We rented a scooter in Ubud and headed west along the coast of Bali to see some of the temples along the coastline and to spent some time cruising around Bali. The main road from Denpasar to the port at Gilimanuk is a major transit line for large trucks carrying cargo from Java to Bali (with many buses as well) so we learned that it is not exactly the most relaxing route. But we did enjoy cruising some quiet back roads around the port area of Perancak, which has large and colorful fishing boats.
The drive out to the mouth of the bay at Perancak was through tranquil agricultural back-roads and along some of the nicest Balinese compounds we have seen. Along the way we saw Balinese harvesting rice, cows and water buffalo along the sides of the road. Since this road ends at the bay, there was little traffic so we were able to slowly cruise and enjoy the scenery. We also visited the Rambut Siwi Temple, which was nice and quiet on a bluff overlooking the ocean. As we came back towards the more settled part of the island, we also visited the more touristy Tanah Lot Temple, which sees many more tourists than Rambut Siwi.
We stayed two nights and Medewi Beach, which has a great rocky left point-break. There was a day of heavy rain, so that limited our scooter cruising for a while as it rained buckets in a heavy tropical downpour, but we met some nice people in Medewi and then continued back to Ubud once the weather cleared up.
For our final days in Bali, we headed down to the resort town of Sanur to go scuba diving with manta rays and get ready for our flight to Bangkok. Bali and Lombok are separated by a deep channel known as the Lombok Strait (or the Wallace Line, and as further discussed in David Quammen’s book the Song of the Dodo). This deep channel (the deepest connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans) is a great spot to see a wide diversity of underwater sea live that passes through between the oceans. We saw two manta rays in the water and it was awesome. Now we are getting ready to move on to Bangkok to arraign visas for our trip through China.
***click to enlarge photos***