Amed is a spectacular sleepy fishing town on the east coast north of Tirtagangga with numerous coves and headlands, colourful fishing boats and a verdant mountainous backdrop.  The area is very popular for diving and snorkeling, the reef is only 10 meters from the shore with good coral and with many colourful fish to see.

I arrived here instantly happy and smiling wide at the stunning scenery around me.  The sun was brightly beaming in a perfectly blue sky broken up only by tiny scattered wisps of cloud.  I knew straight away I was going to spend more than just a couple of days here.  Upon recommendation I was looking for the Good Kama Bungalows where Nick had often stayed.  To get to them I had to drive the full length of the town which stretches for quite a way along the coastline.  Upon arriving I was amazed at the shear tranquility of the place which is hidden amongst palm trees in its own private cove.  The Bungalows are set back only 20 or so meters from the water’s edge and fishing boats line the dark sandy beach.

A member of staff showed me to a vacant bungalow and along with the price it was pretty much near perfect.  The room was basic but comfortable with a ceiling fan.  The bathroom was amazing, walled off but with just the sky above you, water flowed from a small gully at the top of the wall like no shower I had ever seen before.  In all it was the perfect place to relax and do nothing much for a few days, swim snorkel and lounge in the hammock which hung at the front of the bungalow.   By this time the light was fading and night was drawing in, so I did nothing but eat a meal and then have some beers before calling it a day.

The next day I had to get some money and having found out Amed does not have any cash machines it was to be another long bike ride to the nearest large town of Amlapura.  I followed the directions a member of staff had given me, but got it wrong.  I was meant to ride all the way back to the main road and turn left, instead I turned left in the town onto a back road that at the time I had no idea was going to put me close to tears.  The road at first was like so many others, simply breathtaking.  I was heading into the lush verdant mountains.  Along the way I was passing by farms and rice fields and to some stunned looking villagers.  They knew what the road was like as I didn’t and were probably wondering why on earth I was taking this route.

I was heading straight towards the mountains and at this point I was hoping the road was not going to become too steep.  It did!  The road twisted its way up and up, and just kept on getting steeper and more twisty as I pushed on.  At some points It got so bad if I had of stalled the bike I knew I would have been in trouble.  Practically lying down on the bike hoping to stick to the broken up road beneath me I passed a house and saw a tourist with a local walking along the drive.  I must have looked terrified and near crying as I passed then.  A little further along the road came to a flat high up the mountain and overlooking the valley below.  It was time to have a rest and with hands uncontrollably shaking, a cigarette.  Soon the tourist I had seen joined me.  ‘Nice road aye’ he said as he approached.  I could only exclaim my terror at how the road to this point had been.  He explained he had to leave his car further back as it could not make it up such an incline and would just slide back.  He was impressed with my bike though and so too  was the local who was admiring it and giving me the thumbs up.  We exchanged our stories and before I set off again we asked the local if the road ahead was going to be the same.  As I could tell I was only half way up the mountain and so imagined it would be, and of course the answer was yes, what I really didn’t want to hear.   Further on it was the same slog on the bike but only with the added fjord breaking up the road even more.

At a forked junction at the top of the mountain I came to a stop where a man carrying a large cage on the back of his 50 cc moped stopped to ask me directions.  I told him he needed to take the road I had just come up but warned him is was a really steep and rough road.  He grinned and nodded and off he went without a care in the slightest.  I would rather take the long way back than take that road again, going up was bad enough but I could only imagine how hard it would be to negotiate on the way down.  I must say I am impressed at how the local people ride along these roads on their laden down mopeds, vans and buses.

Eventually I was back onto the main road and heading towards Amlapura.  Another stretch of perfect riding, winding through the mountains and passing rice fields in valleys stretching right out in the furthest distance.  On all the whole journey there and back took me around an hour and half, no doubt much quicker if you don’t take ridiculous roads over a mountain.  On my return to Good Kama I had something to eat and rested with a cold beer staring out across the calm blue Bali sea.

Later that night was time to see what Amed had to offer as a night life.  I headed out to find a pool table and bar.  I was eagerly wanting to drink and play pool and meet some people.  I found there were not many pool tables on offer and all of them were occupied by the locals playing a betting game using playing cards.  All I wanted was to shoot some pool over a few beers.  In the end I decided upon a hotel with a table in the back and played this Bali betting game with 4 other young local lads.  It turned out I was actually pretty shit at this game and so lost more money than I had won.  Well in fact I didn’t actually win at all, but it was a good laugh, I along with my money felt very welcome and they had reggae tunes blasting out in the background.  One of the lads ironically called Reggae, mentioned that night there was a reggae party on the beach and that they only have this once or twice a month.  Apart from that everything else was closed around nine.  Since it was almost nine by then I agreed to follow him there and I was glad I did.  There must have been just about every tourist in the town there mixed in with many of the young locals.  It was a buzzing atmosphere and I even bumped into the German couple I had met in Ubud.  It was a perfect end to the night and just to top it all off the ride back was somewhat exciting and worrying as my front light decided to become dim at some point along the narrow winding road all the way back to my bungalow.