I slept in a treehouse and swam with Buddha

As promised in my previous post, I am going to tell you guys about the treehouse I stayed in.  First off, I found this gem on airb&b, and it is the most expensive place I stayed on my trip (also it didn’t have a shower or wifi, but it did have electricity to charge my laptop-which came in handy…keep reading to find out why).  Anyways, it was $30ish/night, but the location made it 100)% worth it.  To be honest they could probs charge like double that and people would still stay there.  I checked in with the kind owners who also lived there, and Wayan,bless his heart, carried my massive bag down to the treehouse, which was no easy task at all.  Not only did we hike two pretty exhausting trails that day, but the path down to the treehouses is super steep, muddy, and precarious.  Not to mention the breathtaking view is extremely distracting.  I kept on telling myself to look where I was going cause I was taking in the landscape a bit too much.  But just look at how amazing this view is!!!!

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Views from the trail to the tree house
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from my porch
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front view
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if you look closely you can see the terrifying monkeys in the grass

When I arrived it was around 5:30 and I only had a little time before the sun set.  So I sat on my porch and enjoyed the amazing views.  While I was sitting and minding my own business I accidentally made eye contact with one of the monkeys.  As I wrote about in my Ubud post, you are not supposed to make eye contact with these animals because they take it as a sign of aggression.  Well OOPS.  This monkey was not tame like the Ubud ones (where even thought they are used to people I still got bit, lol) and it stared right back at me and showed me its pointy teeth.  I am already a bit terrified of monkeys, which remind me of like a mini human.  Anyways after trying to look away from the monkey and go back to minding my own business that monkey freaking sprinted to the stairs of my tree house and started making its way up to me so I ran so fast into my room, locked the windows, and used my backpack as a weight to keep the door closed (the lock didn’t work on my door).  So I sat on my bed in the safety of my little hut and refused to go outside, the despite the fact that I wanted to pee.  Hahah I might be a little overdramatic but hey, I didn’t want to anger this monkey any more that already had.

As the sunset I realized how exhausted I was from that long day of adventuring.  I got on my laptop and watched a episode of Sherlock so I wouldn’t be going to bed way too early. At about 9:00 I switched off my light, got comfy in my bed, and tried to fall asleep. I kept on hearing scampering in my room and my mind was racing thinking what it could possibly be. Eventually I decided to put my worries to rest and switch on the light to reveal what it was.  Half hoping it was a noisy gecko, I got out of bed, turned on a light, and saw a MASSIVE rat on the desk staring at me.  I shrieked and scared it off.  It ran over my bag and outside through the gap between the wall and the roof.  Now I don’t usually get scared of critter, but being alone and not knowing what animals I was sleeping with creeped me out.  I ended up sleeping with my light on and Sherlock playing while I went to sleep so I didn’t hear any scampering.  After a pretty unrestful night, I woke up super early to catch the sunrise.  Unfortunately, the cloud cover was too thick for a good sunrise, but the view was still soo spectacular.  I ended up taking a million photos, watching some worshiping happen, and meditating on top of a little hill where I shrine was.  I talked for a while with a couple that was staying at the treehouses, and I just love hearing stories about people chasing their dreams and traveling the world.  It inspires me to realize that it is not crazy to want to go everywhere and never stop exploring.

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Taking in the view
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Panoramic views, treehouse and the sea

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At around 9 AM I decided I wanted to go to the well-known beach nearby, known as Atuh Beach. So I packed up all my belongings, with my backpacking backpack on my back, and my backpack filled with valuables on my front, and began the journey up to the top of the mountain (where the road and restaurant is).  This was no easy task guys.  The ground was slippery, I had like 50 pounds of extra weight on my body, and it was super hot and humid out.  So I was dripping sweat just sitting, so you can imagine me trying to make it up this hill.  It was quite a sight.  But as you know I am a pretty stubborn, independent lady so no I did not ask for help.  I made it though, myself, and dropped off my big bag to the owners and explained I was walking to the beach.  They cautioned me to be safe, gave me directions, and off I headed to Atuh Beach.  It wasn’t actually that far, but I was pretty tired so I just took my time and took in the views.  Along the way I faced off with another family of monkeys.  This time I knew to grab a rock in case they decided to charge.  As soon as I lifted the rock in the air as a warning they took off.  So apparently I am not the first one to do this because they knew not to mess with me.  The views from the top of the trail at Atuh beach were incredible, and I could even see my little treehouse from a distance.  That was pretty cool!

