Ooh we’re getting through it now aren’t we everybody! If this is the first of my Bali posts you’ve seen, you can catch up on days one, two, three and four here! But if you’re reading the whole series, congratulations! We’ve made it past halfway!
I thought we’d been pretty adventurous in doing a sunrise trek of Mount Batur the previous day, but there was more in store in Lovina today as we were off snorkelling. I was pretty apprehensive about the whole thing to be honest; I’ve always been a bit wary of what lies beneath and had visions of ominous creatures looming up out of the darkness and chewing on my flippers. But we were assured that if we were in trouble we could just give a wave and be back in the boat in no time, so after a half an hour ride out to the perfect spot, I found myself donning my snorkel and plopping over the edge into the beautiful turquoise water.
Much to my delight, there were no sharks to be seen, only coral with beautiful fish swimming amongst it! I’ve never been properly snorkelling before, you know, with things to actually look at. I do recall once as a child snorkelling laps of a swimming pool whilst on holiday, singing “bobbing along” from Bedknobs and Broomsticks (great film), totally unaware that everyone above water could actually hear me loud and clear.
But anywho, I was in total awe of the wildlife around me; lots of vibrant coloured fish, sea urchins and bright blue starfish. It’s definitely made me want to visit other destinations and maybe even try diving one day!
We stopped halfway at a place called Menjangan Island for lunch. It’s called “deer island” because apparently, you guessed it, many wild deer lived there. I was super excited as they are one of my favourite animals, and our guide regaled many a tale of a whole herd of them coming to greet tourists who arrived there. My visions of frolicking amongst the deer were soon put to rest as we arrived and there were none to be seen, but to my delight, one did make a token appearance so I didn’t leave totally disappointed!
Lunch was another feast from a banana leaf, eaten with our hands yet again! I did enjoy this experience immensely to be quite honest, I just loved the feeling of stripping everything back to basics (but not until after I’d used copious amounts of hand sanitiser of course). We had time for a little wander round the island while our food went down before getting back in the water for another snorkelling session.
On our final snorkel, I swam over the most beautiful shell I’ve ever seen in my life. It was just glowing up at me from the sea bed, and I didn’t dare go near it for fear of breaking it. Moments later, our guide swam up behind me and held the shell out to me (as he had done previously with a puffer fish and a star fish). I took it, very carefully, and admired its pure beauty: the swirling patterns and gorgeous sandy coloured shades. Just then, a wave knocked me off my balance, and my grip tightened, only slightly, around the delicate shell. To my horror, I felt one of nature’s great masterpieces shatter into a million tiny pieces, and I watched in shock as they floated away into the blue depths of the ocean.
I really hope the guide didn’t think I’d just taken the beautiful shell and decided to crush it to smithereens either!
Back on land, we headed back for the hotel via Banjar hot springs. This time, instead of the luxury of the one we enjoyed yesterday, we were greeted with a rather pungent and murky natural spring which the locals use, due to the therapeutic elements of the mineral-rich sulphuric waters . As we’d dried off from our ocean escapades, a few of us decided not to brave the cloudy depths, and generously agreed to wait at the edge with the bags of those who did fancy a dip.
They they are look. The smiles of those really enjoying being submerged in slime.
You know those moments in life where you don’t do something but then immediately regret your decision?
Yeah, this wasn’t one of those times.
I was quite happy to stay at the edge and act as photographer for those who had gone in!
Dinner that evening was a Balinese feast cooked up by a lovely local lady. She had gone to town preparing us a variety of local dishes which were all incredibly delicious. Again, I was completely in love with anything coated in peanut sauce, and I discovered tempeh manis which is the most moorish dish ever. So delicious.
Oh yes, and we ate on the beach. Because when in Bali, where else would you eat?!
So another wonderful day all round really! Thanks for getting through another one; I am adoring reliving all these magical moments!