Tulamben Travel Blog› entry 190 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)
Tulamben is a small village that is situated on the roadside, and could easily be passed straight through, with little to see along the 100m strip that makes up this village. However, the reason for visiting Tulamben is to be found under the water, where the US Liberty shipwreck sits, only metres from the shore. A guesthouse was randomly selected and bargained for, with the inclusion of a 2 dive package for the following day, which worked out at under $50 for everything. This was quite lucky as there was no ATM for 30 miles and it left me with just enough money to buy some food! Once we had checked in, i had a beer with the dive master and chatted about the following days dives, before crashing out exhausted.
I was up early the following day and after a banana pancake, went around to the dive shop. First off, i got kitted up and then i had my introduction to Charlie - the pet Macaque! Pleasantries exchanged and arrangements for a luncheon with him, it was then only a short walk down to the beach. The first site we decided to tackle, was the shipwreck Liberty. Striding into the ocean, you encounter this impressive sight within 10 metres of the shore.
The dive itself was around 25m, descending down a slope, parallel to the wreck and ascending up the opposite side. There were some impressive vistas of the ship, which remained pretty well preserved and it was also possible to swim through certain areas of it. Equally impressive was the marine life, which included a huge school of trevally, several scorpion fish, leaf fish, some funky cleaner shrimps that will clean your nails for free, a beautiful lion fish, barracuda and humphead parrotfish.
Back in the dive shop and it was time to chill out with Charlie, who took a real liking to our Oreo's, scoffing the cream first and then the biscuit. After some dancing and prancing he eventually settled down a bit, so we decided to go for our second dive. I was already chuffed about the first dive, but became ecstatic straight away on the second dive as we spotted a sea horse, which was a first for me. As it turned out, the second dive was just as good as the first, as we saw a procession of cool things, including my first manta shrimp, a juvenile scorpion fish, sole, oriental sweetlips, clown fish (nemo) and a host of other fish and pretty corals. I left the water invigorated and enjoyed my walk back to the dive shop, whilst some local women carried the tanks, bless 'em!
After feeding Charlie our few remaining oreos, we grabbed a spot of lunch for ourselves at the guesthouse, a tasty chicken in tomato sauce and then it was back on the bike and sayonara to Tulamben.