Trip Start Nov 06, 2006
Trip End Apr 11, 2007

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Elie -  We are in Australia now, however I am the time to write about the most amazing day we had in Bali before leaving. We were still in Lovina in the northern part of the island when we heard a local talk about this new hotel which a German couple had opened and which apparently had dolphins in it's swimming pool. We were a bit skeptical but since it wasn't too far away, and since I nagged Nick all night about it ( I really really wanted to try to see dolphins!) we headed out the next morning to try to find this fabled hotel which our guidebook and fellow travelers seemed to know nothing about. To sum it up in one word, JACKPOT! Got there and in this small but very posh new hotel with it's wonderful gardens we found a kind of miniature Seaworld where 4 large salt water 'pools'' had been built, housing a grand total of 6 dolphins (including 2 babies!). The place was surprisingly well run, very western, and the dolphins looked well cared for and happy which was a relief (a sickly dolphin in a small pool would not even have been my idea of a magical dolphin encounter).
The people working there were really nice, and for only 10 pounds we were allowed a 20 minute swim with the dolphins. We quickly put our swimming costumes on and dived in, we had a pool and two dolphins all to ourselves and no other tourists visible anywhere. To our delight the dolphins were really friendly, as soon as we jumped in they swam close asking for strokies. When we stroked their nose they even turned around so we could stroke their tummies... soooooo cute! They swam around us (and us around them), coming up for strokies and than diving back down to rub against our toes, all the while making those cute dolphins sound they make in movies (anyone who has ever seen Flipper will know what I'm talking about!). We even played ball with them, throwing them a football which they than either threw back at us or pushed with their nose as they swam towards us. It was absolutely magical, a really unbelievable experience, all the better for been so unexpected. On top of all this, the trainers were so relaxed and there were so few tourists around these days that instead of 20 minutes we got to spend a whole hour in the water with our new friends. Though by the end Nick was puffing like a dragon after struggling to stay afloat for 60 minutes (poor Nick, been a man, isn't very positively buoyant!).
It is hard to describe how absolutely amazing this day was, even Nick who at the beginning wasn't that enthusiastic about the whole thing left with a big grin on his face. When you think that we got this whole experience for a measley 10 pounds when something similar at Seaworld in America would easily cost a few hundred pounds, and than again for 10 minutes with loads of other tourists, well you will understand that we felt particularly lucky that day :  )
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Manuela on

Hi, please could you let us know the name of the hotel? Your experience sounds absolutely incredible and I'd love to know where it is before going to Bali this september...

Thank you also for posting the pics :D

SStewart on

I would love to know where this hotelis and what its called?

sadden on

its so sick and sad to see dolphins being enslaved in a swimming pool - how would you feel if you or any of yr family member are caged in a big aquarium all the days of yr life?

Ryan on

It's disgusting that people pay to do this. I'm not an activist, but I think it is horrible, I was in Lovina and specifically avoided going to that hotel because of this. You people need to watch the film "The Cove", maybe then you will wake and stop frequenting these places that enslave dolphins.

Joe on

Go, Willie, Go!!

Pat on

Oh so lovely playing with dolphin! can't wait to go to Bali this summer!

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