It takes about an hour to drive to the lovely little beach of Padang Padang in Pecatu from the mouth of hell. As you leave Jimbaran and follow the signs to Uluwatu, the road starts to transform in a building site. Half-started development upon development sit next to garish plastic billboards and giant signs promise a tourists' mecca to come. The beach itself is gorgeous. Yellow sands, bright blue turquoise seas that I haven't seen since Thailand. (Most shallow water looks quite dark here as many of the beaches are a dark volcanic sand). Maybe it's the high concentration of surfers nestled in the waves and in the seated crowd lining the shore, but the vibe here is quite relaxed, there's something a bit Thai, maybe even a bit North Devonshire about it.
The walk down the steep cliff steps and the long, right peeling break flowing smoothly does seem to add to it. The green back roads coming up to Padang Padang remind me of Woolacombe, North Devon. As you climb the hill, the air becomes cooler underneath pockets of shade from the trees along the road and the lack of traffic hints at the undisturbed countryside. The trees are guarding the roadside and pavements have been abolished! Fresher air, fewer cars and great big coaches clogging up small roads- distinctly Devon!