Bali Trip "Sun, Sea and Surf!" - Day 3: Tanjung Benoa and Ubud
Today the sun was up and the skies were clear. It was a perfect day for water sports! We had our final breakfast in Hotel Kumala Pantai. Breakfast for me was a jam-and-butter croissant, and lots of fruit and yoghurt cos I was sick. Then, we shopped around Legian beach (I bought lovely beaded slippers for RM8!), took a group pic at the driveway and left for Tanjung Benoa beach, Nusa Dua.
However despite the heavy anticipation, the long, hot trip in our Toyota Avanzas left us feeling woozy and a little less-than-enthusiastic as expected.
Anyway, this Tanjung Benoa is like a really hot spot for water activities. There were many photo albums of famous people playing water sports there. After some price-haggling, we decided on parasailing, diving and boating to Turtle Island. I regret not going for parasailing, it cost less than RM30!
The beginner dive was also really cheap - RM80 per pax inclusive of equipment, divesuit, FREE VIDEO DVD and lunch - what a bargain, and much cheaper than my first dive trip at Pulau Payar, Langkawi! So I decided to brave the fever and go diving afterall... *do I hear some applause?!*
But first, Turtle Island. We took a 15-mins boat ride to reach the little island - a small-sized captivity zoo of sorts.
There were dozens of turtles - gigantic and small - here, all waddling inside the murky enclosure. This one is 80 years old already! Poor ancient being... trapped... :-(... Btw I noticed that turtles look perpetually pissed off. I think I would be too, if I'm supposed to be an endangered species and not being mollycuddled/manhandled by thousands of tourists!! X-(
Xuan the Brave dancing with the Snake
Bat... not zzz in the daytime? This one's definately a dude.
At the same time I was thinking, oh, what the heck, at most it would be only 10 meters and I could easily eject from my diving apparatus and reach the surface in no time at all (<--- Btw this is what my divemaster told me the last time I went diving.) And I also had my past diving experience with me, which was kind of a relief. Soon, I was on the deck, with my diving apparatus on. For a second, that familiar chill/ hesitation like "What the hell am I doing here?" washed over me, and before I realised it, I was "helpfully" pushed over by one of the 'anak kapal'. The divemaster took hold of my hand and directed my face downwards. Where were the beautiful corals and fish? All I could see was a school of boring coloured fish (pardon me, fish) swimming around and that didn't excite me much... not up to the extent of making me forget all about my diving fears. I also found it quite hard to breathe/equalise because, like I mentioned earlier, I had a flu. Before we plunged deeper, I heard the divemaster adjust something on my apparatus and mutter something like "You have a lot of pressure".
The divemaster brought me to a coral island and laid me on the coral like a butterfly on a flower. He waved "no, don't touch those" to a bunch of innocent-looking enough sea anemones and swam upwards to take photos of me while I waved stupidly at him and did V-hand signals for the longest time ever (Then afterwards I knew he was actually taking a video of me). Not long after, my other companions Chin Sen and Xuan joined me on the coral rocks and I felt soothed by their presence. I was still too much focused on my breathing and didn't really enjoy the whole diving experience this time. :-(
One more coral island later and after teasing at Nemo with my bare hands, we were ready to emerge to the surface. I climbed up to the boat, feeling wildly nauseatic and ready to throw up by the side of the boat. Luckily I managed to control. So we decided not to snorkel for another half hour and returned to the island.
I had actually managed to temporarily cool off my fever after the diving trip! And I was starved... but first, I needed a bath!! But there were no bathrooms there, only a public shower area! And with so many Indon men standing around... What the heck... paid so much for this and yet have to bath publicly in the very open area... damn rugi... X-(
After my bath (I don't care, I used my Bath & Body Works coconut shampoo and SLOWLY took my time to bathe...) it was time for a nice meal of fried noodles! Brought back the energy to me...
And last but not least, a fun group pic at the beach!! ^___^
Strangely, we were chatting all the way from Tanjung Benoa to Ubud and not sleeping... :P
It seems that the Balinese people are incredibly devoted to their religion, Hinduism. A chat with the driver revealed that the normal folks are willing to spend up to 250 million rupiah (about RM80k++) to build a house temple, in their house, to worship the Supreme God. That's equivalent to a Honda City here! And yet, their other priorities in life are kept simple and bare. There are also few cases of theft in Bali as the locals believe deeply in karma. Security is of utmost importance in a popular tourist spot such as Bali. This is something Malaysia must take note of - to first eradicate the vicious Mat Rempits that bring so much harm to locals and tourists!
The hotel provided us transfer to Ubud town. Dinner was at Bebek Bengil, or famously known as the Dirty Duck Diner! Beautiful place, romantic ambience and delicious food.
BBQ roast ribs
My mattress... ^__^ Btw our room was not air-conditioned...