Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bali (2): Lembongan and Gili

After the green pancakes (again) and a little dip in the pool (it has finally stopped raining) our taxi picks us up to go to Sanur where we will take a boat to Lembongan. During the trip we learn that only cars post 2010 are fitted with seat belts at the back, but they have had the A/C and electric windows for years...
1h later we are in a speed boat full of French (there are everywhere in Bali, we were promised tons of Aussies and instead we have French as tourist companions) heading towards Nusa Lembongan, a paradise quiet island.
We spend the afternoon walking from bay to bay on the coast path and going for a swim when the temperature becomes too high. We even attempt a bit of snorkeling but the local production of sea weed close to the shore kills the feeling for me of swimming (I don't like things touching me...)

R had to renounce going surfing as it was low tide.
We book ourselves on a snorkeling trip for the day after and enjoy the night watching local kids playing on the beach, a very relax way of life!

Next day, swimming suit on, snorkels and mask ready, sun block on (looking at us on the evening apparently not everywhere...) we are boarding the boat which is taking us snorkeling in 3 different places, offering us great views of the nearby island Nusa Penida and the other small one I have forgotten the name of.

Visibility is great, much better than during our last diving trip in Malaysia! We see lots of colorful fish and R makes full use of the underwater camera!

We also meet some very unusual types of fish:

The sea becoming a bit too rough (and me a bit too white), we head onshore and have a snack on the white sand of Mushroom bay before going back to our hotel.
The rest of the afternoon is spent looking at how red we are and sorting out boats for the day after. As we didn't plan ahead enough, the direct boat to Gili island is full so we'll have to replace it by a little aventure!

So the day after, a local boat is supposed to pick us up at 11am to go back to Bali. At 9am we are quietly having breakfast when we are told that the boat will be here in 3 minutes. Luckily, it was 3 Indonesian minutes so that gave us a good half hour before climbing in this tiny wooden embarcation. So it is a thin boat with a bamboo stick in each side to balance it. There are 4 tourists and 4 locals on it plus an enormous pile of stuff at the front which I'm pretty sure prevents the captain of seeing where he is going!
But before heading off, we make another stop and get 4 other tourists with their backpacks! This time it is going to sink, for sure. For half a second I do wonder about life jackets but who am I kidding...
Anyway fingers and toes crossed, we leave the coast and head to Bali. We are very lucky, the sea is amazingly flat so we finally make it alive to the other side!

A taxi and we are in a different harbor to get this time a boat to Gili! This time no story about the boat it was normal but the process of buying tickets, getting on board and finally arriving in Gili was very painfully long!
We would have been better off on the slow ferry!
Anyway, we are on Gili! There are no cars, no motorcycles, just horse carriage and bicycles. We get to our hotel which is a bit inland and we enjoy the lovely bungalow and the amazingly long swimming pool!

After Lembongan, it is a nice upgrade. A bit later we borrow some bikes and go for a little tour, mainly aiming at the diving shops!
Tomorrow will be made of 2 dives: shark point and sunset point. There are actually no logic to these names because we did not see any sharks at shark point but saw 3 at sunset point where we did not see the sun set... (still following?)
So first dive, you'll have to believe me because I have no photos, it was deeper than the camera allowance: one enormous sea snake black and white, at least 3 turtles, an octopus!!!!! And obviously plenty of colorful fish
Second dive: 3 sharks (white tip and grey coral), it is very impressive! One was lying at the bottom and 2 other swimming, I have to admit that when I saw them swimming I wasn't feeling THAT comfortable... We also saw turtles and a cuttlefish, that's very impressive!
On the evening I have to give up my massage as the very small number of locals on this touristy island are way too busy celebrating the end of fasting (it's still Ramadan!) to give me a massage... :-(((
Never mind instead I'll have seafood! (I know, interesting swap!)

On our last morning in Gili, we make full use of the amazing pool and the amazing white sand beach before taking a boat to Lombok (another boat...)
Lombok deserves a post on it's own so I'll stop now!

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