Shall We Just Stay Here?
Back on the road, the next stop on the Vegan Food Quest Balinese Road Trip was Amed, in the North East of Bali.
It’s a beautiful trip that took us through some really high up and twisty landscape before heading down to the coastal region of Amed, which confusingly is actually 5 separate villages which have different names but are often labelled as Amed to attract tourists (and confuse vegans who are trying to read the map). This made finding the place we had booked difficult but did give us the opportunity to drive along the entire coast 3 times before we finally found where we were staying (which of course was right at the beginning of the costal strip we had spent all afternoon searching).
We spent our first night in Amed in a cheap place just back from the beach, nothing too memorable food wise other than this ‘Urab’ dish which we had for breakfast.
Urab is a dish made from shredded coconut and vegetables which I’ve had a few times in Bali but don’t usually like (it’s either bland or weird tasting) but this version which was sourced from a local food stall by our guesthouse staff because I couldn’t eat their usual western style breakfast of pancakes or non-vegan bread with eggs, was really good. The only disappointment being that we couldn’t understand where to get it again…
Our second night was spent in Jemeluk, the village/bay next to Amed, on account of being woken up at 7 am by loud building work going on over our heads after a rather sleepless night caused by the extreme heat and oxygen denial caused by being encased in a thick nylon net curtain that was standing in for a mosquito net. In search of peace and air, we settled for a lovely bungalow in the beach in a family run place called Teman-Teman.
Teman Teman in Jemeluk
If you are thinking of taking a Balinese road trip I highly recommend you don’t go to Jemeluk and stay at Teman-Teman, it’s so lovely that our 2 day planned stopover lasted for a total of 11 nights which was nearly the kiss of death for our road trip.
Jemeluk bay is a pretty, stoney beach, lined with fishing boats that you can spend hours watching going in and out each day. There is a beautiful sunrise over the water which is very nice for morning yoga, so good it deserved 2 pictures.
Sunrise in Jemeluk
Worth getting up every day for…
Not only could we watch the sunrise from the beach but after a 5 minute walk up the hill we could watch the sunset behind Mount Agung in the distance.
Stunning sunrise over Jemeluk Bay
We made friends with 3 young local girls who spent their days trying to sell souvenirs on the beach; we chatted with them, played with them and shared our fruit with them each day in the hope it gave them a break from selling things and allowed them to just be children for a while.
Local friends on the beach…
One thing I would certainly recommend when visiting Jemeluk is putting your head under the water to see some of the most beautiful coral and abundant marine life that we have ever seen in our lives, literally off the beach.
Lion fish in Jemeluk Bay
Superb snorkelling just off the beach…
Above water the scenery is also definitely something to write home about. Amazing sunsets, trekking in lush rice fields, day trips out to volcanos. This bit of Bali has got it going on.
We loved exploring the countryside
After all this underwater and overland exploring, we were ready to eat. This is a Vegan Food Quest after all…
Jemeluk doesn’t have a huge variety of options for the travelling vegan but once we found a couple of places that served a decent vegan meal we went there every night and I happily got stuck into the routine of eating as much tempe as I could get my hands on: tempe in Balinese sauce, tempe vegetable curry, ‘Cap cay’ (pronounced ‘chap chay’) which is a kind of vegetable stew to which I got them to add tofu (gotta mix it up eh?) and of course rice, lots of it. The tempe satay was tried once but never again (packet satay sauce…yuk!).
This was the Groundhog Day of vegan eating.
Tempe every day 🙂
Tempe curry and cap cay
As much as I developed a great love for these dishes the repetition of them started to become a bit boring and so with a lot of excitement in the air, we decided to go out for dinner at a ‘posh restaurant’ where we could drink wine and eat something different. A newly made traveller friend recommended this great restaurant called Sails in a neighbouring village and we all decided to treat ourselves to a bit of the high life and drink lots of wine.
Never has bruschetta tasted so good…
Home cooked chips were indulged in…
Tofu with black bean sauce and fresh garlicky green beans…
Tempe in Balinese sauce with mint…
We also found a Deli owned by a Swiss family that sold cartons of soya coffee and small vegan hippy chocolate spread – yum.
Vegan choc spread and soya coffee!
These places were great for stocking up on a few pricier than usual vegan treats and gave us the push we needed to get back on the road. Now I’d had the taste of vegan luxury again I wanted more and so it was probably time to leave before I spent every last penny we had.