If you have ever searched how to get to Tembeling Beach, you will know there are so many varying opinions, warnings and routes to take.
What we are going to talk about today is something completely different. How we got to Tembeling Beach is quite the story. Let’s start at…
Chapter One: “I Company”
We were on our way back from Banah Cliff when the GPS led us to a new road that was still busy being constructed. However, we couldn’t see that until we were actually up at the top of the hill, where the road suddenly stops. We were greeted by a few local men looking confused, the men who were building the road.
So we hopped off the bike and asked them where Tembeling Beach was. It became clear that they couldn’t speak any English and our Bahasa was even worse. One man, however kept repeating “I company”. Eventually, he pointed us in the direction we needed to go.
We parked our bike and headed off in the direction he told us. This was not a great idea since there were no directions, just forest. Lots and lots of forest.
There we stood, at a split in the road looking confused. A few moments later, one of the men came over and said again “I company”. He showed us a key to what must have been a locker and tried to give it to us. Naturally this made less than no sense, so we graciously refused the key. This went on a good few times until eventually he gestured for us to follow him.
Why wouldn’t we follow the strange man we have never met?
So off into the forests of Nusa Penida we went. It was a bit of a tough journey, which mainly consisted of the man and Byron waiting for me and giggling at my great athletic, outdoor skills. The man even gave me his walking stick to keep me balanced on the very narrow ledge we were walking on.
Chapter Two: Deeper Into The Forest We Go…
We had made it a far way into the forest. The man turned around and tried to tell us something, we can only imagine it meant we cannot go any further because the pathway has been damaged and I will fall. Expertly portrayed through a string of impressive ‘charades’ moves.
So he turned back and motioned for us to follow him. At this point, we were already so confused, but we followed. This time, a different route.
Eventually, we came out in a little local village. The man ‘explained’ that this was his house.
Bear in mind, we are heading to Tembeling Beach. Somehow this doesn’t feel like how we are supposed to get there.
Anyway, by now we had caught the attention of some of the locals who were very inquisitive about us being in their village. Suddenly we were surrounded on all sides by spying eyes.
The man explained that he would drive Byron back to the road being constructed, where we parked so that we could get our bike back. I was to stay at his house while they did this and then they would come back and pick me up.
Bearing in mind that this was all done through gestures, Byron and I were quite nervous about this plan since he had to leave me behind.
However, he hopped on the bike and they sped off.
Chapter Three: Tammy All Alone
Suddenly, there was a group of elderly Balinese ladies flocking around me, trying to read my palm. Of course, no one spoke English and I was trying to explain that it was okay, I didn’t want to know what my palm had to say about my lifeline and so forth. (One of my grandmothers was actually from Indonesia and I remember her always trying to read my palm, tell me about my lifeline, how many children I would have etc. and I was never really comfortable with it back then.)
After all the ladies had a turn to see my hand, they led me to the back porch and told me to sit down. They sat down around me and just began talking to me.
I kept saying that I didn’t understand and they just kept on talking and laughing. Eventually, a young girl walked in who was very shocked to see me, but she could speak English. She ran outside to find out why I was there.
She explained that Byron and the man would be back in a second to fetch me soon.
Which, eventually, they did. I must say I was quite relieved to see Byron coming down the road.
Chapter Four: Arriving At Tembeling Beach
I hopped onto the back of the bike and we followed the man as he led us to the correct entrance to Tembeling Beach, down its very bumpy and narrow road.
After we arrived, he showed us the pathway where we were previously walking in the distance and now we could see how it was destroyed.
He led us down the stairs, showed us around and then said he needed to leave. Obviously, he did charge us IDR 100K ( A LOT OF MONEY ) but nevertheless, it was one of my favourite experiences from the island.
At the time, a little nerve-wracking, but I would do it over again to have this memory! The people were so kind, friendly and helpful.
If you would like to find out more, check out our Tembeling Forest & Beach Post for more information.
Growing up in an environment where following strangers into their houses and separating with different people (especially when you don’t even know why) is unheard of, this was quite a lot for us to manage.
How do you think you would have coped? What would you have done in our situation? Comment below!
The Road Ain’t That Bad
I’m not sure if you have ever search how to get to Tembeling Beach, but if you have, you will know of all the warnings about the road there. It is written (by so many) in such a way that we had resigned to parking at the top and walking down – as is the generic suggestion.
This is what led us to believe we were doing the right thing when we parked at that new road in the first place.
Anyway, after following our new friend on the bike, we discovered we had driven the ‘worst road on the island’ and didn’t even know it. For the whole drive we were worried about him leading us to the road we dare not drive down. Turns out we did it without even thinking about it. Sharing a bike.
This inspired us to write an article on the roads of Nusa Penida, honestly. No hype, no exaggeration and no downplaying. How they really are.
If you’re keen to give that a read, check it out right here.
More On Nusa Penida
Yip! There is a lot more.
Here’s our entire Nusa Penida Guide, which comes in a comprehensive video form too!
If you’re heading back to Ubud any time soon, we’ve got something for that too! A written guide and a video itinerary!
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