Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Bumming Around Bali

After arriving in Denpasar I thought I should at least have a look at the main beach where all the tourists head to - Kuta. I couldn't walk 5 metres without offers of room, bike or marijuana (which from all accounts is particularly bad quality). So hiring a bike the next day I rode the 100km or so to the north side of Bali to Tulamben, where I was one of only a handful of tourists.

Most of the restaurants and accommodation all across Bali are dead empty at the moment - which makes the competition for tourists' money rather aggressive. I've heard it is not so bad as right after the Bali bomb though. I managed to get majorly sun-burnt on the ride over.

Tulamben, was ok - a small village where the main attraction is the Liberty shipwreck (an American cargo ship of length 120m). I went on 3 dives with an American guy I met there, John. The wreck was pretty cool - saw a bunch of stuff like moray eels, a Black Tipped Shark (about 2 m), schools of thousands of Wide-Eyed Trevelis, an octopus and a bunch of interesting coral. Definitely an improvement on my last dive back in Australia (8 years ago now) where I managed to swallow a few mouthfuls of water and grab the regulator from my instructor's mouth in panic.

After Tulamben I rode another 100km or so to Lovina, a beach resort town. Not much exciting there, although I met an interesting ex-pat who was telling me about a house he built over here for about $AUS50,000.

After just one night in Lovina, I'm now back near Denpasar in Ubud. Ubud is promoted as the art town in Bali where you can buy paintings and handcrafts. There seems to be more tourists here than I have seen anywhere else in Bali, not always a bad thing round here because it means not quite so many aggressive/desperate touts, so I might stay here a few nights.

Here are some pics...

Ride to Tulamben



The Monkey Forest in Ubud