Indonesia

Episode 1 Bali: Lovina the Beach

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Saturday 13 Feb 2010 Bali, Indonesia

How to relax at the beach: Swim in the warm ocean, swim in the pool, sunbathe with sun block applied, go snorkeling, go dolphin watching, eat delicious Indonesian food, watch the sunset drinking a cold one, read and contemplate life. We practice what we preach. That is how our days are filled at Lovina Beach.

We arrived Tuesday afternoon and found an airconditioned room, essential for this hot climate, in a small resort on the north coast of Bali. Our room faces a nice garden, next to a small restaurant and swimming pool. The black lava sand beach is just outside the gates to the resort. The ocean waters are warm and buoyant, just right for floating. A line of fishing boats wait to take you snorkeling for the equivalent of $10 US for two people.

The coral reef lays about 200 M offshore. The fishing boats are simple wooden affairs with a narrow hull and two outriggers for stability. A maximum of three adults or four small people can sit single file on wooden boats for the short journey. The reef isn't the most exciting we have seen but it is fun. We have gone twice and enjoyed it enough to go one more time before we move on. The reef is regenerating well from destructive fishing practices using dynamite. The visibility is clear and the fish numerous. There are mostly hard corals but there are some soft corals with Nemo guardians as well.

The dolphin is king in Lovina Beach. A large statue of a dolphin erected in the town square next to the beach attests to the popularity of boat rides to see the dolphins swim in the bay. The best time to go is at sunrise, about 6 AM when the dolphin pods go in search of breakfast. Yesterday morning we motored out in the fishing boat to join what seemed to be every tourist currently staying in the Lovina Beach area. I don't know how the dolphins stand being the center of attention but they were there in great numbers. I kept snapping pictures as Ray called out "there's another one!" They swam past and between the boats in twos, threes and even greater numbers. It was exciting to see.

There are numerous restaurants to choose from. We have our favourite "good value" spots that we return to. Lunch today was a pre-Valentine's celebration at a very good Thai restaurant. The last few days we have been enjoying a Happy Hour beer and watching local men play their end of the day volleyball game on a court in front of the restaurant. It is a soft surface court so only about one or two of the players wear shoes. They obviously enjoy the game.

We don't have TV in our room so will have to rely on TV in the bars to get our Olympic fix. I hear everyone in Vancouver is encouraged to do a Snow Dance. We trust everything will go well for the games.

Read more about our travels in Bali and the Gilis, Indonesia

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