True Bali spirit on Nusa Ceningan

Nusa Ceningan in Bali is an ideal spot for tourists to relax. Imagine incredible sunsets, simple rooms and trash-free, quiet, pristine beaches. Located a mere 30 minutes across the Badung Strait, Nusa Ceningan is a world away from bustling South Bali.

You can spend your days there surfing, snorkeling or diving. In the evening, you can cozy up with a good book while swinging in a hammock, or drink cheap beer with new friends.

Nusa Ceningan has the funky vibe that many travelers seek and cherish. Ceningan is part of a trio of islands that includes Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, located 20 kilometers from Bali’s southern shore.

Wedged between its two sister islands, Ceningan’s small size makes it easy to explore in a day. In fact, a quick day trip here is easy to do.

A small wooden suspension bridge connects Ceningan to Nusa Lembongan. Cars cannot fit on the narrow bridge — motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians only. This makes it quite easy to navigate the network away from the beaten track.

Ceningan is very hilly and, if you’re up to hiking, climbing one of the hills will grant you a glimpse of stunning scenery.

The first things you notice after disembarking are the perfectly square bamboo frames in the ocean. These are for seaweed farming, a major source of income on the small island.

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Upon closer observation, sharp bamboo stakes are interspersed between rectangular plots, which make for hazardous swimming and surfing conditions at high tide.

At low tide, seaweed farmers with large woven double baskets slung across their shoulders head to the plots to maintain and care for their crops.

Work must be done quickly before the tide rolls in. These farmers add to the colorful character of the island’s charm. Many of them are appreciative of interest in their work and are keen to talk about seaweed farming.

On average, they work five to seven hours a day, depending on the tides. It takes approximately 28 days to harvest seaweed. After harvesting, it is dried on blue tarpaulins and packaged.

Seaweed is commonly used as a thickening agent in a number of commercial and industrial products like pâté, toothpaste, ice cream, soy milk, processed meats, personal lubricants, air fresheners and fire-fighting foam.

Most of the farming is done on the western side of the island, so it is best to go swimming and surfing on the eastern side.

Bales of seaweed are shipped offshore and processed, which is a shame because the farmers do all the hard work and earn a pittance of Rp 70,000 (US$6) to Rp 100,000 a day.

The next thing you notice is the silence. Nature’s soundtrack of waves breaking on the shore, birds chirping and frogs croaking punctuates the quiet. Many international visitors flock to Bali to escape, but true escape is to be had on Ceningan.

South Bali is equipped with the modern-day trappings of neon-lit clubs, chic restaurants and headache-inducing traffic. Naturally, locals and long-term residents seek an escape from the cacophony and, with a short travel time and immediate immersion into solitude and quiet reflection, Ceningan fits the bill.

View original article at: True Bali spirit on Nusa  Ceningan

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