As we had two weeks in Ubud and a motorbike, we decided to take a weekend to explore other parts of Bali. So we headed off to Amed, a stretch of coast in East Bali, incorporating seven villages.
The drive from Ubud is a fairly boring slog along main roads until the last hour. But then it gets really, really good. The road took us up mountains, through villages in the valleys and along the coast, with just about the most amazing scenery you can imagine. We are constantly stunned by how beautiful Bali is.
It took about 4 hours to reach Amed, with a lunch stop. The villages are spread out over 14 km and they all have accommodation options. We decided to stay in Jemeluk, the second village, as you can snorkel right off the beach. Half the bay is sand and the other is pebbles, all black from volcanic rock.
It's undeniably touristy, but in a much more low-key way than some of Bali's other beaches. There aren't really any resorts, it's all about bungalows, sunbathers camped out in between fishing boats and cafes on the beach serving up the catch of the day. In other words, it's perfect!
We didn't stay for long, but we managed to fit in a walk along the beach, swimming, snorkelling and some time in the sun.
There are lots of different places to snorkel and dive around Amed, including a Japanese ship wreck. But if you're short on time, there's plenty of sea life and coral just a few metres off Jemeluk beach.
And then before we knew it, we had to head off again. On the way home we got stuck in a sea of motorbikes for an hour. This was super annoying until we realised that the hold up was being caused by a Balinese ceremony. After taking a wrong turn, we got to see the procession up close.
Another great road trip in Indonesia (read about another one here)!