We paid the hotel $785,000 (slightly less than Aus $100) for the past five nights, including breakfast each day and having our clothes washed. We were sad to leave such a good place, an area we had gotten to know well (Jimbaran), and the kind staff but it was time to move on so we packed our bags, carried our bags and bikes separately down the stairs and waved goodbye to Sunny, one of the staff we’d made friends with - who still couldn’t believe we were riding our bikes around the world or understand why we would want to do such a crazy thing (sometimes we wonder the same thing ourselves).
The first 60km were through a never-ending stretch of towns, each one blending into the next. This meant we always had supplies of cold drinks when we needed a break and a sugar hit.
The GPS on the phone usually worked well, leading us fairly easily through the weaving network of roads. We stopped often to check it and other than a few confusing moments when it wanted us to turn around and take a different road, we made it to the road which would take us to the ferry terminal in Gilamanuk.
We'd decided to ride 80km on the first day, and when we hit that mark we found a modern, western style hotel just off the main road. We asked the price but were shocked to be told $600,000 for one night for the cheapest room! We told the lady that was too expensive and she suggested we ride another 10km to Medewi Beach, a popular surfers hangout.
We kept going, pausing only once to consider taking a dirt road that had a sign saying there was a hotel 1km away, but a local noticed us looking at the sign and pointed at it, put his thumb down and shook his head. He motioned for us to keep riding down the road. We were very grateful for that local tip!
The first hotel we saw in Medewi Beach had a cheap restaurant attached but it was full. There were surfers arriving back from a day out in the waves and it seemed we'd stumbled into a well-known surfing area. The man from the hotel took us next door, where there was no sign, and spoke to the lady who lived there. She showed us a small room with a double bed and a bathroom (of sorts) attached, and said $60,000 ($7.50 australian). That was more like it! We moved our bikes in and enjoyed the cold shower, washing away all the sweat and dirt of the day. At the restaurant next door we enjoyed dinner of spaghetti bolognese and stir fried veggies and chicken. It was a nice change from Nasi Goreng!
Back in our room we watched some episodes of House and fell into a fitful sleep, interrupted through the night by the American and Mexican surfers who were drinking outside our door.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia