Sunday, July 23, 2017

BALI, LEGIAN - HELLOS AND GOODBYES - 18 JULY 2017


18 JULY 2017

We woke at 5am, finished packing, checked out, paid the bill and boarded a car for the airport.
We flew from Manado to Denpasar on Garuda on flight GA625 at 07:55 to 10:15 with 20kg. The flight was great. Garuda provided food, drink and entertainment. Heaps better than Lion Air
We arrived at the domestic airport in Bali. Nyoman was waiting and drove us to the Grand Kumala Hotel, Legian for 170 000R. We checked in, settled in our room and wander out for lunch.
Later, in the afternoon Kara and John returned from the Bali Bird Park. We chatted for ages about our side trips over the past two weeks.
In the late afternoon, we went down to Legian Beach for beers and sunset watching. Wal and Desty joined us there and after a time, we moved to the Seaside Restaurant for dinner. A fun night.


19 JULY 2017


I woke early and had a walk down and long the beach. Bali hikes are good in the morning when it is heaps cooler.
Back to the hotel for breakfast and then it was time to buy and do a few things - cash money for Balian, buy snack supplies and some clothes. I bought a new selfie stick as well.
The rest of the day was relaxing at the pool.
I had a massage at Sicilian Spa. It was clean and good. There was a fountain in the room where I was having the massage - 1 hour for 100 000R 
We had dinner and then it was time to take John to the International airport for his flight back to Australia. After that it was sleep time.

20 JULY 2017


I woke and had another hike along the streets and down to the beach.







Back at the hotel, Jacinta, Kara and I had breakfast, then we packed, paid our bill and were on our way to Balian.

SULAWESI, MANADO - BOAT, MALL AND POOL - 17 JULY 2017


We woke, packed a bit, had breakfast, paid the bill ( which took 1/2hour), finished packing, got on the boat, motored to Manado in pretty wild seas, landed at first harbour inside the river, walked a short distance, hailed a taxi and checked into 4 points hotel in Manado... how easy can it get.



At reception, we organized an early check in, transport to the airport tomorrow and a takeaway breakfast.


We showered and I washed my hair (salt water showers in Bunaken). We wandered down to Manado Town Mall which was beside our hotel. We looked at the shops and had lunch and coffee.




Back at the hotel and we hit the roof top infinity pool and bar and enjoyed a few beers until the rain came.





The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the room aircon and reading.


In the evening, we wandered back to the mall for dinner. We were going to go for a street wander but it was too wet to walk outside.

SULAWESI, BUNAKEN - BIG HIKE, MORAY EEL, CLOWN FISH - 16 JULY 2017


Not the best sleep as the locals pounded out the music to well after midnight. :)

We decided on an early walk to the next village. We were told it was a 20 minute walk. Well, we got carried away and after the village which was very rural with a beautiful and imposing church we kept going and followed a bricked road that turned into a dirt track that turned into a muddy slippery goat track (there were goats) that turned into numerous goat tracks that eventually crisscrossed the island until we ended up at the far end of the island at the other village. It took nearly 3 hours. We were hot, sweaty, muddy and thirsty. I loved it and Jacinta well, I decided not to ask.










Back at the resort for breakfast, rest, lunch and a snorkel off the beach. The snorkel was shallow and there were lots of small colourful fish. The highlights were the brightly coloured clown fish and a moray eel. The eel was such a cool animal to find and watch. It bobbed its head in and out of a hole in the coral.








Back at the hotel, we organize boat transport to Manado and had dinner.

SULAWESI, BUNAKEN ISLAND - SNORKEL AND CELEBRATION - 15 JULY 2017


After breakfast, jacinta and I boarded the boat for snorkeling. All the others onboard were divers. We stopped at two places and drifted with the currents. There was a lot of fish, and we sa two turtles and coral along the wall. The water was cystal clear. Strangely enough, the coral isn't really very colourful and in some spots non existent. 

The snorkeling has been nice but I am a litlle disappointed overall with the coral and fish size as this place had a massive rave on being the one of the best in the world. I have snorkel in more awesome places in Nusa Penida, Flores and Rote. One of the people on the boat was Rob who had lived in this area for 15 years and had been doing a variety of environmental studies and surveys. He told me that the marine park was only recent and the lack of coral and larger fish has been caused by bleaching, dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing and boats dragging their anchors across the coral.








Later, that afternoon we walked to one of the villages. There was a celebration at one end of the village. People were doing doing very loud karoke and climbing tall poles to win prizes. Most people appeared happy, friendly and smiling. It was very nice. After the that jacinta and I settled into a small restaurant over looking the ocean near the main pier. We atched the locals relax and ander around slowly while we enjoyed a cold beer.








There was a party at the resort in the evening for the owner who was moving residence to Sanur. They had a little competition and the local guys played some music.

SULAWESI, BUNAKEN ISLAND - BOAT, SNORKEL AND TURTLES - 14 JULY 2017

I woke early and wander around the hotel grounds, down to the ocean and had a swim in the pool. All nice, still and quiet.



After breakfast, I was off in a boat for snorkeling. Jacinta hung around the pool. The first snorkel started off with a drop off with okay coral and fish. I had to cross an open area between two reefs. It was like an abyss below me with rays of sunlight adding to the disorientation. When the other reef started to come into view, two large turtles materialized in front of me - awesome.





The second snorkel started in awesome fashion with a sheer drop off wall in much clearer water. There were heaps of fish and okay coral. I drifted with the current for ages. After an hour, I looked up to find that the boat was not longer in sight. A bit of a worry but I figured they would find me when it was time to go. I saw about a 6 turtles this time. I got reasonably close to one but I had to dive pretty deep.


 (vague photo of turtle)



I rested for the afternoon.

Later, Jacinta and I had a few beers before dinner at the hotel bar which had a great view over the ocean to the mainland. We also listen to a local guy sing and play some local songs on his guitar. Nice.

Malaria tablet night.

SULAWESI, BUNAKEN - CROSSES, BOAT TRIP AND ISLAND VILLAGE - 13 JULY 2017


We woke, had breakfast, packed and loaded the car for Manado/Bunekin.


Our first stop was stations of the cross. There was a bit of confusion as Denny thought we meant the cross on the hill. Well, it turned into a great drive. We turned off the main road and were soon going upwards on a massively eroded and loose gravel road. Denny was determined that we would get to the top and I was pretty sure he was going to snap an axle. We got to the top and were rewarded with panoramic views over Manado, the ocean and distant islands. The cross was big and rarely visited by tourists. Wonder why?






Next we stopped  in Manado on a hill opposite the statue of Jesus. It was very impressive. 



We stopped at the first harbour and waited a short time for Captain Ricky and our boat to Bunaken Island. The boat trip was fun even when it began to rain. We got soaked even though we were under cover but were dry by the time we reached Bunaken.


On arrival at Two Fish, we were given a long spiel about the hotel and facilities, then we settled into our rooms and went to the large open dining area for lunch. Everyone was seated at one long table and it was all very quiet and subdued. I found that too hard to handle and started talking to a few people. The food as great.




We swam in the pool and when it cooled down in the afternoon, we went for a walk to and through the village. The village was basically two narrow bricked streets. It was relatively tidy and the houses were varied and mainly single storey, except for the enormous church.








Back to the hotel for dinner and sleep.

BALI, LEGIAN - HELLOS AND GOODBYES - 18 JULY 2017

18 JULY 2017 We woke at 5am, finished packing, checked out, paid the bill and boarded a car for the airport. We flew from Manado to ...