5th, 6th and 7th October

After a good sleep and a calm morning we leave Refi’s house at around 11am. Today, we are definitely leaving Denpasar, and start our travel forward. As decided a few days before, we will reach the West of Bali by following the North coast. For this, we have first to cross the island, since Denpasar is in the South corner. So today is a tough day, we have to climb the mountains that are in the middle of the island. By changing our route, we hope to avoid the crazy traffic we had around Denpasar, and that made our riding very unpleasant.

After 15km in the city, we finally leave the main road for a smaller road, and quite quickly, we find ourselves in the “countryside”, that is generally the road, and only one row of building on its sides. The road rises very smoothly. After 4 hours of cycling, we are only at 300-400m of altitude, and still quite far away from the youth hostel we had found on internet. We have a quick lunch in a village and continue our way up. The road is getting steeper and steeper, but we can consider ourselves lucky, since we avoid the big road traffic, and we can enjoy some nice landscapes.

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We finally arrive close to the hostel around 17h. It’s just here on the left, two kilometres away. The problem? There is no direct road! the road we have to follow is like ten kilometres more, and what’s worse, it’s not flat.

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We climb three or four hills, every time think that this time we did it, we arrived. And the climbs are quite impressive, way above 20% for the steepest parts. Even in the smallest gear, and standing on the pedals, we cannot stay on the bike more than 20m. And given the weight of our bikes, there isn’t the alternative of pushing the bike. We join the bigger road (the one we avoided during the day) and arrive to the hostel around 18h. The room we have looks so wonderful, and the hostel is charming, with many Hindu statues. The only problem is that the hostel is near the big road, and we discovered that night that Indonesian like to have noisy scooters.

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The next day, we leave the hostel around 10. Today, we have to climb a little (“half an hour” according to the hostel manager), and then we’ll meet the crater lakes and go down to the North coast, till nearly the West end of Bali. We arrive to the lakes quite quickly, but after the lake, we have to climb the other side of the former crater! in the end, this morning, we climbed from 900m to 1400m. The positive point was that at this height, the temperature is quite nice. We saw monkeys in the curves of the road, waiting for tourists to give them something to eat.

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In the way down, we meet the rain. Our first rain since we arrived in Indonesia. At first, it’s quite soft. But it quickly becomes a strong shower, and we have to stop under a porch, like other local people in scooter. The road to go down is quite new, and it’s pleasant to finally have a little of speed, and dry our clothes. However, we keep a reasonable speed, since our bikes are heavily loaded, and we don’t want to over-use our brakes. We arrive in the valley around 14h30, and have lunch in a small shop. While we are eating, another strong shower cleans our bikes.

Finally, we are on the main road, on the North coast of Bali.

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We head West until the small village of Pejarakan, which is 25km away from the place to take the ferry for Java. We arrive just before sunset, and the first hostel we find (hostels are called homestay here) is just wonderful for a very low price. That’s it! We take it for the next two nights.

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During these ten days we have stayed in Indonesia, we have been impressed by the kindness of the people here. They are curious to meet you, to learn why you are here, where you are from. And always smiling. And all the children in the street are so happy to say “Hello” to two weird bikers.

Monday 07 is a rest day. We stay in Pejarakan tonight, and will take the ferry for Java tomorrow. Here we are in a very nice hostel, near the beach, and what’s more, near a very good spot for snorkelling. After visiting the local market, we take our swimming suit and walk to the harbour, to take the boat that’ll drive us to the snorkelling spot. It’s all organised for tourists, so we have no other option than join a group and stay on the boat with them. We are with 4 French people, from the region of Saint-Nazaire.

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The snorkelling place is the island of Menjangan. The boat stops at two places for snorkelling. We are on a coral reef, with transparent light blue water, and suddenly, there is like a cliff, and the floor disappears under tens of meters of intense blue water. We see so many species of fish in the corals today. From the very small of a few centimetres to the half-meter ones. And so many colors: silver, yellow and white, pink with green and blue, orange and grey, well anything you can imagine and more. There are also starfish and many species of corals. It’s a pity we did not have a camera to take pictures under the water. It’s like swimming in an aquarium.

We come back to the hostel in the beginning of the afternoon, the head full of wonderful images, and the back red from the sunburns (despite the sunguard we put).

This afternoon we have time to update the website, and plan for our next few days, in Java.

We will miss Bali, for sure!!

And our little video :