After checking out of Club Med Bali, we made our way from Nusa Dua, the southern tip of Bali to Amed, a coastal region east of Bali which is a haunt for divers. It was a three-hour drive, where we passed by Candi Dasa, another coastal strip, several villages and many rice terraces. The picture below was adapted from Thinglink.com.
We finally made it to Amed after a butt-numbing ride and stayed at Geria Giri Shanti Bungalows, which was awarded Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2014 and 2015. The owners, Liselotte and David, also own Adventure Divers Bali, a fully licensed and accredited dive center based at the bungalows.
The fan-cooled bungalows with attached bathrooms are located in a lush tropical garden with a choice of double or twin beds. Breakfast is included and free Wifi service is available in communal areas. During high season, between 15 June and 30 September, as well as 20 December to 5 January, it costs USD$30 per night. For the rest of the year, it costs only USD$25!
We were offered a welcome drink while friendly Nyoman, a staff at Geria Giri Shanti, introduced Amed to us and recommended several restaurants to us, which we patronised during our stay.
Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you! It is indeed a black sand beach at Amed!
We often had our meals at Warung Pantai, which is located a short walk from our bungalow. As with any warung at Amed, this one is located on the beach, where you can see the beautiful sunset. We stopped here for an early dinner because of the early start we would be having the following day (or should I say that very night).
The food here is really affordable, a filling meal for two with drinks and dessert costs only about SGD$13! Since we were at Amed for a short time, we tried many the recommended dishes. Above is the Fish Curry (Rp35,000=SGD$3.50) with mixed vegetables and coconut milk and Nasi Campur Special (Rp30,000=SGD$3), rice served with fish, vegetables, egg, fried tempe and chicken satay.
We returned back to our bungalow around 7pm and slept till 1am, when we woke up to prepare for our trek up Mount Batur for the sunrise. After about a two hour ride along the empty streets of Bali, we met up with Putu from Bali Four Peaks Trekking to begin our trek. It took us USD$60 and about two hours to reach the top, around 6am. It was not easy to hike in pure darkness, using only torches to light our way, and on rocky and sandy ground.
There are no pictures of the climb up because honestly I had no energy to take any photos. I thought I would never reach the top, but thankfully we had the help of our guide and a helpful man who was only his way to sell drinks at the peak. By the time we finished our climb, my legs were wobbly like jelly.
The beautiful sunrise that greeted us at the top of the mountain. During the climb, I was sweating buckets even though it was around 18 degrees. However, the temperature at the peak was around 10-15 degrees and our perspiration quickly evaporated, so we scrambled to don our windbreakers. From our vantage point, we could see Mount Rinjani in the distance on Lombok Island, Mount Abang, and Mount Agung, the highest mountain in Bali.
Breakfast consisted of plain white bread with either mashed bananas or egg, two hard boiled eggs, fruits and some snacks. We were also given hot drinks.
The air was very fresh on the mountain and the views were picturesque. There are also monkeys on the mountain but they are quite friendly and you can feed them.
By the way, if you did not know this, Mount Batur is an active volcano and it had erupted 26 times before, the last one being in 2000. According to our guide, the black patch you see in the photo above, is not an overcast but was formed during one of the eruptions in 1960s when a whole village was wiped out.
I am still not exactly sure how I made it down on my shaky legs, but I did. When I got back to the bungalow, I immediately asked for a masseuse to be sent to our room. The massage cost Rp80,000 (SGD$8) for an hour and it really helped a lot to ease the throbbing muscles.
After washing up, we went back to Warung Pantai for lunch, where we ordered Nasi Goreng Special (Rp30,000=SGD$3), which is fried rice with chicken satay and egg, as well as Pepes Fish (Rp35,000=SGD$3.50), a Balinese dish. I really liked the fish! It was fresh, spicy and aromatic.
The afternoon was spent just napping and reading book on the patio. We then headed to Sails Restaurant for dinner. They provide pick up to and from your hotel for free! How awesome is that? This place has really great view (in the day, you can see the pictures at the bottom of the post). It is rather windy at night and I suggest you bring along a sweater.
The Local Tenderloin Fillet Steak was just a carnivore like me needed. You can choose from three portions: Normal (180gm, Rp125,000=SGD$12.50), Hungry (200gm,Rp140,000=SGD$14) and Divers Special (250gm Rp165,000=SGD$16.50). I had the Hungry and the doneness of the steak was perfect. The steak, one of their best sellers, was topped with caramelised onions and came with a side of mashed potatoes.
Sis was on a diet and only had the Fish Soup (Rp50,000=SGD$5). The soup is flavoured with lemongrass and citrus leaves. If you are not feeling very hungry, this is recommended.
The dessert options at Sails Restaurant was plentiful, but I decided on Banana Christmas (Rp50,000=SGD$5) which the staff said was really good. Pan-fried bananas cooked with light rum in orange sauce, served with vanilla ice cream.
As mentioned earlier, breakfast is provided at Geria Giri Shanti, but it does not do much to fill the stomach. I had what I thought was the ugliest pancake ever, while sis had her scrambled eggs.
While packing up, Tiger, the resident cat hijacked our bed! Apparently, we were staying at its favourite villa and boy can this cat sleep!
For our last meal at Warung Pantai, we ordered something from the BBQ section of the menu, Mahi-Mahi (Rp30,000=SGD$3). The chilli sauce was similar to Pepes Fish and the mahi-mahi was just as fresh. To end off our meal, we had Fried Banana (Rp15,000=SGD$1.50), which was rather disappointing as it was not accompanied with anything like ice cream or sauce.
It was a bit much to have three meals in four hours, but I wanted to make the most out of the last morning at Amed. We returned to Sails Restaurant for lunch. I had the Mie Goreng (Rp50,000=SGD$5) and Banana Lassi (Rp40,000=SGD$4).
When we got back, Tiger was still sleeping! Amazing cat! And it was off to the airport for me.