We made it to Lovina…Two hour harrowing drive…Dangerous experience…

Last evening view from the beach at Puri Bagus at sunset.

Last night seen from the beach at Puri Bagus at sundown. Finding gas stations is not so simple in the remote area of Bali. As it turned out, we had to drive to Lovina in the village of Gilimanuk to find a place to buy fuel.

Crossing over a river.

It would have been very inconvenient to run out of gasoline. Thanks to the “safari luck” we did it on the fumes long after the warning light illuminated. Turning around, in less than 15 minutes, we were back on track to our destination.

Beautiful ocean view along the motorway.

For some ridiculous reason I expected the two hour drive to be less stressful with Tom driving than the drive from Denpasar to the villa with a driver, the four hour harrowing drive. I was kidding myself.

Ocean view on the drive to Lovina.

At the end of May, we made the same trip when we first had to travel to Lovina to get our first visa extension. Now, we’re here once again for our second and final visa extension requiring three separate trips to the immigration office on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday of any given week in order to complete the cumbersome application process.

Tom is an excellent driver. I’ve said this many times in the past. But, even the best driver has no control over the action of other crazy and reckless drivers. No less than on four occasions, we had “close calls” when motorbikes, trucks and cars were passing with little regard for other vehicles on the narrow two lane road.

Indoor seating area in the villa.

Finally, with a sigh of relief we entered the outskirts of the heavily trafficked town of Lovina with masses of fast moving vehicles comparable to that in wild-ride Denpasar. It took another 35 minutes to reach our destination, the immigration office.

The queen sized bed was comfortable for a good night’s sleep.

With documents in hand, we picked a number from the automated machine. It was 11:20 am. At noon each day, the office closes for lunch reopening at 1:30 pm. If we didn’t get called in time, we’d have to leave and return later.

In no time at all we were called to the counter to begin the process. The kindly English speaking officer handed us applications to be completed and reminded us that we’d have to wear long pants when we returned later in the day.

Tom showered in our outdoor shower.  I opted for the indoor shower.

Oh, good grief! We forgot about wearing long pants to government offices in Indonesian as a requirement. Neither of us had brought along a single pair of long pants. When we were packing Tom suggested we bring our Africa insect repellent long pants knowing we’d be dining outdoors and I dismissed the idea. Had I agreed we wouldn’t have had to figure this out.

There are many shady spots for guest’s use offering protection from the hot sun.

Neither of us remembered from our multiple trips in May that long pants were required. A lot has transpired in these past four months that could easily have contributed to this fact slipping our minds. In our usual way, we don’t do any blaming, instead spending our time considering our options.

As we walked toward the beach.

Since we had to return later with the completed application, we had a little time to find a place to purchase pants. First, we decided to find our hotel, Puri Bagus, located within a kilometer of the immigration office, where we’d complete the application, make a few more required copies and see if they had a gift shop selling clothing.

The veranda view.

Once again, we were in luck when I remembered that Gede told us to look for a very bumpy road, two left turns from the immigration office. The tiny one lane road leading to the hotel was unmarked with no signs indicating the hotel nearby. Luckily, we quickly found the bumpy road making our way to the end to the exquisite Puri Bagus. We were shocked we found the correct road.

Grounds near our villa.  The Hindu/Balinese influence is always present, creating inviting surroundings.

The Puri Bagus Lovina, is gorgeous, more than we expected. The service is impeccable, the ambiance over-the-top. In no time at all, we were in our private thatched roof villa and at works on the forms.  Once completed, we quickly headed to the hotel’s gift shop hoping again, luck might be on our side.

Table and chairs on our private veranda.

Alas, no more than minutes after we entered the small shop we were in the try-on rooms hoping that we’d find long pants to get us through the three upcoming trips to the immigration. The women’s pants were awful, definitely not anything I’d ever wear again with the length too short and the legs way too wide. 

The ocean view from our private villa’s veranda.

Finally, we both found with the exact same pair of men’s pant, a beige linen, mine sized at an XS and Tom’s, a large. I’d never worn men’s pant before, but these with a drawstring fit, although still a little short for me. 

The enticing grounds are neatly trimmed and maintained enticing grounds are neatly trimmed and maintained.

Tom’s fit him well for now anyway, not necessarily at the end of the upcoming 33 night cruise after eating all that food. The cost of the two pairs of pants and a top I purchased, we spent a total of IDR 839,000, US $64.39. We didn’t complain. We avoided the necessity of heading further into the town with much worse traffic to go shopping which neither of us enjoys anyway.

These cabanas are available for any guests’ use.

By 1:30 pm, we were back at the immigration office wearing the long pants much to the pleasure of the immigration officer who joked and laughed with us. By 2:30 pm, we were out the door, anxious to get out of the warm clothing on a very hot day and relax a bit at our hotel before heading to the bar and dinner in the evening.

The sandy beach at the resort.

By 6:00 pm, we were taking sunset and other photos throughout the resort feeling refreshed, rested and excited not to have to return to immigration until Wednesday at 9 am for round two of three. 

View to the pool from the pathway along the beach.

After a few drinks in the oceanfront bar and later a fabulous gourmet meal in the resort’s main dining room while entertained by soothing local music, we were able to unwind and revel in the luxurious surroundings. Soon, we’ll share photos of our beautifully presented meals in this fine establishment.

Footbridge we walked over on our way to the bar.

Today, I’m meeting the Puri Bagus Lovina manager for a comprehensive tour with many more photos and stories to share while Tom stays behind for some research we’re conducting, easier here with a better WiFi connection than in Sumbersari. We’ll be back with much more each day as we continue our stay in Lovina.

Have a beautiful day!

Photo from one year ago, September 27, 2015:

This duck’s unusual crown caught our attention one year ago. He seemed proud of his facial characteristics. For more photos, please click here.

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