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As I mentioned yesterday, my second trip to Indonesia was a comical carbon copy of my first — starting with a few days on Nusa Lembongan, a charming island just off the coast of Bali’s southern cone.

This time I was not only reuniting with Anders after six weeks apart, but also meeting both his parents — while under the heavy influence of jetlag. Talk about relationship thunderdome! They generously treated us to a beautiful bungalows at Nanuks, which were the perfect settings from which to recover from thirty five hours of door to door travel.

Bungalows in Nusa Lembongan

Bungalows in Nusa Lembongan

Another wonderful way to recover from traveling across Earth, and the jetlag that accompanies it? Scuba diving, of course! Which is exactly what we did on my first full day back in Indonesia. I admit I was less than enthusiastic when we were gearing up, but damn if manta rays don’t make every single bit of life worth living.

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Like my previous diving trip to Nusa Lembongan, I was blessed in the manta ray department, and unlucky in the mola mola one. When we descended into the mola mola dive site, another diver gave us the signal and pointed behind him. My heart skipped a beat. Sadly, they didn’t stick around — and somehow not seeing them was even more painful when I knew others that same day did.

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

Diving in Nusa Lembongan

We had a lovely afternoon meal by the sea in which I did a great impression of a narcoleptic, and after which I eeturned to our bungalow and promptly entered a fully comatose level of sleeping. I’m sure I charmed the pants right off Anders’ family. After falling asleep mid-afternoon I inevitably woke up at about 2:00am, at which time I decided to turn on every light, wake Anders, and show him a fully narrated set of photos from my trip to Florida. He was so thrilled to have me back.

Travel to Nusa Lembongan

Travel to Nusa Lembongan

The next day, I vowed not to take any naps so that I could sleep through the night. That meant staying far, far away from any plush surfaces, so we decided to rent motorbikes and do some exploring.

The island is small with only one true road, so many of my photos were almost identical to the ones I took just a few months before.

Travel to Nusa Lembongan

Travel to Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan Travel

I had motorbiked around Nusa Lembongan on my previous trip, but hadn’t dared cross the rickety bridge over to neighboring Nusa Cenigan. But we had heard rumors of cliff jumping spots that we were itching to fling ourselves off of, and the bridge stood in our way. So we crossed our fingers, laughed nervously, and drove over the bridge, feeling every last wooden slat creak beneath our wheels.

Nusa Lembongan Bridge

Nusa Lembongan Road Trip

We made it, and we celebrated by tempting fate in another fashion — jumping off a cliff. Some enterprising locals built a long ladder of ropes and wooden slats, so while you could leap off the rocks for free, you were only getting back to where you started if you paid their asking price first.

We paid our dues and off we went, screaming like little girls (okay, that was just me.)

Nusa Cenigan Jumping Cliffs

Nusa Cenigan Jumping CliffsPhoto courtesy of Anders’ parents

Nusa Cenigan Jumping Cliffs

Nusa Cenigan was stunning, and we had a really beautiful day zooming around the islands, stopping whenever we pleased to have a snack, take a rest, or soak up the views — and to post them on Instagram, naturally!

Nusa Lembongan Motorbike Ride

Nusa Lembongan Motorbike Ride

Nusa Lembongan Motorbike Ride

Nusa Cenigan Jumping CliffsPhoto courtesy of Anders’ parents

Nusa Lembongan Travel

Nusa Cenigan Jumping CliffsPhoto courtesy of Anders’ parents

These islands really are a gem and my time was no wasted in revisiting them a second time (nor would it be a third, or a fourth…) I’m sure they will change greatly in the coming years and I feel grateful to seen them in this exact moment in time, when they are still holding tight to their native charms and resisting the tides of tourism-induced change.

It was the perfect welcome back to Indonesia, and a lovely setting in which to meet Anders’ parents. It is kind of funny how nervous I was about the language barrier, when I’m pretty sure that what I should have been worrying about was the exhaustion one. But I was fretting for naught, as we all got along swimmingly — when I wasn’t falling asleep face first in my dinner plate, that is.

Nusa Lembongan Travelthe family that bikes together, stays together, right?

Nusa Lembongan Travel

Nusa Lembongan Travel. . . . . . . .

Curious about my underwater photography setup? Check out my Obsessions page for information on my camera gear, editing programs and more.

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32 Comments...
  • lena
    August 15 2013

    So glad you had fun meeting his family, and that brings me to a question? Is he going to South America with you? So enjoying to see you back in Asia!

