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The ferry to Bali from Java took a little bit longer than we had thought it would. We were in it for close to an hour which was double what we had been led to believe. Despite this we enjoyed the journey. The kids played well together on the crossing while Mum and Dad rested. Once we docked in Gilimanuk we made our way downstairs with our backpacks on and disembarked on foot to try find a ride to Permuteran.
It wasn’t long before we were met by some drivers offering their services and the usual bartering ensued. Happy with a negotiated price there was a short toilet break before we got in the car and headed towards Pemuteran. We had heard about the village of Pemuteran while travelling through Indonesia. It is a small, sleepy village with a black volcanic beach. Not too far out from the beach is the Biorock project. With the reefs destroyed the locals placed metal structures out at sea and applied a low voltage to these. This encouraged the regrowth of the coral. Many of the villagers are very proud of their efforts to restore the reef.
As we drove towards Pemuteran the first noticeable difference between Java and Bali was the condition of the roads. The road was well tarmacked and the drive was nice and smooth. It took just under an hour to reach our guesthouse from the docks of Gilimanuk. We stayed in Pondok Shindu Guesthouse which was situated down a bumpy alley road that jutted off from the main road. It was cheaper to book two separate double rooms and despite being split up the rooms more than made up for it. A large double bed in an air-conditioned room with an outside shower/toilet each. Each room had a shaded porch out the front with seating area.
The guesthouse was only 70 meters from the beach too, so once we had settled in we went to check it out. At first glance the beach wasn’t anything to shout home about. It was smaller than we had thought it would be. We took a walk along the beach, dipping our feet in the water as we went. The sea was very clear but because of the black sand it didn’t appear to be at first glance. Finished with the beach we took a stroll back to the main street to find somewhere to eat. It was hot and we were all a little grumpy with each other at dinner. On the plus side, we found a super restaurant, The Hungry Army, with great staff and food.
Having rested we went back to the beach the following morning. While Dad and the kids had fun in the waves, Mum went snorkelling. She came back very happy having seen a variety of sea life including a sea snake! Since the sun is strong here in Pemuteran we reverted to the tried and tested method of getting out of the sun to do some learning exercises with the kids.
For the five days in Pemuteran this was our routine. One afternoon at the beach we arrived to find hundreds of plastic bags floating in the sea. There were two locals attempting to clean it all up so we helped. Apparently, the villages up in the hills will throw rubbish in the rivers and when the rain comes it washes it downstream into the sea.
The kids loved walking past the guesthouse next door as it had a lovely young dog called Jibang who would rush out with her tail wagging to great them.
Out last full day in Pemuteran was our daughters 6th birthday. She got to choose what we did. We spent the morning at the beach before cake and (free) ice cream for lunch. She didn’t fancy doing much in the afternoon so we lazed around before dinner. At dinner, the staff went off on their scooter and arrived back with a balloon for her. We saw Jibang one last time that evening.
After breakfast our driver arrived for our onward trip to Ubud.