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View from the right side of the path (my treehouse way in the distance)
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View of Atuh Beach on the left side of the path

The climb down was pretty steep, but definitely doable and not as long as the other trails.  On the beach there were more tourists than I had seen my entire trip (still only maybe three groups of people).  There were some restaurants and chairs you could rent out.  I walked the beach collecting some beautiful shells, and took some photos of the awesome arch that the beach is known for.  Check it out.

I had this little section of the beach to myself, so I made the most of it by setting up my sarong and taking a much needed snooze after a restless night in the treehouse (still sooo worth it though).  At lunch time I decided to seek out some food cause I had skipped breakfast and was getting hangry.  Only a few of the restaurants were open, I assume because it was low season plus the whole Mt Agung thing meant that there were very few tourists visiting Bali.  Again I asked for anything vegetarian, as to no surprise I ended up with veggie fried rice, which I enjoy.  While waiting for my food I decided to go shelling, check out these beautiful treasures I found!

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mermaid treasures
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lunch views

After lunch I hiked back up to the treehouse where I collected my bags and met up with Wayan, my trusty driver on Nusa Penida.  We repacked the bike with my massive bag, an drove to my next destination on Nusa Penida, called Toyapakeh, where the ferries run out of. I knew eventually I wanted to take a boat to Nusa Lembongan, and I found a super cheap homestay so without no legit plan I made it to my next destination. On my way we had a pretty long motorbike ride across the island.  We took a scenic route along the coast and I got to see some beautiful beaches and seaweed farming.

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dont worry mom I am being safe 

I got to my homestay at around 3 PM, where i met the owner, Jose, who was super nice and helpful.  I went into my air conditioned room and took my first shower in a super long time, which felt so amazing.  After that I took a little nap in my comfy bed and then packed up some things and went for a walk along the beach.  I wanted to ask people about the best and cheapest way to Nusa Lemongan and I was confronted by a bunch of locals who asked if I wanted to go snorkeling.  Well of course I did, cause Nusa Penida is known for manta rays and I would never let that opportunity pass.  I even considered scuba diving but I decided to do some snorkeling first before committing to diving, which is much more expensive.  I decided to whatsapp Jose to ask him what the best snorkeling deal with.  Before I even came to Nusa Penida I had been in contact with a company who takes guests out, and they tried charging me $60 because I was alone so they had to charge me more.  Unfair, so I asked around seeing if there were any boats already planning on going out tomorrow that I could join along.  Fortunately, I found one person, who took some persuading to get the price down, but eventually I got my price down to $15 for like 6 dive sites which is a pretty incredible price.  For the rest of the evening I relaxed in bed watching Sherlock (I was feeling tired a bit lame), then I went out to eat for some vegan tempeh and noodles.  This was another pretty local place with low prices, and the owner was super nice and actually sat with me to chat.  She was saying that she was proud of me for traveling alone.  She didn’t speak perfect English but she spoke enough for me to tell her a bit about my life.  After telling her I live in Saudi Arabia she offered to give me a tour of the island’s mosque, which was super sweet of her.

The next day I woke up and went on my snorkel trip.  I joined along with a nice French couple.  A little backstory to this day, I had contacted the online company because they promised they could take me to the underwater Buddha temple, which most of the boats don’t go to.  Even the captain of the boat I was in said it was too far away so I said that it was fine if I missed it, and I would just go on a boat from Nusa Lemongan to see it.  So our first stop of the day was to manta point, which was near broken beach where I had seen mantas from land the day before.  The captain was convinced that there were no mantas in the area because the waves were too big (not quite sure the correlation there) but I am pretty good in the ocean and reading currents/the environment and found two mantas within like a minute of being in the water.  It was incredible because it was just be and these mantas for like 10 minutes. When I looked up to see the boat I noticed I was super far away and by myself (not near any of the other boats) OOPS.  So I sprinted back to the boat.  The captain looked at me and said “no mantas today, lets go to the next site”.  I responded that I had seen some and pointed to the area.  He asked me to take the French couple with me (because they were paying more money to be on the boat), so I found them and asked them to follow me.  I swear 30 seconds later we passed by another giant manta ray.  I yelled for them to look down, and pointed at the majestic creature and they were so thrilled to see it.  HEEOE7245HXXFE8295IHLZE7379The woman was starting to get seasick so we got back into the boat, and headed to the calmer waters of Crystal Bay, where I had freedove the day before.  The water was perfectly calm, i probably could have spent all day here, it was so lovely.  My highlight was finding a sea snake!  Thy don’t have these in Hawaii so it was cool to see something so new and different.  These reptiles breathe air so I watched it slither up to the surface and take a gulp of water, which was super cool!  The water was clear and the coral was bright, vivid, and pristine, so I enjoyed about 40 minutes of heaven under the sea.  Eventually our captain called us over and we went to our next dive site.

