There are innumerable beaches that have been called secret or hidden. Many of them are present in Bali itself. Unfortunately, these beaches rarely deserve that epithet, as I have discovered many times over the course of my travels. That is why it was a pleasant surprise to find that Nyang Nyang Beach in Bali is well deserving of the magical epithet of ‘hidden beach’.
Of course, there is a reason why the beach remains secluded and secretive even in an age where people carry the world’s maps on their smartphones. I discovered the reason myself as I reached Uluwatu. From the Uluwatu Temple, I had to walk a hundred meters and then hunt for the sign that said ‘Nyang Nyang Beach’. Beside the sign is a dirt track which I followed till I reached the edge of a cliff after waddling through fields. ‘Now’, I thought to myself, ‘comes the difficult part’. The difficult part, in this case, involved walking down a narrow and sometimes steep flight of stairs that leads to the beach.
If I needed any motivation to descend the 500 or so steps down to the beach, the sight of the beautiful waters and the lonely stretch of sand was enough for it. In most days, you can count the number of people on the beach on one hand. I was lucky enough to be the only one on the beach, at least for the moment. Nyang Nyang Beach is certainly a place of solitude. Aristotle once said that ‘Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god’. I wonder which one of them I was as I walked down the sandy sliver of the beach.
The feeling of being alone in such a picturesque spot is not depressing. Rather, I felt a lovely sense of peace washing over me. Of course, the beauty of the place helped. The blue of the water and the verdant green of the trees on the cliffs separated by the warm yellow hue of the sands is a sight to behold. The winds mixed the smell of the ocean with the scent of the trees creating an intoxicating perfume that made my day.
The absence of people made the beach seem all the more pristine and simple. In fact, that is what I came to love about the beach. The simplicity shines through the beach, the ocean and the reef. This is nature at its simplest and most beautiful like it was always meant to be. I decided to indulge myself in a bit of surfing. The waves were strong and are definitely not meant for a novice. Nonetheless, surfing near an empty beach is a unique experience altogether.
I hoped to stay for the sunset but I realized that the journey back over the steps and the field would become difficult in the dark. Still, I stayed as long as I could. By the time I reached the top of the cliff, the sun was well on its way towards setting. The sight of that empty beach in the glorious sunset was beauty personified. No words exist to evoke the beauty of that moment!
It was the perfect end to the perfect day.