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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Photo courtesy of Anders’ parents
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!
Photo courtesy of Anders’ parents
Photo 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.
the family that bikes together, stays together, right?
Curious about my underwater photography setup? Check out my Obsessions page for information on my camera gear, editing programs and more.
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!
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 🙂
That bridge was my favorite things about Nusa Lembongan. I think I even fell in love with it a little bit.
Haha. I don’t think I loved it but it did give me a thrill 🙂
More gorgeous pictures! Sorry about the mola molas 🙁 You have plenty of time and something tells me you won’t stop trying!
Someday, the molas will be mine! (Evil laugh.) Okay, maybe that was going too far…
Love that last pic of the two of you, you both look so happy and natural!
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! 🙂
I hate when people say this, but I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ha ha, of course there is no offense taken when it comes from you 🙂
Beautiful photos, you are making me yearn for a beach holiday! Seems to be getting along well with his family. 🙂
I’m sorry to say there are only going to be more beach photos coming up 🙂 I can’t stay away from the ocean, it seems!
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.
Well, not quite in-laws anytime soon 🙂 Though I guess there isn’t really a good replacement word for non legally bound couples to use!
“damn if manta rays don’t make every single bit of life worth living” – love it!
I know you can relate 🙂
Dang… Where’s that “LIKE” button??
Ha, this comment was better than a “Like” button. Thanks!
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
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 🙂 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!
What a gorgeous place! I definitely understand why you wouldn’t hesitate to visit this place a third, fourth or fifth time! 😉
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?!
Someday, you, Scotty and I will dive together… I’m sure of it!
Simply beautiful!! Love your photos, hope you are not missing him too much!
We have our fingers crossed for a September visit 🙂 We will see how it goes!
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…!
I hope you get to see them too 🙂 Good luck getting there Jade!
Hi Alex! All the pictures are sooo beautiful! I’m Indonesian, but I’ve never been to those places 🙁 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.. 🙁
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 🙂
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 🙂 It’s so nice!!
Nusa Lembongan has some fantastic accommodation options. I’ve absolutely loved both places I stayed!