From Ubud we hired a private driver to take us Tulamben
on the east coast. The three hour drive took us through small villages and lush green rice paddies and was a good glimpse of rural Bali. Tulamben is known for its snorkeling and scuba diving so within an hour of our arrival we quickly jumped in the water to check it out. To our delight the the water was clean, clear and full of a wide variety of fish! We immediately signed up to go scuba diving the next day, but opted to postpone after a bit of "Bali Belly" struck. After a good nights rest we woke up on our last day to take on the USS Liberty for our first wreck dive! The Liberty was torpedoed by Japanese submarine during World War II and was a fantastic place to go scuba diving.
The whole ship was transformed into a colorful reef full of beautiful corals and fish. Our dive master was great at finding some of the smaller critters we might have missed liked the nudibranch sea slugs and electric clams. Having completed our dive we hopped aboard a bus headed south and chatted up future dive spots with fellow travelers. We're both quite hooked on diving!Padangbai
was a quick but very memorable stop for us. We only spent one night in this port town, but it happened to be on a day when they were celebrating an anniversary for a local temple. This meant everyone in town was headed out with their families that evening to provide offerings and prayers with their community. After buying sarongs and dressing up in local fashion, we headed into the temple to watch the ongoing ceremony. As we sat discretely in the back a local man and his family encouraged us to join in and to our surprise walked us through all the traditional rituals! We burned incense, were dosed in holy water by the priest, drank holy water, bowed 3x, prayed for our loved ones, and placed flowers behind our ears and on our heads, and were given rice to put on our foreheads. We felt very honored to have been included in their ceremony - a magical moment. To end a perfect evening we headed out to a good restaurant where we received many smiles from the locals who knew we were coming from the temple.
Due to the wonders of Facebook and free wifi (yep - even Bali cafes have it), we found out that one of our DJ friends, Tim Healey, was going to be spinning in Seminyak
on Friday night. We didn't come to Bali for the fancy scene Seminyak offers, but we did enjoy our one night out at the posh Hu'u club. Waiting for Tim's set we lounged on large, outdoor pillow mattresses while watching the very entertaining, yet bizarre mix of people that flowed through the club. We definitely weren't clubbing in San Francisco anymore! Eventually the bass turned up and we found ourselves dancing the night away.