Our final stop on our tour of Bali was the Bukit Peninsula in the south of the island
Bingin is a relatively untouched village whose beach forms part of the chain of surfing hotspots in southern Bali. With names like Impossibles, Dreamland and Playgrounds it conjures up images of challenging and perfect waves, and after talking to several surfers these names are well deserved. We've yet to try to catch a wave but it's top of the list of things to do if and when we return to Bali
We stayed at the Bingin Family Guesthouse and were well looked after by Susie and Putu. After checking in we enquired about hiring a scooter. Ten minutes later one turned up, delivered by Susie's cousin. No ID, licence or formal agreement required, just keep the bike for as long as you want and pay when you return it. Part of Bingin's charm is the fact that it's still a genuine Balinese village and like all villages everybody knows everybody else's business. Within a day of arriving we'd met all of Susie's immediate and extended family and between them they'd offered us everything from a massage to a tour of the island!
Whilst exploring we stumbled across a Spanish restaurant called El Kabron run by Carlos from Barcelona who'd been bitten so badly by the surfing bug that he'd decided to 'up-sticks' and live in Bali so that he could surf whenever he got the opportunity. The restaurant is perched on the edge of the cliff with an unrestricted view of the Bingin and Impossibles surf breaks. The views and the sunset were spectacular and on this occasion the food was great too although it was slightly surreal eating tapas in a Spanish restaurant in southern Bali!
Bingin is also close to Uluwatu which is a tourist hotspot for two other reasons in addition to its surf. These are it's temple perched on a rocky outcrop and the Kecak Fire Dance. The dance tells the story of Rama and Sita and is Bali's equivalent of Romeo and Juliet although in this version the lovers live happily ever after. It's unique in that it's not accompanied by any musical instruments, no Gamelan for once, instead the chorus of men provide the soundtrack through their chanting which becomes almost trance like
From Bali we fly to Kota Kinabalu in Borneo (taxi to the airport courtesy of Susie's brother). We've stayed in Bali longer than anywhere else on our travels and yet the last two months have flown by. Hopefully we'll get the opportunity to return before we finally start to head for home