Frank's Excellent Adventure travel blog

Magnificent View - Bali

Python

Lizard

Bat Man

Time To Go Diving

Menjangan Island

Life Is Good

Balinese Children Learning to Swim

Pemuteran

Adi Assri Resort

More Diving!

Fishing Boats In Pemuteran

Vanessa, Me & My Dive Buddy Phil

The Band Plays While Our Coals Are Prepared

It's A Party! - Karma Kayak

Waiting On The Sunset

Sunset From Karma Kayak - Gili Trawangan

Burning Bright


Won't take much to be looking down at yourself

You think you know something but you don't know nothing

Everybody knows that depth is larger than life ....

What an amazing month in Indonesia. I can't wait to go back. Fortunately I won't have to wait too long as I have made plans to go out on a week long Live Aboard Dive Trip to Komodo in July. So back into Indonesia I shall go.

The rest of my time on Bali and Lombok (well Gili Trawangan) was filled with great people, delicious food and fun times. I enjoyed a few relaxing scuba dives and a few adrenalin pumping dives as well. I spent a weekend in Sanur in southern Bali and met all kinds of people form all over the world. The place was buzzing with international travelers and I made friends and contacts all over Asia. We spent long hours relaxing in the sun, enjoying coffee's and conversation. In the evening it was off to another great restaurant - Italian, Indonesian, Indian, Asian - you name it and Bali has it.

Early on Monday morning I was picked up by a driver to be transported to Pemuteran. The journey took about 4 hours and took me through the center of the island and up over the mountains. I marveled at the spectacular views and vistas throughout the ride. At the top of the pass the view of the fresh water lakes and the surrounding mountains is breathtaking.

I arrived in Pemuteran - a small fishing village and dive destination on the fringe of Bali's National Park - in time to jump in the water for a nice afternoon dive at a local reef. I wandered back along the black sand beach, past the fishing boats and villagers to enjoy a sunset at the Adi Assri Resort where I was staying.

The following day I spent out at Menjangan Island scuba diving and lazing around on the beach. The island is part of a National Park and has incredible "wall" dives. Swimming along in the blue at 30 meters with majestic corals shooting straight up to the surface and disappearing into the deep below is magical. As I enjoyed my lunch - Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) - I sat and watched a local family teach their young children to swim and snorkel. What a way to grow up.

I spent the last day in Pemuteran diving local reefs and hanging out with the locals. It is an amazing place and the people really go out of their way to get to know you. One sad point to note is the frightening amount of garbage that is polluting the sea and surrounding areas. Mostly plastic food wrappers. The conservation efforts of the community are strong and they actually have what is known as a Bio-Reef right off shore that they send low voltage electrical currents to to help the new coral grow. This effort has been very successful so far and is creating awareness of the importance of their natural resources. The reefs were originally damaged by Dynamite Fishing. The garbage is an ongoing problem as more and more of the worlds food is packaged in non-biodegradable packaging and our ability to dispose of it safely and properly is constantly challenged. The locals do ALL clean up as much as possible but the amount of waste washing down the streams or in from the boats dumping at sea is overwhelming. Very sad.

Early the next morning (4 AM) my driver Wayan arrived to transport me to Padang Bai for another "Fast Boat" ride to Gili Trawangan. It was another 4 hour trip across the island of Bali but this time, since it was still dark during most of the trip and there was little traffic, Wayan drove like he was trying to qualify for NASCAR. Goes to say I didn't get much extra sleep on the journey. The "Fast Boat" is another hour or so to Lombok and then a short cruise to Gili Trawangan.

It was nice to be back on Gili "T" and see familiar faces. The warm and fuzzy feeling was short lived as I had to jump into action to get ready for the remainder of my TDI Decompression Procedures Course. That afternoon was spent at 45 meters below the sea and in a classroom. Talk about contrasts. The dive was okay and the class work was mind numbing. The whole course and all the training came to a climax on Friday morning with the final dive to a Japanese Wreck off the coast of Lombok. We descended to 45 meters where I performed a - No Mask - Blindfolded - Out Of Air - Swim for 20 meters along the ocean floor to find my Buddy and get air to breathe. Very, very intense. What a great rush once it was completed and then the rest of the dive and the ascent with the Decompression Procedures went wonderfully. Woo hoo! So I am now certified to dive with Twin Tanks up to 45 Meters with Decompression Gas up to 100% O2 Strapped to my side.

Back on dry land I was invited to go out and help celebrate my Dive Buddy - Phil's - 35th Birthday. A whole bunch of us rode bicycles across the island to a wonderful little place on the beach - Karma Kayak - where we watched the sunset and devoured our own private beach Tapas BBQ. The local Reggae Band showed up and provided the live music. An absolutely amazing end to a spectacular journey.

Saturday I took a boat, a car, a small plane and a jet plane to get to Singapore. A new friend I met in Sanur, Bali - Jonathan - lives in Singapore and came to the Airport to pick me up and has opened up his home to me for the past few days. I am constantly blown away by the kindness and hospitality of others.

The highlight so far was being included in Jonathan's Family dinner last night at his parents house. Wow! The food was incredible. His Dad cooked up a storm. His Mom, Sister, Brother, Sister-in-law and Niece were all a joy to meet and break bread with. (well no bread but lots of rice!) I am here in Singapore - which is a big, very clean and orderly city - for at least the week. I plan on spending my time doing a bit of sight-seeing and trying to formulate my next few moves. I'm going to give Jonathan his space back and check into a hotel today. 5 Star it is! Hello, Room Service?

Peace and love to all,

Frank



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