Pemuteran to Lovina is a one hour drive and on the way we stop to visit the Pura Pulaki. It’s a still, early morning and the rising sun illuminates the volcanic mountains of east Jawa.
Guardian monkeys scramble over the ancient stone statues of what is one of Bali’s most important sea temples. The temple is full of legends, about the Javanese holy man Niratha, who made his way to Bali in the 16th century and established the site. wandering about the ancient ramparts at sunrise, it is easy to feel the power of this holy place on this site of black rocks that drop to the sea below.
Further along, we stop by to visit the Atlas Pearls showroom and do the tour. Before heading to the Hatten Wines Estate filled with grape vines – the beginnings of their wonderful range of very drinkable wines.
Finally, after an eventful drive we arrive at the Damai Villas just outside Lovina where the driver decides to stay for the night. Run by an affable and extremely refined Humphrey Bogart look-alike it is a little haven on the north coast. The northern resort of Lovina is a quiet area, a little reminiscent of Kuta twenty years ago without the waves. Black sand and beaches, fresh seafood, plenty of warungs and a general laidback tempo make it a relaxing king of place where people come to stay for weeks – if not months, at a time.