Grilled tuna on a tropical beach

Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
Trip End Jul 24, 2012

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday 16 July
Today we move from Sidemen to Padangbai, by bemo. We leave at 8AM and catch the first bemo at the bemostation in Sidemen, heading for Klungkung. In Klungkung we jump on a bemo for Padangbai and by 10AM we arrive there. A short walk brings us to Padang Bai Beach Resort - Absolute Scuba. The tide is high and we have a walk on the white beach. Padangbai is the only place on Bali where the beaches are not black. OK, the "sand" on the main beach is not fine white sand but uniform little balls of about 1-2 mm. Padangbai is the most touristic village we've been in so far, but it is a very relaxed town, it's really small and the touts don't insist. The menu at the restaurant doesn't make it easy to keep our Indonesian eating habits as there are only a handful of Indodishes against many European dishes with french fries. But for those who crave for "Schweineaxe mit bratkartoffeln und sauerkraut", they will find their gastronomic heaven at 28C. The climate here is fresher than in inland Bali. Padangbai is a real diving and snorkeling center and most of the guests, if not transiting for the Gili-islands, are here for this purpose. Indeed, Padangbai is a stopover for the Gili islands off the coast of Lombok. Plenty of companies are offering transport to the Gilis, and most depart around 9AM. That's the most hectic part of the day. We preferred not to go to the Gilis because of the tourism. Padangbai has some good beaches as well and we explored the Blue Lagoon beach on the east of town. Easy to find, it is a rather small beach which is known for its fish fauna and indeed many people were snorkeling. The warung is covering the whole width of the beach, and the beach is crowded. We went for a swim. The water was nice but at medium low tide the rocks are quite dangerous. We brought rubber swimming shoes which really helped a great deal for grip and not getting cut by old coral. In the evening I reserved 4pax tickets at the Perama office; slow boat to Lembar and a Perama bus direct to Kuta Lombok.

Tuesday 17 July

We have spent the whole day at the Bias Tugal beach (aka Panta Kecil), located in a small bay south-west of Padangbai. Its a short walk which brings you across old foundations of a big resort project. As far as we can see this resort project is abandoned and there are no signs of other new projects. As we get over the hill, we discover a beach right out of a movie. We are the first there. Pristine virgin white sand, with blue turquoise water. The sand is really fine and white. The sea is very nice to swim if you get past the waves. There are a few warungs and - o wow - they have fresh tuna ! (the second warung on the left when you get down to the beach-it has a solid roof for the shade). After cleaning the fish is marinated in a freshly prepared mix of coconut, garlic, onion, curcuma and chili, and grilled on a coconut-peel fire. Oh this is heaven! We have lunch right on the beach - 90.000 Rp for a 2 person tuna.
The kids are having fun, running from the waves and making sandcastles. Throughout the day here's about 20pax on a beach spanning almost 200m, and a very relaxed atmosphere. We spend the rest of the day here.

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