Thursday, January 19
We woke up in the most comfy bed of the entire trip, and showered, packed up and checked out, checking our bags into a holding room till later. Grabbed breakfast, and hopped on the scooter for a 25 minute ride over to Tulumben, where our dive sites are located. We arrived at Dive Concepts in time to get geared up for our first dive on the USS Liberty! This is us with our dive master, Yomo. He was great! The 2 dives we did this day were shore dives, the only ones of the trip… the others were all boat dives. The shipwreck is so close to shore that you can see a lot of it from the surface snorkeling, and a little more of it free-diving.
Our dive was 54 for minutes with a max depth of 25 meters. We saw so much life, and the visibility was great! These pix aren’t mine, but are of this dive…. beautiful! Parrot fish, baby moray, titan trigger fish, big grouper, leaf scorpion fish, mantis shrimp, and much more!
Between dives we had another version of Beef Rendang by a Sumatra native who was cooking in the kitchen at the dive shop. He taught us that rendang is actually a Sumatran dish, and made us his version. It was good 🙂 Our next dive was at, what they call, “The Wall”. We entered the water a few hundred feet down the beach from the wreck entry point. Had another wonderful dive at max 28 meters for 65 minutes (apparently we are half fish, as we are doing really well on air consumption, allowing us nice, long dives 🙂 ). Again, great visibility and much sea life! 2 octopus, lion fish, mantis shrimp, scad–fish (the kind that swim in huge groups in unison). (Again, these photos are borrowed as we didn’t have a camera, but are of this dive).
Headed back to Amed, grabbed the bags and hopped in the car with Ketut who we hired to drive us to Candidasa. Although our scooter ride back from Tulumben was a soaker, due to a quick tropical storm, the drive through the jungle of mount Batur was sunny and absolutely stunning. We were treated to views of miles of rice paddy fields.
We came across a water temple en route, so of course we HAD to see it! In front of the gate there was an animal tamer with some beautiful creatures who we were able to interact with 🙂
Inside of the temple there were many beautiful tropical plants and flowers…
…. and some interesting statues.
We were dropped off in Candidasa to explore and see about scuba diving, as there are some GREAT spots around here and Padang Bai (the next bay south of Candidasa). We met Shirley at Temple Cottages and although we chose not to stay there, we had a great visit with her and she taught us more about the different kinds of Arak.
We heard her crazy story about how she came from Australia and became an Indonesian Citizen, bought a bottle of nice ARAK from her, and said goodbye.
We hopped in a car and were driven over to a dive resort called OK Divers in Padang Bai which after much research, we decided to splurge on. We checked in, set up the dives for tomorrow, and found an authentic little restaurant down the beach road for dinner.
Had some new items which were very good, followed by the staple dessert of Pisang goreng (fried bananas and ice cream) and headed to bed to rest up for 2 more dives tomorrow…. LUCKY US! 🙂