the ceremony and it can take a decade or more for that to happen. It was also a good day for planting rice which was why we saw many farmers doing just that.
Gede’s is right on the beach so after an afternoon nap we stepped out onto the beach and chatted with the Hawkers. Leo was a big favourite with us and if you’re ever in Lovina and you need a driver, he’s your man! We were the only Australians staying at Gede’s and the other guests were French and German. More Europeans visit the north but Australians really should venture further than the south and check it out. Life here is pretty laid back but bring a book! Oh, and I recommend the beach massages at dusk as the sunsets and the pigs and chickens wander around the beach under the palm trees.