A Travellerspoint blog

Day 34 - On towards the finishing line

semi-overcast 31 °C

I can't believe I've written 34 diary journals !
Anyhow this is sadly the last one, as we draw towards the end of our travels after
5 weeks of travelling, covering 4 countries and taking just over 1,000 photo's.
So today we again had another "beach day" just having a walk, having a swim and doing nothing in particular,
just thinking about all we've done.
One good thing about writing a diary-blog is that it reminds you of where you've been, what you've seen and
what that "thing" was bloody called !
By late morning we had another "Bali" rain shower but thankfully only for about 1/2 hour,
then back to normal, although they were starting to get more frequent as we were approaching the rainy season.
We returned to the beach for another swim before a walk out into the town for an early meal as we were
leaving early evening for the Airport for the night flight to Amsterdam then on to Leeds the following morning.
As it was our last night in South East Asia, we decided to end it in true Asian style,
with Nasi Goreng for dinner accompanied by some "Bali Hai" lagers in a local restaurant we'd found a few nights earlier.
When we'd checked out earlier in the afternoon, the reception gave us a VIP pass to use their the lounge to relax in prior to leaving for the airport.
So when we got back from dinner we had a shower, changed and had some complementary refreshments.
It was all very nice apart from getting the fleece and down jacket out ready for good old Blighty !
Fingers crossed, it hopefully won't be that cold when we arrive back - PLEASE !


Posted by Andy-Irene 01:50 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 33 - Life's a Beach

semi-overcast 31 °C

After 3 days continuous diving, it was time to relax and have a "beach day" - the first of the holiday !
After a lazy breakfast we made our way to our private beach, laid our towels out in true Germanic style and
went for a walk around the shoreline and up to a Hindu-Buddhist Temple perched on peninsula of land nearby.
As per usual it was 31c again (the average it's been everyday on the holiday) and
the water was still a barmy 30c but we put up with it :-) after a leisurely walk we had went for a swim,
thinking our sea life spotting had finished only to find a Banded Sea Snake in 3ft of water next to our feet !
Hastily swimming past it, not wanting to get bitten, we swing across the bay and back.
A break from the sun was called for, so went walked into the local town and had a Balinese Massage,
They asked how we would like it ;-0 soft, medium or hard ? - it was Ike ordering a steak.
Irene went for "medium-rare" and I went for "well-done" - only to regret it once "Mike Tyson" had started on my back,
Slightly embarrassingly I had to ask her to turn the heat down a touch as the tears ran down my face.
We then hobbled back to our hotel for a spot of lunch in our garden patio.
However just we got sat down the heavens opened with a torrential downpour but in true Indonesian style -
It lasted 1/2 hour, dried up in 1/2 hr and we were back to normal again. Unlike Blighty when it's set in for the day (or week!).
Once the rain had stopped (not that it mattered) we went down to the beach again for another dip in the sea.
On the way we passed the beachside bar to see a palm tree that had fallen in the rain being sawn up and
cleared away by the hotel staff. However this was done in "Bali style" Health & Safety - Not.
This guy had a chainsaw cutting the trunk into pieces just wearing a pair of shorts and flip flops !
It was frightening to watch, one slip and he would have gone straight through his foot or leg !
After our swim, we passed by the remains of the palm tree again and
thankfully there were no limbs scattered on the floor.
A shower and a couple of beers later we ventured back out into the town for a spot of dinner at
a local restaurant rather than stay in the hotel for a second night, the hotel food was good, but its great to eat out at local restaurants.

Posted by Andy-Irene 02:16 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 32 - Padang Bay - Seahorses and Sushi

sunny 31 °C

Our last diving day in Bali and also our last early start !
Still we left at 7am to get geared up and then travel across the island to Padang Bay,
another famous dive site in Bali, about an hours drive from Sanur.
However, today was again not a long boat ride, just about 1/2 hour from shore.
Plus today was our first "relaxing" day diving, as the last 2 days/5 dives were part of my course,
hence I was doing tests, exams and being assessed all of the time.
So today we could just enjoy the diving for what it was and to view the marine life.
Our first dive was at Pura Jepun, which means Jepun (a flower) Temple.
The water was again 30c and today beautifully clear after last nights rain.
Descending down we passed by a sunken boat now taken over by nature with an abundance of coral and sea life inhabiting it.
Then came the highlight of the day - a large Octopus scurrying along the seabed,
Then 2 Lionfish - very poisonous, so we gave them a wide berth only to then spot another creature with a sharp bite -
a Moray Eel hiding in between rocks waiting for it's prey to swim past !
Slowly we made our way back, surfaced and moved on to the Blue Lagoon -
another good site close by for dive number two.
This time we followed the sandy bank down and along towards the "Sunken Temples" an array of sunken stone Buddhas !
that had been sitting on the ocean bottom for many decades, now taken over by the sea.
It looked quite strange, a bit like an underwater graveyard,
But then came the real highlight of the second dive when we spotted (and my first) -
a Seahorse gently swaying along the seabed, quite large by all accounts and it was totally oblivious to our presence.
Once back to the boat we returned to shore and had some lunch relaxing in a seaside restaurant before driving back to Sanur.
It had been a great 3 days; 9 dives completed and 11 in total during the time we'd been in Bali,
In which time we'd dived all the 4 main dive sites of the island.
Finally we got back to the dive centre, said our goodbyes and
returned to the hotel to go out for a celebration dinner as we'd missed out last night. The Hotel had 7 restaurants and
we'd booked to go it's Japanese restaurant called Sakura.
The quality of fish was excellent and we managed to work our way through plenty of
Sashimi, Nigiri, Maki rolls, sat outside on the roof terrace watching the sun go down.

