A short recap before the road trip stories continue.
Yes, it was a very tiring first day, as this was the very first time we tried to adjust the rhythm of our trip together. Following my usual pace, I could —and definitely would— drive all the way to the very north, but considering it was only two of us throughout, then I know I have to hold on myself. Slowing down my pace of moving and hopping to another place with little Bum’s napping time and stamina; stopping by at random places whenever he was bored on the road or simply asked to be breastfed. All of them took the journey longer than it usually be. At Candidasa area, finally we slept soundly holding each other as we closed our day, recharging the energy to continue the journey on the next day.
The alarm was on around 5am, before the dawn. I carried the sleeping Bumi up with me and sat just right on the side of the beach, waiting for the sun came to conquer the darkness of night. The sound of waves echoed a powerful rhythm, sang a marching melody to welcome the bright yellow spark on the east. What a peacefully sight to see, a sunrise always marks a new hope for a brand new day. As beautiful as ever.
Our energy has been recharged, we checked out from the cottages and our second day of road trip was officially began. The next destination on my list was one hidden beach nearby, which has been written as one of my bucket “beach” list since quite long ago. It’s around 10 km further away following the road from Candidasa, known as White Sand Beach or Virgin Beach.
The sign toward this place was pretty small from the main road, we needed to look carefully to make a right turn to the small road and crossing the hill with before reaching it. Also, some part of the road nearby the beach was currently under maintenance, causing us to park our car pretty far and we had to walk around 600m down first. Well, the distance wasn’t that bad; but while carrying the 11-ish kg baby, that was another story. *grin*
We arrived just right on the beach by 7am, the surrounding was quiet as we were the only one there. As far as I glanced, I saw a very wide open beach with nobody else. The name of the beach served itself right, it was clean white sands with gentle waves over a crystal clear blue water. Magical and mystical. Surrounded by steep cliff on the side, made it felt like a very secluded private beach on our own that time. Its beauty was calling our name to play on the sun and jump under the water; we couldn’t resist, for sure. I wonder why, but this beach hasn’t got a proper fame as what it deserves to. For me, I really consider this beach as one of the most enjoyable place to swim on my list.
The little Bumi couldn’t wait. Immediately, he was begging for me putting him down and letting him go by himself. As his feet touching the sand below, he screamed excitedly. His voice was echoing around, surrounding the mornin air with joy and emerging happiness. He played with the sand, he walked towards the water, he observed carefully. No sign of fear as he faced the vastness of rushing wave, just as if he wanted to say: one day, “I’ll conquer this as what you always do, mom!” I smiled when his eyes found mine, he grinned and pointed out to the water, asked me to carry him in. And so I did. We just had the greatest morning ever under the blue.
Yes, under the blue. It was just two of us, going through incredible view. Seriously, with his presence, it’s a world of brand new. As I opened my eyes, all are adventures await us to pursue.
Done with playing in the water, there are plenty showering place available on the hut by the side of the beach, before walked back to the parking spot. Huks! Fasten the seatbelt again, and we were ready for our next destination: Taman Ujung Soekasada. Approximately another 10km away following the main road, then took the right turn on the intersection, on the opposite direction from Amlapura city.
It was an open view of rice field throughout the ride, with the blue covered the whole sky those morning. Following the winding road ahead, and all of sudden the sight of this place came unto us: a majestic old gate upon a spacious neat park with a very big pond. My jaw dropped by seeing those scenery, whispering continuously ‘wow’ while driving towards its entrance gate.
It was only 10am in the morning when we stepped our feet on the bridge that connecting the parking spot to the park itself. The view of an old empire heritage building over a beautiful park greeted us welcomely. They said, it was made in the year of twentieth for serving the Karangasem King on their relaxation time or simply on their duty of meeting with an important guest on their glorious era. No wonder, the complex is beyond impressive, suited much as one pride they could hold on into. I cannot argue though, the view was exceptionally beautiful, and what surprised me most was the fact that it’s very very well maintenance. As a mascot of tourist destination in the east part of Bali, this place has become a popular destination for both local or international tourist.
And so we took our kinda-late morning walk over its spacious beautiful park, while having our morning sun-bathing. As this place is also well-known as a beautiful background for pre-wedding picture, it was just made sense to take (a lot) of picture of us, right? *blushing* Cannot help it, the iphone, timer, and the tongsis would serve us more than just enough. The duet traveller, —a blessed mom and a happy son—, finally stroke the pose.
As the sun was getting high and the weather was getting unbearable, I sat over the car and in urge to finally make a decision: shall I go further, or going back? It’s been halfway through the island and I was pretty close to Amed, wasn’t it better to go all the way? I wanted it BADLY, but the hunch inside kept telling me to go home. Hesitating for some while, my ego and my pride was yelling for Amed, yet I looked back at the tired little Bumi and finally decided: home, it should be. A mom gotta do what a mom gotta do; this journey was enough for now. We would find another time, we have plenty. This adventure would find us all over again. So I turned over and headed back to the South.
