Position: 8º 9.498′ S 115º 1.35′ E
We’ve been in Bali for a few weeks now. I forgot to report our position when we arrived and then we just started having fun. We spent 3 days in Ubud. It was tremendous and tremendously expensive (by recent standards). Vick took the Batik class that she’s been dreaming about for over ten years.
Lovina is a great stop. It’s well protected anchorage is generally flat and a cool breeze tends to come off the sea around sunset. There’s a Carrefour in Singaraja, which can be accessed by a AU$1 bemo, AU$5/day scooter, or more expensive private car. The Carrefour is, sadly, not what we remembered from Tahiti, but it’s still much more than we have found since Australia. There is also a little grocery/bakery called Lovina Bakery, a few blocks from the beach (up to the main road, turn left and walk to the next road). Here you can find an interesting assortment of international foods.
Upon approach to the harbour, we were greeted by a local fisherman who guided us to a good spot and offered his services for diesel, water, laundry delivery. We took him up on the diesel (AU$1.20/liter) and water (AU$3 for 19liters, which they call a “gallon”). We did our laundry in town for 80¢/Kg, but it can be had for less if you are feeling lucky.
The only downside to Lovina is the hawkers. You get met at the beach and they will follow you quite a distance, insisting that “you come to me when you want a massage/laundry/trinket.” I understand and I respect that we are seen as a revenue stream, but it makes it very hard to open oneself to authentic connections when you are always on guard. That said, we did make an authentic connection with a manager at a local restaurant. He shared his dramatic romantic history with us, and later told us (under his breath) of all the scams we should be on the lookout for, and how to work around them. He also hooked us up with someone who would rent scooters without demanding to hold onto our passports, for which I am eternally grateful.
We took scooter rides up into the mountains to cool off, and around the city, to scope it out. I walked pretty impressive distances, and rode in a fair share of bemos. I’ve found Bali to be less accessible than other Indonesian islands, but gorgeous and well, a bit more luxurious.
If you are considering the south route, I would recommend thinking hard about the fuel costs of motoring against current to get north again, and compare that to the relatively cheap cost of hiring a driver for a day and just driving the island.
All is well.