Island of the Gods
Bali Travel Blog› entry 8 of 8 › view all entries
July 20th, 2008 – by: catandmark
So we got to Bali and what was supposed to be the "chill-out" part of the trip, at around 1am in the morning - with nowhere to sleep! this was because we had booked onto a scuba diving course on an island just east of Bali called Nusa Lembongan. Ofcourse, there was no night service to the island so we got a taxi to the departure point of Sanur beach and set up camp! We were a little unsure we were doing the right thing but we went with it anyway - what the hell, we're backpackers! we had about a 6 hour wait on the beach so the sleeping bags came out with it being a little chilly and had about 2 hours sleep before we were woken up around 5.30am by the locals setting up their business' on the beach! we had a cup of tea where we slept and watched the sunrise before the 30 minute walk to the public boat. The taxi dropped us off at the wrong place! The public boat cost us 60,000 Indonesian Rupiah each, dont worry its about 18,300 to one pound! we got seats among locals, travellers, bags and food for the island, and took the 90 minute trip accross the Lombok strait. We booked into Linda's bungalows for 5 nights so we could complete the scuba course and then had afew hours sleep before dinner to catch up on what we had lost. The next four days we were in and out of the water amongst a few hours in the classroom learning all we needed to become open water divers. We picked it up quickly and always did our reading homework too, unlike at school - sorry pa! the dives were by far and away the best bit and what we had booked the course for in the first place. We had 4 in total - 3 at the house reef about 5 mins from the centre and the last one at Crystal Bay just off Nusa Penida island. Amongst some beautiful coral we saw hundreds of species of fish including lionfish, boxfish, angelfish and Morey Eels! After 4 days of squeezing into wetsuits twice a day we passed the written exam and are now PADI licensed open water divers. The main highlights were the sunsets, food and the people, who are by far and away the nicest population we have met. Our bill at the end of the week for accomodation and food came to 43 pounds for both of us!!! Thats including 6 nights in the end and 3 meals a day plus drinks - how good is that! Begrudingly we said goodbye and headed to Amed - on the east coast and a place we had heard great things about. We took a 3 hour taxi and booked into Divers cafe where we had a hilltop room with a fantastic view of the ocean! it was alittle more expensive than Lembongan but not too much so we were happy. Here we did our first dives without an instructor about 10 mins up the road in Tulamben. We reached depths of 19m and saw an old American shipwreck and a beautiful coral wall - and survived, proving we had listened on the course! Cat however came out with an ear infection so I maybe listened slightly more! We also snorkelled about 5 metres from our lodge which was good fun. Then we came to Ubud where I am writing this blog from. It is in the centre of Bali - almost, and we were dropped off on a main road again with no place to sleep, luckily it was only 3pm and we stumbled into the first homestay and booked in. We stayed amongst a family in our own bungalow which was very comfortable and authentic - again Cat did wonders with her gob and got us a good price!! Here we spent that evening at an organic, fair-trade, yoga cafe and had some delicious food. The next day we hired a moped and toured the city and surrounding ricefields. Neither of us a rode one before so we plunged right in at the deep end! Cat, being the safest driver (most fearless) did most of the steering and took us to the main tourist attraction of Monkey Forest Temple, home to hundreds of wild monkeys and which was great fun. In the afternoon we went to a local market but didnt buy anything here. We did however pick up 2 long wooden masks at a shop just outside the town for a decent price. That evening we watched a traditional Balinese dance/theatre show called the "Legong" Dance, it was about an hour and a half long and when we got round to realising what it was about, we thoroughly enjoyed it. With only half a day left, we packed up and checked out ready for our next destination - Australia!!! We are halfway through our trip.
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