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Well, at the moment Anders is heading back to Denmark for the first time in a year to visit friends and family and try to replenish the travel funds. We both hope he will be joining me at some point but we aren’t putting any undue pressure on ourselves to try to read the future and see when. But still, fingers crossed it is sooner rather than later πŸ™‚

  • Angela
    August 15 2013

    That bridge was my favorite things about Nusa Lembongan. I think I even fell in love with it a little bit.
    Angela recently posted..Snapshots of Austria

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Haha. I don’t think I loved it but it did give me a thrill πŸ™‚

  • Maddy
    August 15 2013

    More gorgeous pictures! Sorry about the mola molas πŸ™ You have plenty of time and something tells me you won’t stop trying!
    Maddy recently posted..Fork it Over: Sausage Pasta (Again)

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Someday, the molas will be mine! (Evil laugh.) Okay, maybe that was going too far…

  • Kaitie
    August 15 2013

    Love that last pic of the two of you, you both look so happy and natural!
    Kaitie recently posted..Feeling β€œMeh” in Madrid

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Thanks Kaitie! I love candid photos where no one is looking at the camera… the sad thing is you can’t ask for candids, they just have to happen! πŸ™‚

  • I hate when people say this, but I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..Ask Andi Anything + Giveaway (Part 5)

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Ha ha, of course there is no offense taken when it comes from you πŸ™‚

  • Pamela
    August 15 2013

    Beautiful photos, you are making me yearn for a beach holiday! Seems to be getting along well with his family. πŸ™‚
    Pamela recently posted..I have a special love for stinky tofu

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      I’m sorry to say there are only going to be more beach photos coming up πŸ™‚ I can’t stay away from the ocean, it seems!

  • TammyOnTheMove
    August 15 2013

    Looks like such a lovely place. Glad you got on so well with Anders’ parents. It is always nerve-wrecking to meet your in-laws for the first time.
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..The best camera for travel: DSLR, Point & Shoot or iPhone?

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Well, not quite in-laws anytime soon πŸ™‚ Though I guess there isn’t really a good replacement word for non legally bound couples to use!

  • Nadia
    August 15 2013

    “damn if manta rays don’t make every single bit of life worth living” – love it!

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      I know you can relate πŸ™‚

  • Steven
    August 15 2013

    Dang… Where’s that “LIKE” button??

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Ha, this comment was better than a “Like” button. Thanks!

  • becky hutner
    August 16 2013

    oh alex how i enjoy your adventures so. fantastic manta pix & i appreciate you letting us in on the anders romance. some bloggers prefer to keep that stuff under wraps & fair enough but everyone digs a love story! x
    becky hutner recently posted..Back to SE Asia Part 2

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Ha. Well while I can keep CIA-level secrets for others, when it comes to my own business I can’t seem to keep much under wraps πŸ™‚ It just wouldn’t be a very genuine portrayal of my experiences if I left out something as significant as a relationship on this level. Of course some little flings haven’t made it online but since I’ve been blogging, the major ones have!

  • Melanie Fontaine
    August 17 2013

    What a gorgeous place! I definitely understand why you wouldn’t hesitate to visit this place a third, fourth or fifth time! πŸ˜‰
    Melanie Fontaine recently posted..Norway Through Instagram

    • Alex
      August 17 2013

      Thanks Melanie! I hope I am lucky enough to go back again.

  • Awww, yay, glad your meeting with them went so well; I can’t believe you DROVE across that bridge; I want to jump off that cliff; and why can’t you be in Indo in January so we can go diving together?!

    • Alex
      August 19 2013

      Someday, you, Scotty and I will dive together… I’m sure of it!

  • Sarah Somewhere
    August 18 2013

    Simply beautiful!! Love your photos, hope you are not missing him too much!
    Sarah Somewhere recently posted..Meeting Jorge

    • Alex
      August 19 2013

      We have our fingers crossed for a September visit πŸ™‚ We will see how it goes!

  • Jade
    August 22 2013

    I’m loving the photos in this post! Such stunning islands that I hope to visit someday soon now that I am finally back in this part of the world!
    Also cannot wait to here about your hiking trip…!
    Jade recently posted..Annyeong Haseyo!

    • Alex
      August 25 2013

      I hope you get to see them too πŸ™‚ Good luck getting there Jade!

  • aftri
    August 29 2013

    Hi Alex! All the pictures are sooo beautiful! I’m Indonesian, but I’ve never been to those places πŸ™ Having a regret now that I didn’t take a chance when it’s possible. I’m living in Sweden now, for a year ahead then continue my study to Germany. Definitely have to do an open water course, as soon as I get back to Indonesia, hopefully in the next two years. Oh.. long time.. πŸ™
    aftri recently posted..Perjalanan ke Swedia Part 3

    • Alex
      September 5 2013

      I’m sure you’ll love it when you do get back! Enjoy the time in Sweden, but definitely get in that ocean as soon as you are home πŸ™‚

  • Miles of Happiness
    December 20 2014

    Nusa Lenbongan is for sure a paradise. You actually stayed in a place we saw, we’ve always said we’ll go back there and go on this cottages πŸ™‚ It’s so nice!!

    • Alex
      December 22 2014

      Nusa Lembongan has some fantastic accommodation options. I’ve absolutely loved both places I stayed!

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