Discovery is a term of absolute relativity. What may be a discovery to one could be a thing of routine for another. NASA and ISRO may be busy preparing for manned and unmanned missions to planets of potential in our galaxy, but almost all of us in this world are yet to see the beauty that resides all around us, near and far.
Ask Newton about the sweet taste of discovery (if you can), ask Lord Carnarvoron how it felt to step foot into the treasure cove of Tutankhamen. If they were alive, they would all tell you their stories with similar gleam in their eyes. Today, as I pen down this blog, I have a similar gleam in my eyes, as I'm about to describe my experience with HEAVEN on earth. Of course, it is a discovery by my own standards. But just like Bali has recently been discovered as the new Thailand for many Indians (or a better alternative to Bangkok in simple words) Nusa Penida, a small island off the coast of Bali, is in my opinion, the new Bali.
After my month long trip to the Philippines, I was due to return to familiar territories of the island of Bali. My short 8 day trip to Bali was an indication that I've just seen the tip of the iceberg (iceberg being a paradox here in the country of 17000 islands) So I returned to Bali in the beginning of August, without a plan and without a fixed itinerary.
This, however, was certain that I'm definitely visiting the beautiful island of Nusa Penida, touted by many as absolute heaven on earth. In didn't believe it. I thought it was an overstatement. But when the next 3 days unfolded themselves, i was left speechless.
30 kilometres off the south eastern coast of Bali (Sanur) lies a little archipelago of Nusa islands - Penida, Lembongan and Ceningan. The first and obvious stop on everyone's itinerary is Nusa Penida as it can be easily reached by a small boat in less than an hour (speed boat prices are IDR 200,000, however, a slower ferry ride could cost as little as IDR 75,000, operating only on selected days of the week)
After just two days in Bali, I packed my bags for Nusa Penida and urged two of my recently befriended travel mates from Germany and Poland to accompany me. As we reached the ferry port, both of them chose to stay back and explore more of Bali but the determined me stuck to my own plan and hopped on the speed boat that drenched me (and my luggage) in salt water even before I could get on it. But no complaints when you're a backpacker. You learn to take everything in its stride. So did I. 30 minutes and one minor nausea attack later, I found myself amidst a group of pesky taxi drivers who just wouldn't shut up. A deathly stare from me however did the trick immediately with the exception of a pushy saleswoman who wanted me to rent her scooty for the remainder of my stay in Nusa Penida. After initial irritation and reluctance, I gave in. And boy what a decision it was. Mark my words people, Nusa Penida is best explored on a scooter only. You obviously don't need a driver's licence and the people at the port rent scooters with full tank for as little as IDR 150,000 for two days. So that's what I did.
At this point, I would like to introduce two very important characters of this anecdote - Yolanda and Linda. These two girls pretty much epitomized the word "Friendliness" for me in a small space of 24 hours I spent with them. A brief conversation that ensued at the Sanur port eventualized into me sharing the hotel room with them for a night and memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Both Linda and Yolanda are from the island of Java and were on a weekend trip to Nusa Penida to explore their beautiful country.