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Travel Diary

Nusa Lembongan Indonesia


©Kara Rosenlund

|| Travel Diary || a new segment here on my blog and a way of taking you all with me on my travels….. Towards the end of last year with the excitement done and dusted after the release of my first book Shelter, I decided I really wanted to have a break and swim in the ocean and lay low for a while…. so husband Timothy O and I washed up here, on Nusa Lembongan, a small island located southeast of Bali, Indonesia.



…. people refer to Nusa Lembongan as having the feel and atmosphere of Bali 20 years ago,  I must admit in comparison to Bali this tiny island really is the sleepy sister. It offers some world class surf breaks, an endless selection of local low fi eating experiences and some insight into the authentic way of life which remains on the island.



 … this holiday was one of those lazy hazy summer holidays where one day fell into the other, which fell into another…I couldn’t tell you what happened on each of the days, however we did the same thing, over and over again…..waking early with the humidity and heat, then heading out for a paddle in the aqua water and then hopping on the motorbikes to explore and find an early lunch with ice cold Bintang at a warung (local family run basic restaurant).  No flat whites and poached eggs on this trip – lots of traditional rice and fish, and easy good times.




… I’m always falling for packaging and design, so one of the things I love to do when travelling is to check out the local snacks… sometimes the flavours are familiar, sometimes not at all, but what they usually always are is tacky, and I kind of like that. It gives you an excuse to try things and look at packaging and design which would not usually cross your path at home.



… Jacket Fish for late breakfast…



… this is where we spent Christmas Day, at a favourite sand floored warung down in the mangroves, just sitting and watching life, then later drifting upon that pontoon with the tide. It was nice to escape the Christmas pressures just for one year and be in the moment.




… a different looking Christmas Day lunch this year… sizzling squid and rice.



…. I’m probably one of the worst people to go on a holidays with –  I literally can’t sit still. Reading, no; massages, no….. I just need to get amongst it and see whats happening, inhale all of it straight up …  so getting motorbikes was the best way to understand the lay of the land immediately. Zipping, zooming and weaving was such an exhilarating way to feel a connection to where we were, and to be honest the bikes offered sheer simple fun.








… this is a common sight on Lembongan… Seaweed Farms all along the coastline. Families gather and sort the collected seaweed from the shallow waters by boat and then carry the seaweed in large woven baskets back to their thatched huts and lay out the seaweed on tarps to dry out and bake in the sun. The seaweed is then sold to international cosmetic companies. This arrangement has only been happening for the last few years and has dramatically changed the island’s economy and prospects for the local villages, as there isn’t a lot of industry on the island.









… a local shop… selling fruit, vegetables and firecrackers…. the perfect combination…





…. and like all good things, it ended far too soon. This was one of my favourite sights each evening …  when the sky erupted on dusk with pink hazed light, bathing everyone and everything, making you excited about the coming golden day.

K x


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21 Comments to “Nusa Lembongan Indonesia”

  1. Really, really, lovely, Kara. Your photography is wonderful – capturing the light, colour and energy of a beautiful life. Thank you for bringing this part of the world into my home tonight. X

  2. Hey Kara, these pics are incredible. I was wondering if you have accommodation that you would recommend on the island. I’m very, very keen to soak up some of this heaven as soon as I possibly can!!!

  3. It’s interesting to see in your photos how much of a difference the seaweed industry is making. I think I first visited in the late 1980s (family in Ubud). Nusa L did go through a rough patch economically. It’s great they now have an industry other than tourism, lucky them :)

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