Wall Dive from a Quite Bali Tourist Beachside Town
Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
257Trip End Jan 31, 2012
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Once again had a day of sitting in a bus with regular toilet stops and one lunch break. Ended up at the ferry terminal just before dark where I ran into the french girls who were also going towards Lovina but had been dumped onto a different bus during the day. Once we had made it to Bali the people heading to Lovina basically just got dumped at a local bus stop where we had the choice of either a 1-2hr wait or to pay for the empty four seats. Decided to pay an extra couple of bucks each for the extra seats since it was late and we just wanted to get going.
The french girls got off at a town a closer to the dive spot but the book had no cheap accomodation for this spot and it was to late to go wandering around looking for some. When I got off found that the girls had left their walking sticks and picked them up on the off chance I might run into them while still on Bali
Made it into Lovina where I had planned to wander down the road to find a place. Here was approached by a guy and decided to look at the room which was nearby in the town centre. Room was nice enough and since I didnt really care about taking it or not I managed to get the price from 100,000 to 80,000 per night. When walking around the town later it seemed quite empty. A place that wants to be a party zone but wasnt.
Wandered into town to look for a dive tomorrow but found it was to late to organise something,. Would just have to hope I got up early enough and some some luck the following morning. From the signs I would definitely have more luck with another person since the minimum number for any site is to people and there is only one of me. Basically limit options depending on other groups going. Also the fact that you have to drive to the sites probably limits my chances since most people with more time and money probably just go to the nearest town to find a dive shop.
Town had a couple of main strips with bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels. All seemed pretty much empty and had people trying to get you to go in all the time
Day 1 – Diving Pulau Menjangan
Sun was basically shining through my window at 5:30am so was up earlier than I would have liked given the lack of sleep the last couple of nights. At around 7:30am I headed out to the dive shop to see if I could join a morning dive. Had been expecting a group to leave around 8:30am-9am if one was going. Found that a group was just about to go when I arrived and had about 5 minutes to get myself sorted. Found it interesting how they didnt check my divers license at all.
Dumped my bag, grab a drink and snack for breakfast and then got picked up by the car as I walked out of the mini-mart. Drove for just over an hour with some nice Balinese countryside passing by as I looked out the window. Once at the boat harbour had a few minutes to kill before we jumped on the boat that took us out to the island
Lots of boats around where we anchored. Seems that a number of these had brought people out here to snorkel and swim rather than dive. The divemaster I was with had a group of 5 people and the dive was along a wall. Had a nice enough dive but ended up with 80 bar still when the dive finished due to other people sucking air.
The actual dive was along a wall that had lots of coral and colour. Found heaps of table corals and a few fans as well as lots of sponges. Was a fairly steep wall that ran past 30m. Spent my time going up and down the wall and swimming on my back. During my last big wall dive I had done a drift dive just floating past it. After that dive someone had suggested swimming next to it on my back and looking up. Decided this was a good time to try.
Found it interesting to see the wall extending up above me with all the corals hanging out. Also found this to be a good wall for doing it since the wall top was at 1-2m deep so there was a lot of wall to look up at. Did the on my back swimming while heading out from the start since I was swimming into the current. Found that we ended up turning around (boat didnt come to pick us up) and on the way back once again just crossed my legs and drifted along with the current while watching the wall pass by
In the end didnt go much deeper than 25m since had been asked not to but given the amount of air I had been left with I should have gone deeper so that I would have used more of it up by having a deeper dive. Also didnt see to many fish. Note that I think it was the particular site rather than island. Talked to the french couple from Bromo later in the trip and they said they had seen heaps of marine life. Unlike me.
After the first dive had lunch and 1hr wait time before the next dive which was just a couple of hundred meters further up along the shore. Since I had 30min to kill after lunch decided to follow the trail leading from the beach. Here found some nice views of Bali and the surrounding ocean. Also found a couple of deer that inhabit the island along the way.
Seems that some Hindu thing was also happening on the island since the two temples I passed were full of people listening to sermons and when I got back to the beach a boatload of balinese arrived. At the big temple I passed I went in but quickly left after being reminded I needed to wear a sourong when entering the temple grounds.
Made my way back to the beach within the 30min I had and then did the second dive
Headed back to Lovina and I headed back to my room. Was in the mood to blog so did that for a while since I need to clear some backlog. After that headed out for dinner and then to a bar for a beer and to use its Wifi. Basically needed to get online to see how my uni queries were progressing and to upload the blogs I had done.
Had also looked at doing the wreck dive at Amed but needed a minimum of 2 people and there had been no people wanting to do it the following day. Could have headed back out to the island to another site but decided against it which I probably shouldnt have. Am slowly starting to run out of money and since I want to go at least til christmas I cant do what I was doing before and just spend money. Unfortunately now I need to start thinking more about trading things off.
Day 2 – Around Town
Was in the mood to write so spent the morning blogging before heading out for something to eat
From here kept wandering down the main street and stopped off at a tour agent to book a shuttle. Needed two people minimum for Gili Air from Lovina so decided to go to Ubud first then onto the Gili's since there was no minimum requirement from Ubud. Had the bus scheduled to arrive at 9am at my hotel. As you'll see in the next entry it was a good thing that I had given my hotel and room number otherwise I would have missed the bus completely.
As I wandered further and further down the street I found that the town got less and less touristy and things got cheaper. Rather than say 12,000R/hr for internet it was 5,000R/hr. Also found that I got less calls for taking a ride on a bike. Seems that the street near my hotel running to the beach is the main tourist strip and that the place has more capacity to fill than the number of tourists to fill it. Found prices along the strip twice as much as normal. Take beer for example. 25,000R is the normal going rate for a large one. Here it was 50,000R and that was during happy hour.
Along my walk along the road saw lots of hindu temple shrines everywhere in peoples yards. Am guessing that there presence is a show of religiousnous and probably also there for good fortune. Many bridges also seem to have hindu statues and the entrances to town or roads have Pillars to either side of the road.
Once I reached an archway over the road decided I had walked far enough and headed back. Along the way passed a couple of side streets and took one of these down to the beach. Found the sand here to be volcanic black with lots of boats littering the shore. Am guessing that these are for taking tourists out on the water since I got a few calls of mister want to go out on the water.
Found that away from the road and the tourist center the place looked more like a village with boats for fishing and fields full of rice. Of course you had to ignore the odd tourist hotel located in between. While walking along saw lots of people going about daily activities like fixing boats, laundary, farming and weaving.
Once I started to get close to the tourist strip decided to sit down in the shade by the calm of the sea
Wandered back to the main strip along the beach past a number of restaurants and ended up in a cafe which had wifi and where I bought dinner at not to expensive a price. Played around on the laptop here for a while and published the few blog entries I had completed. Also sent a query about changing uni degrees in order to graduate next year.
After the cafe didnt really have any plans and headed back to my room where I sat out for a while before calling it a night.