We haven’t posted in a week, you best get ready for a major update!
We arrived in Bali on Thursday night, not knowing where the best place to start was, we got talking to another traveller who was heading to Kuta. It seemed the good thing to do, so we shared a taxi with him.
Tired from the flight, we booked into the first hotel we got to. The room was only Â£7 per night for a bog-standard room, without hot water (argh – Lee). We only intended to stay the one night, while we looked for something cheaper (we’re on a budget remember – Lee), possible something that was more backpacker orientated. However Lee was being lazy by the pool and we ended up staying there for 3 days. We weren’t really impressed with the area, although we didn’t give it much of a chance. Being hassled by all the tauts when your hot and bothered wasn’t exactly fun.
So we decided to head up to the north coast to see the dolphins and do some snorkeling.
Sunday morning ready at 9am for a shuttle-bus to Lovina we were sent back to our room, being told there was a problem and the bus wouldn’t get there until 11am. We went back down to reception early to have a drink and wait for the bus. It arrived 10 minutes early and the driver wanted to leave instantly. Rushing me while I tried to get some tips from another traveller. We were very confused when the shuttle bus arrived empty, and we were squashed on the front seat with all our luggage! (Crickey – Lee)
The driver seemed very dodgy from the beginning, offering me to sit in the front seat, while Lee got left in the back (with the bags – Lee). Funnily enough I turned down that offer, as he kept wolf-whistling at all the other western women. About 30 minutes into the journey the driver pulled off the main road into a back alley, then parked in a garage, then got out and left! (uh-oh – Lee). We had no idea where we were, or what was going to happen next…
Five minutes later the driver reappeared with his two sons. He explained that it was a 3 hour driver to Lovina, and that he didn’t want to drive back alone. (fair enough, if only he said that at the beginning! – Lee)
The drive through the mountains was interesting, as the driver tried to overtake a cattle trucks on every hill-side corner. Surprise surprise when we got to Lovina he took us to his friend’s hotel. But give him his due, it was clean & cheap (half the price of Kuta’s hotels – Lee).
Almost straight away we were offered a boat trip to see dolphins and to go snorkeling. We haggled a good price (we thought – Lee) and settled for a 6am start the next morning.
Where we stayed in Lovina was a small fishing village which heavily relied on tourism. It was interesting to walk along the beach and see the mix of tourist accommodation and local shanti houses with fishing boats on the beach.
Six O’Clock in the morning we got into a local outrigger boat, he took us about 5 miles out from the coast. Looking back at the coast we saw an amazing sunrise (Lucy’s got the photos to prove it – Lee). Funnily enough we weren’t the only boat out looking for dolphins. First of all, everything was calm and we couldn’t see anything.
Very soon a small school of dolphins swam right by our boat, popping their little noses above the water. Then it was a mad dash looking left and right catching a glance of them as they dived back into the water. A few of them even started to show off, with spins and twists… (they were too fast to take a photo of them – Lee).
It was interesting to watch all the boats chasing each other, as they noticed more dolphins in the distance.
After an hour of dolphin watching we set off for shallower waters to do some snorkeling. The guy driving the boat just stopped the boat and through snorkels at us. When we didn’t jump in the water straight away he shouted “You snorkel now!” – what he hadn’t realised was we were looking at how dirty the snorkel equipment was.
So we ditched the snorkels and just used the masks. We saw some beautiful little fish, Lee even saw a rock that looked like a human brain! (it was freaky – Lee).
The rest of the time in Lovina has been lazing around the beach and at a hotel/restaurant that had a balcony over looking the sea. Where we watched two fantastic lightning storms in the evening, (no rain, no thunder, just amazing lightning – Lee), then lay in bed the next mornings listening to the thunder storms.
Loads of debating (arguing – Lee) later… we decided to go back to the south coast, this time Sanur. When we went to buy the bus tickets, we noticed on the main coastal road a long tin shelter with local woman sat fanning boxes or tubs which we eventually realised contained fish the men had caught earlier that day.
The bus trip to Sanur was not as hair-raising as the journey up. Which allowed us to appreciate how colourful the scenery really was. I saw bananas growing on trees, spikey fruit (called Jack Fruit – Lee), wood piles to make Dad jealous, and the equivalent to our service stations – small snack bars along the road-side. I’m not sure if it is really worth doing some of the clothes washing as it gets hung along the road side to dry. However I did see a smart idea which means you can always hang your washing in the sun – A bloke simply put a pole in a hole in the wall the sun was shining on and hung his trousers up to dry.
On the mountain road, the journey got really exciting. When a couple of police motorbikes came around a quite corner telling us to pull over. It was followed by a police jeep and a convoy of 20 military jeeps, as we say it was really exciting.
2am tomorrow morning we are taking a trek to Mount Batur, to see another sunrise. Tell you about it later!