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Look how amazing this coral is

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Once we got in the boat, the captain said that because I found everyone mantarays, that he would take me to the Buddha temple.  WOOO.  It was so beautiful check out these pictures!DCIM103GOPROGOPR0025.JPGJRALE5049JWNP2835KLKGE1320NAWU8274

Our next site was known for large fish, called giant trevally.  Because I have a lot of experience in the water, I was well aware that these fish can attack, so I was a little weary when he said that is what we were going to swim with.  He convinced me that it was fine and before I knew it I was freediving alone in a school of giant trevally.  I think maybe they are only aggressive when they are hungry and they didn’t seem very bothered by my presence.  It was awesome to see such large fish!OYUJ8708

The last stop was a drift dive along the shore where my hotel was.  It was so beautiful.  Lots of anemones and soft corals. While we were underwater it started downpouring.   I actually love snorkeling in the rain, because although above the water seems chaotic and stormy, it is so peaceful and serene under the sea.  So quiet and perfect! It ended up raining or three straight days after this.  I will quickly summarize my days. After snorkeling I returned to my hotel, and booked a cheap homestay on the neighboring island called Nusa Lemongan.  I based my choice in hotel on location, I wanted to be walking distance from restaurants and things to do.  So I packed up my stuff, ate lunch, and then went to the meeting spot for where the boats depart.  You basically just sit in the meeting area and once there are 10 people ready to go across the boat will leave.  Unfortunately, due to the weather I had to wait a while for the rain to calm down.  I ended up taking shelter in a restaurant because it was raining so hard.  I made friends with a nice Australian couple and we chatted about our stay.  They were only at Nusa Penida for a day trip from Lembongan which definitely made me happy I had three nights in this awesome place.  Eventually the rain slowed (never actually stopping) and took the 10 minute boat ride getting soaked.  Once arriving, I took shelter at a store where I bought some water and oreos and waited for the rain to slow.  I grabbed a motorscooter taxi to my hotel, where I found out that the owner was off island. The great grandma who spoke zero english let me in, gave me the keys, and I laid in bed for the afternoon listening to the sound of rain and watching Sherlock.  It was a bit of a process for me to find the wifi password, but eventually I got it which was good cause I could figure out where I wanted to go for dinner.  I walked about 15 minutes to a spot called Mushroom bay which had tons of food options.  At this point I was sick of fried rice so I was stoked to find all kinds of food here.  I braved the rain and walked around a bit in the dark to get my bearings.

I ended up staying at this homestay for two nights, and it literally did not stop raining my entire stay, which was a bit depressing because there were such beautiful beaches here.  I walked to them all in the rain, but it wasn’t quite the same as they would be on a bright and beautiful day, but that is what you get for going to Bali during monsoon season I guess!  I did end up getting a massage every day, because they were super cheap and a great way to relax.

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An amazing ice cream pie splurge
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Rainy days aren’t so fun on Nusa Lembongan

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Awesome view of Mt. Agung

After Nusa Lembongan I took a ferry to Sanur in Southern Bali where I stayed for my last two nights.  I loved Sanur so much, plus it was super sunny and beautiful so I was so happy.  I also found super cheap souvenirs and massages.  In addition, the white sand beach had tons of beautiful shells, crystal clear swimming water, and a long beach side path for walking.  There were so many restaurants to choose from, and even a night market right across from my hotel with dirt cheap local food.  I stayed at Puri mango, which had AC, a lovely pool, wifi, and warm shower!  It was a great way to end my trip to Bali!

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