MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! or HAPPY HOLLIDAYS!!!! :)
I would have sent this yesterday, but we lost power in the early afternoon and didn't get it back until about 9am this morning... I'm on Gilli Terwangan (sp?) which is a really nice little island of the north west coast of Lombok (which is the big island east of Bali for those - like myself - that are geographically challenged)...
Accomodation here is cheap and quite nice by SE Asia traveler standards. Food is fantastic, the snorkeling is quite good, diving is also quite good.
The relationship between the local community and the backpacker scene is a little strange. Some local people have really plugged in, but mostly the community here seems quite stand-off-ish.... but glad for the income from the travelers... and also not pushy (like on the rest of Lombok). Also, there are VERY FEW travelers here (or in Kuta) at the moment. They are supposed to be having a short high season around XMas and New Year, but many places are empty or only have one or two guests. In some ways, it's very nice to have so much space here, but it's a bit eary walking down the main road that has 10-20 fancy (by backpacker standards) restaurants, hotels, dive-shopes, etc that are mostly empty.
My first dive was amazing! We saw 6 to 8 of the following: Tutles, Cuttle Fish, and Reef Sharks. And a huge eel hiding in it's cave! Second dive was OK, but didn't see too much and since we were drift diving in tepid water we all got very cold... Snorkeling on Christams day was great, 4 turtles (spent 30 minutes hanging out with one of them), a school of 40-50 squid, many moorish idols, a huge variety of smallish trigger fish, banner fish, surgeon fish, unicorn fish, several small and lovely puffers and box fish. Also saw a very large eel and a tuna fighting... what a writhing mass that was! Also did a night dive last night that was OK but started out badly (just not planned well by any of us) I saw a huge ray (unfortunately not close enough to identify what type of ray).. we also saw a lovely big turtle, a HUGE parrot fish, and 3 very large lobster and lots of different shrims. The bio-luminescense was fantastic! Had my hand in the water on the way back from the dive and it looked like sparks exploding all over the side of the boat! Wow!
I was super excited about doing a cool technical dive this morning. 40 meters for 20 minutes on a sunken japanese submarine chaser with nitrox with a bunch of deco stops... Too bad the shops GPS was out on a liveaboard and the captain who could find the site without the GPS was home sick (oh and they didn't have the location written down anywhere so we could use my GPS)! Too bad that we spent half an hour setting up gear and then an hour on the boat before they figured out that they weren't going to find the site! Hopefully I'll have a redo tomorrow, sounds like a wonderfull dive, and I'm psyched to get to use my deep and nitrox certifications for such a cool dive.
I'm planning on heading back to Bali on Sunday, I'll probably head straight for Ubud so that I can do one of their fancy spa treatments for my BDAY :) I also hope to check out some of the local dances, which are supposed to be spectacular! Then I'll hop around the island and check out some of the dive sites...
Loads of Love to you all!
Posted by binduwavell at December 25, 2003 10:57 PM