Bali Bliss

Trip Start Jul 24, 2008
Trip End Aug 04, 2009

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Where I stayed
Bloo Lagoon

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We are back in south east Asia for our tenth and final month of McOdyssey. We purposely left the very relaxing Indonesian Island of Bali until the end and are traveling at a much slower pace as we enjoy the last part of our trip. I can hardly believe that we will return to Canada in three weeks.

We sadly pulled ourselves away from our good friends the Smiths and Australia nine days ago and arrived here in Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia. After spending the last nine months camping, couch surfing and at backpacker hotels, we have really hit top drawer here with our accommodations thanks to our friends Deb and Scott from Calgary. We are staying in their two bedroom villa at Bloo Lagoon, Padang Bai, complete with pool, pool side restaurant and a gorgeous view over the Indian Ocean.

Padang Bai is a small fishing village and we have eaten a good many delicious seafood lunches and dinners really inexpensively. The snorkeling here is fantastic right off the beach. We have seen eels, stingrays, squid and the usual multitudes of tropical fish. We also had our first wreck dive experience, making two dives at the USAT Liberty. This US navy cargo ship was torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942 but remained afloat. It was taken in tow and beached where it remained until 1963. On the 17th of March of that year, Bali's largest mountain volcano standing over 3000 meters erupted. 1000 people were killed and 100,000 left homeless as streams of lava and hot volcanic rock poured right down into the sea at various places. The entire island was covered in ash and crops were wiped out everywhere. The only bright spot was that the eruption broke the Liberty ship in two and sunk it just off the shoreline to the joy of scuba divers. There is now an incredible amount of coral growing all over the ship and schools of fish living there. We saw our biggest fish so far, a large barracuda as well as large stingrays and dozens of sea snakes living in the sand. Quinn, who is too young to dive, also had a great day, snorkeling the whole time right above us with one of the scuba outfit guys who really looked after him.

We spent today trekking to the famous volcano. We hired a guide and a driver and left Padang Bai at 1:00 AM under a full moon for the hour and a half drive and the three and a half hour trek to the rim for the morning sunrise. The views were worth the efforts of the steep trail.

Culturally, the Balinese are very spiritual, practicing their own version of Hinduism. There are lots of temples in Bali and numerous celebrations and daily offerings of food to the gods. We visited the village of Tenganan and explored some of that culture and they had these really neat wooden ferris wheels that the kids were playing on. We have also seen a couple of the old kingdom palaces and roamed the photogenic rural areas and rice paddies.

Tomorrow is a travel day as we take two boats and a bus to get to the Gili islands.

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