Lovina felt crowded and busy. A guidebook I read suggested that if an overpass were built, it would significantly increase tourism
. After seeing the main road in Lovina, a highway by Bali standards, I couldn't help but agree. Our hotel had 2 mountain bikes that were free to use, so our first full day there we set out toward the city center. We'd been dubious of the safety of renting and driving mopeds, and thought we'd feel more secure with our feet propelling us. Nonetheless, the road was crowded with cards and weaving motorcycles and "comforting" is not a word I'd use to describe the feeling of bike riding in Lovina. We made it near the city center and decided to turn back. As we started off in that direction, keeping close to the shoulder of the road, a moped nearly hit Jack - as he watched it take off, he saw the bikes handles clip mine. My bike teetered, women nearby yelped, but I kept my balance and pulled off the road. It was a bit rattling, and once we made it back on the bikes to the hotel, we decided we'd stick to walking from then on.
One of my favorite places in Lovina we found was a German Bakery and grocery. I had a lot of fun checking out the international foods I hadn't seen in awhile, and we loved their croissants and pastries. Lovina, and the north shore of Bali, is known for their beaches and marine life. Lovina's icon is the dolphin statue downtown.The beaches were beautiful to look at from a short distance, sparkling black sand and blue blue seas, but closer inspection revealed their unfortunate polluted state
. Our third day in Lovina we took a joint dolphin-watch and snorkeling tour. The dolphins and simply getting out on the sea at sunrise, were breath taking. But later that day when we went snorkeling, the damaged state of the reef and laver of grime on the top of the water were disheartening. But the number of fish was incredible, especially given the circumstances, and we really enjoyed snorkeling. Our boat captain threw some bread in the water when we dove in, and the fish came right up to us and even nibbled on our hands!
Our next destination was a day trip was to Menjangan Island where we were delighted to find pristine water and thriving marine life. We rented an underwater camera and took so many photos that it's going to need it's own post..
We arrived in Lovina in the evening and settled into our new place, Mumbul Guesthouses Our first night, we got dinner at the hotel and had a quiet night after the long day of driving. The next morning we set out to take in the town. I'll admit, at first I had some reservations and I was missing Uluwatu and being so close to the sea. Once we found the beach and oriented ourselves to Lovina, we started to love it. Our hotel was lovely, the couple that was running it had only taken over in January and were hard at work. Micheal was originally from Australia and he had taught English in Japan before settling in Bali. His wife Ammanda was originally from Sumatra, another area of Indonesia. They had 2 staff around to help out as well. Everyone was extremely friendly and went out of their way to ensure we had a pleasant stay.