Posted by Andy-Irene 05:33 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 31 - World War 2 wreck diving at Tulemben

rain 30 °C

Dive day 2 - again another early start, this time we traveled by land
(thankfully not another rollercoaster boat journey to start the day !) across to Tulemben,
Bali's most famous dive site as it the home to the sunken USS Liberty.
A World War II US cargo ship sunk in 1942 by Japanese torpedoes and still remains (what's left of it) on the bottom for the past 75 years.
Day 2 was an advanced navigation course and then a wreck dive.
Conveniently the shipped was sunk close to shore, so no boat needed just a shore dive entry which involved a
surface swim out and then dive straight down.
After completing my navigation course and finding my way back :-)
We had some lunch the went on to do the wreck dive, again shore entry but his time it had started to rain, thunder and lighting !
Over here that meant fork lighting and torrential rain - cats and dogs big style,
anyhow we walked down the beach dodging the bolts of lightning with our "Porters"
(2 ladies carrying 2 x 10Kg Tanks each on their heads !) down the beach behind us.
Once geared up we descended towards the wreck. It was amazing, still intact but now taken over my nature,
full of coral, plant life and a great variation of sea life.
We followed the 120m vessel down to it's stern which lay deep at around 25m (80ft) then made our way back,
entering the vessel and swimming in you through large doorways and funnels.
It was really fantastic diving expect were weren't wearing the "fish bowl" helmets and "lead boots" of bygone years and
No - we didn't come across the man-eating Giant Octopus or find the Sunken Treasure !!!
Eventually we surfaced, with no treasure but some great memories of the dive.
Today had been the best day, firstly Irene had notched up 190 dives -
W hich got great applause and respect from all of the Bali divers and secondly
I passed my Advanced Diver course, so back to the hotel to celebrate !
It had been a long day, nearly 12hrs since we left our hotel,
So we when we arrived back too tired to go out, we just had a few beers and some noodles for our double celebration !

Posted by Andy-Irene 05:43 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Day 30 - Back to College

semi-overcast 30 °C

An early start, up at 5am as we'd pre-booked my PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course when we were back in the UK before we came out,
(well it was either in the UK with 6c water temp or Bali with 29c water temp) - a hard decision :-)
Irene had also booked a 3 day dive package with the same company, so we would hopefully dive the last day together after my 2 day course.
"Bali Diver's" picked us up just after 7am and drove us straight to the office to get our gear sorted.
We then found out that there was only us two, me and my instructor, so Irene joined me on my dives, which worked out great !
First day was going to be a 3 dive day, full on with underwater exercises and theory at the end of the day.
Today's 1st dive site was Manta Point, just off Nusa Penida Island about 45mins from the mainland.
We set off in calm waters, but then the current and waves took hold, the boat was flying everywhere.
Eventually we arrived and back rolled into this torrential sea, both of us felt sick before we even went under and
to make matters worse, I had to do my Peak Performance Buoyancy dive which involved me floating vertical, horizontal and head down !
We then went on to dive 2, a deep dive and to test my susceptence to Nitrogen Narcosis -
which basically means diving deep enough until the effects take place - getting "drunk" at 100ft down and
then performing some simple tests !
Tested completed we had some lunch, albeit not much food as re-boarding the boat was crazy;
It was flying up and down in the swell and very hard to get back on, by which time neither of us were hungry.
Thankfully we moved on to calmer waters for the last drive; a drift dive again in strong currents along a massive coral reef,
we set off and effortlessly glided along the reef spotting a few great giant turtles, a Barracuda and then a Moray Eel.
When we surfaced the boat picked us up and we thought we' covered about 800m when in fact it was nearly 3km ! (2 miles).
Once back to shore, I completed my theory exam and we returned to our hotel for a rest.
We decided to stretch our legs on some stable, solid ground after being in a boat for nearly 8hrs and
ate out in a local restaurant before an early night and day 2 !

Posted by Andy-Irene 05:41 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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