Yet, there was still one last destination haunting my mind: Jasri Beach and its tree swings over the Chocolate Factory. I never heard of that before, but it was mentioned by one person in @KartuPos’s twitter timeline and it’s been caught my heart ever since. This. The picture of the swings that grabbed my attention in a blink of an eye.
Just a swing, but somehow I wanted to be there and I knew I would be there. Firstly, I thought it wouldn’t much difficult as I just needed to find my way to Jasri Beach, but turned out I was completely wrong. By following the winding road, it took me lost from one turn to another and I always ended up in different side of the beach. Kinda frustrated, since asking direction to locals kept getting me lost even further. Nearly gave up, I was but I told myself to keep on searching. And I followed my hunch by make a turn into a very small road nearby the gas station, and going forward. The road was extremely narrow, passing by the jungle of high coconut trees; I almost gave up in the middle since the road kept getting narrowed and untouchable.
But just at the end of the road, my hunch served me right, the Chocolate Factory’s sign lied over the bamboo fence! Yeay! I was beyond excited to read that. So then I rushed in and found the swing was hanging there alone, untouched by any, as if it was waiting solely for me only. Tied up with a thick rope unto the very tall tree right above the little hill, making it is possible to swing itself very high from the ground. Such a fun exciting thing to do, while seeing the peaceful view of the virgin Jasri Beach. A hidden treasure, it was.
The little Bumi was sleeping, so I put him on his seat while I immediately gave the swing a try. Grabbed and pulled the rope to the bamboo platform where I shall began jumping on from, it was quite high from the ground. A moment before I jumped, I paused. It wasn’t a moment of hesitation, it was excitement; a rushing adrenaline I’ve been missing on. Should I? Sure, here I go! Then I jumped.
The swing flied me to the air, my heart was pounding.
I screamed. Not in fear, but relieving.
I remembered the feeling, I remember its sensation.
The joy and happiness from a spontaneous adrenaline rush of freedom.
I smiled from cheek to cheek, I laughed.
Loudly. The loudest I ever did in the past two years time.
Happiness could be as simple as swinging high and flying on the trees.
I’m free. I’m still free.
Nothing chained me on the ground, I’ll just need to take the little Bumi fly together with me.
The feeling is surely priceless, those tree swing has made my day. I drove back to Kuta at ease, Amed and Tulamben could wait. I’m coming back home. This spontaneous road trip was happened base on the question: “am I happy?”, and I found my answer already. I do. This journey just proved boldly, the adventurer in me would always still have a place to be. Having a baby doesn’t make me trapped and chained on the ground, just make the adventure even better and greater. A solo traveler finally go duet!
Anyway, what’s the point of having a great trip without enjoying a plate of good food of local cuisine? On my way back home, in Klungkung area nearby the Luwih Cave, I made a right turn to smaller road, which directed me to one quite famous place: Warung Mertha Sari. It was well-known with their fish satay and sate lilit; once was featured in New York Times as well. One portion is consisted of a plate of white rice, Balinese soup with big chunks of tuna, fresh sambal matah, and satays. Heaven on a plate, my all time favorite and it’s around Rp 25.000,-/portion. If you are here, make sure to order their signature cem-ceman water. Don’t ask me what is that, I don’t even know. All I know, it’s really interesting and worth to try once.
Full and stuffed. Happy belly, happier heart. We continued our journey back home, halfway the journey, then what happened next just surprised me. Just entering the big ring road Ida Bagus Mantra, something went wrong with my car and I had to stop by the side of the road. Kinda frustrated at time, since I felt all alone with no one I could ask for help. But then I reminded myself, I’m strong enough to take care my own as well to solve the problem by myself. I’d stand by my own backbone and finding someway put. So I locked the door and carried the little Bumi looking for technician and some help, and I’m blessed enough to be surrounded by many helping people out there. Hahaha, good thing I was following my hunch to go back. I couldn’t imagine if I continued the journey and got stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Done with the repairing, we headed back home smoothly. Tired but satisfied completely. So below was the map of our journey, I couldn’t believe it was only around 80km. Well, it’s only Bogor-Jakarta, and I used to go back and forth the distance for work before. It wasn’t far as I remember, but this road trip felt like forever on the road! *crying* Cannot complain though, the time spent with little Bumi on the road was the time well-spent. Having baby on the board surely made a lot of differences and slowed me down a little, but having him as my traveling partner was surely beyond anything I could ask for.
We made it. We made this road trip to East, and I know this was only just a beginning from many more to come. A duet traveler of mom and little son is now born.
Thank you, East Bali for marking our brand new world. See you in another adventure, soon 🙂