This is a travel blog for desktop travelers and other ramblers who want to know the world just a little bit better.

Right now I am living in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala where I'll be settled for a while. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bali Road Trip Part II

Day 4

At 5:30 we wake up for our 6 AM departure date to go dolphin watching. The hotel is on the beach and the boat is right next door. It is still dark. We are greeted by Ahmed, our young captain. Our vessel hardly looks what you would call “seaworthy“. It is more or less a wood canoe about 24“ wide, a motor, and two long bamboo poles attached on each side for extra support. Our seat is a wood plank across the width of the boat. There are no flotation devices under the seat.
Our hotel is around 2 Km west of the main tourist area. Which luckily put us closer to the dolphin area. When we arrive there are no other boats. Ahmed soon points out some black shapes popping in and out of the waves. Our first glimpse of them is very brief, but it is exciting anyway. The sun is quickly rising now. In the distance we can see a fleet of tourist boats from Lovina heading in our direction.

The dolphin watching is actually a bit silly in Bali. It should actually be called Dolphin Chasing. Groups of boats are in some general areas of the sea known for having dolphins at that time in the morning. Where they will be exactly is obviously unpredictable. So some dolphins are spotted, and all the captains race their boats and tourist passengers to that place. By then, of course, the dolphins have moved on only to be spotted again, and the mad dash ensues. Mika has done dolphin watching in Japan and says that there they actually turned off the engines. The dolphins were happy just playing around the boat. But try telling that to the thirty-two boat captains on the water this morning.
It is really difficult to photograph dolphins.
 Noone is blowing a whistle to tell us when or where they are going to jump.
Apart from the crowds, this is a great outing. Ahmed tells us we are lucky today to see so many dolphins. Or is it the same dolphins many times? The reason there are so many tourist boats here is because dolphins are beautiful creatures and to see them in the wild, even for just seconds at a time, is truly exhilarating. By 7:30 AM the dolphins have moved farther out to sea while we return safely ashore. We have breakfast with a 180 degree view of the Bali Sea, pack and go west towards our next destination.

The short drive to Pemuteran is uneventful. It is another beach town. Our plan here is to do more snorkeling. Hotels are spread out along the main road. We go from place to place and cannot find any hotels within the price range of what we would like to spend. Places are either too high, or full. Then we see a bus unload a handful of backpackers. So we take the cheapest we can find which is a room for 300,000 RP (US $33.33). It is a big room with a lovely garden, nice Balinese wood furniture and an outdoor shower.
We have a great lunch at a little shack on the main road and walk down to the beach. It ends up that the only snorkeling here is to see coral that is on man-made life support from an electric current by a non-profit organization. The visibility is very poor, and the water is not so clean. The good snorkeling is at an island around two hours from Pemuteran. Boat trips are expensive, and they are not interested in bargaining. High tourist season in Bali is kind of a drag for budget minded travelers. We will return to Ubud in a couple days where we can live very reasonably until we formulate our exit plan. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy the rest of our road trip.
Outdoor shower

No comments:

Post a Comment