Monday, September 30, 2013

Amed, Bali


Made arrived at Marie's jungalow to drive me to Amed. By this time, Made was becoming a close friend. We laughed and talked on our drive and I learned more about Balinese life. As we drove, I told Made about the cremation service and asked him more questions. At the beginning of any religious discussion, he apologized for discussing religion. I always told him I was interested and wanted to understand the Hindu religion and hoped he did not mind that I asked so many questions. Time flew as we talked.
He stopped at Tirta Gannga Water Palace. I bought my entrance ticket and walked up the steps. On the other side I saw 2 huge pythons. Men were holding them and I was going to have to walk by them. I froze. Oh no! A Balinese woman saw me and came up, put her arm around me and guided me past the snakes. She was so nice. But in my mind I knew I was going to have to walk back out. I hate snakes.

The water palace was beautiful. I wandered the grounds and found a swimming pool at the back. I wish I had brought my swimsuit, it would have been a fantastic dip.
I wandered back to the entrance and the man with the snake waved for me to come over. I smiled and shook my head no. I took a deep breath and focused on the steps. I was headed out. I got to safety at the top of the steps and smiled. I turned back and took a quick photo for my friend Mark. He will never believe I got that close to a snake.
As I came down the steps, the lady that walked me in was waiting and gave me a hug. I felt obliged to buy something from her since she had helped me. I went to her stall to buy water and she insists I get some dried sweet potato chips and tapioca chips. I had a couple snacks for later.

The countryside was beautiful. As we came around a bend, I got my first glimpse of Mount Agung volcano and farmers in the rice fields.  

We arrived in Amed and stopped to get a ferry ticket to Gilli Air. I was planning to stay in Amed a few nights and then over to Gilli Air for 3 nights. Made dropped me off at my hotel, Villa Sky Dancer. It was beautiful! 
I said our goodbye to Made and arrange for him to pick me up at the harbor and take me to Sideman on September 8. I  settled into my villa. It was fantastic! I ordered lunch and relaxed by the pool. As the sun started to set, I took an evening walk along the rocky beach. Boys were playing soccer and men were getting ready to go fishing in the morning.

I awoke early the next morning for the sunrise over Lombok. It was magnificent. 

Then I went back to bed until breakfast was ready at 9 AM. I had rented a scooter for the day and went to Tulamben to go snorkeling at the USS Liberty. It sunk off the coast of Bali when it was hit by Japanese torpedoes during WWII. The American government decide to pull it ashore but when the volcano Agung erupted and caused an earthquake, the ship slid back into the ocean. It is now submersed between 30 and 100 ft underwater. Everyone said it was good to snorkel so I headed that direction. When I arrived and saw the size of the waves, I decided to hire a snorkel guide. Thank goodness I did! It made it easier and several snorkelers gave up and went back to shore. The boats bow was cool. But I got stung by baby jellyfish. Not fun! It felt like hundreds of mosquito bites. I realized why my guide was wearing a long sleeve rash guard! Wimp! 

I rode my scooter back to Amed and stopped to snorkel in Coral Bay. It was better and no jellyfish! I also stopped to get cash from the ATM only to find out it was out of money until tomorrow. Ugh! I knew cash was hard to get on Gilli Air so I needed to get some before I left. I guess  I will rent the scooter for a second day.

I returned to my hotel and relaxed by the pool until Wayan had dinner ready. She is an amazing cook. I ate all my dinners at the hotel. The Indonesian food was fantastic! 

The next morning, I had planned a day by the pool but needed to go get cash first. Unfortunately, that turned into a 3 hour trip! I found out I had to go 1 1/2 hours to the village that had an ATM that accepted the Visa logo. It was a nice drive but I was exhausted when I returned. I relaxed at the pool and took a nap before dinner.

I woke up early for one last sunrise. I was not disappointed.
In the morning, Wayan was teasing me that the ferry to Gili's was cancelled. I looked at her and said "ok, guess I am suppose to stay!" She laughed and begged me to stay but I really wanted to swim with sea turtles. I said my goodbyes and left on the ferry to Gili Air.






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