As most visitor attractions lie beneath its tranquil waters, this relatively arid strip in Karangasem regency is generally only popular with scuba divers and those seeking a quiet coastal getaway. Though relatively lightly touched by tourism, it’s still home to dozens of guesthouses, dive centres, beachfront cafes, a couple of yoga studios, and several resorts. Eighteen kilometres from Agung, this little industry was Bali’s hardest hit during the downturn that followed the eruptions. “But it was nothing compared to Covid,” says Wayan Lenet.
Born in the village of Amed, day by day 28–year–old Wayan walks up and down a one kilometre stretch of black volcanic sand and smooth rocks, selling small models of jukung—Bali’s iconic wooden outrigger. He purchases them for Rp.50,000 a piece and sells them on to tourists for up to Rp.200,000. For the last ten years he sold three to four a week, but he’s now struggling to make a single sale.
“I have an 18–month–old baby. When she grows up I don’t want her to be like me. I don’t want my daughter to depend on tourists to eat,” he says. “Right now we can only afford to eat rice. Just rice. I sell these boats to buy rice, not arak. I know that a future of tourism isn’t safe for us anymore, and I don’t think it will be for a long time.”