A tiny town based on diving
Trip Start Jan 04, 2011
83Trip End Jul 14, 2011
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Tulamben has a black sand beach, due to the volcano nearby. Black lava solidified and got ground down to the point that there is some black sand, and many black round rocks and pebbles. Not as beautiful as a white sand beach, but impressive nonetheless.
We stayed at a dive resort with a 100,000 rupiah room including breakfast (just over 8 Euros) named Aries. The first afternoon we walked around a bit, until some locals offered us food and company in the evening! They had just cooked and were partying a bit (a father with children and friends and cousins etc)
The next morning we were ready for our one dive (we didn't have money for more!). In the second World War an American ship (the USS Liberty) was hit by a Japanese missile near Lombok. The Americans dragged it to the Balinese shore by Tulamben to harvest the in-tact remains. It stayed there on the beach for about 20 years...until the large volcano eruption in 1963. The lava swept the 100m long ship into the water, where it has been ever since. That was the location for our amazing dive.
Our guide Renault from France briefed us, and we walked over to the beach after we set up our equipment. Porters carried our tanks over, and we started our 46-minute dive. The ship was difficult to recognize due to the abundant corals (hard, soft, table corals, barrel sponges etc) which made it incredibly beautiful and impressive. We had over 20m of visibility, and went to a maximum depth of 20m and saw a blue-spotted stingray, Nemo (false clown anemone fish), trigger fish, angel fish, crabs, scorpion fish, sweet lips, parrot fish, banner fish, bat fish, puffer fish, garden eels, and huge schools of fish everywhere around us
Since we ran out of money we did some snorkeling in Coral Garden in the bay later and saw similar colorful fish, including a huge humphead parrot fish, bright orange clown fish (more Nemos!), banner fish, corals, swaying anemone etc! Wonderful.
For lunch later we had delicious fish sate, more spicy fish, rice, and six battered fried bananas with chocolate for a total of 13,000 rupiah for two people. Just over one Euro. For dinner we had another specialty named Bakso, which is essentially spicy meatball soup - in this case pork, but sometimes chicken too.
Terima Kasih! We love it here!