Don’t we all just love dolphins. Very good f

Trip Start Sep 10, 2010
Trip End Feb 19, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No, this time we did not eat any, but we did get to see lots. We tasted some dolphin years ago in Iceland (the country, not the British frozen food store) and it was not great, so we did not mind avoiding controversy this time by not asking if we could eat one.

Lovina is our last stop on Bali before we hit the road again, or rather the road, the ocean and the tracks (railway). The town is actually five small adjoining villages along the north coast of the island, and is mainly hotels, bars and restaurants. The usual tourist stuff but pretty nice for a few days. Before we arrived we wondered why the south was so much more popular and then we saw the beach - black sand, which is quite coarse and gets pretty churned up for about 10 metres out from the shore line. So it looks dirty, but is actually very clean once you get out beyond the 10m line, though to get there means wading through all the silt which sticks to your body and doesn’t feel great.

The weather is also getting the better of us these days - it’s still very hot and near 100% humidity at times, and it rains very heavily in short busts throughout the day, so we are confined to staying in hotel, bar or restaurant. Not such an inconvenience really as we hadn’t planned on doing much but it has scuppered our moped ride to the top of the nearby mountain to see the Buddhist temple.

So our main adventure here was dolphin watching which meant getting up at 5am. The pesky mammals only come within easy reach of the shore in the early mornings and at first it felt like a mistake to go on this trip. There were so many boats and at times there must have been 50 or more chasing after two distance fins, and to me they didn’t look to be the healthiest or most exciting specimens - I suspect they had a bit of flipper flop though we’d need to check that with a marine veterinarian I suspect. But sure enough the boat man said he knew a better place and so we left all the others behind, heading off way into the distance, both of us regretting having gotten up so early just to be chucked around on the open ocean with not a beastie in site. Then they all appeared.

We were the only two on our boat, which is little more than a motorised tree trunk, so when the dolphins surface next to you they feel close enough to touch. We had about 15 minutes of cruising around with them and maybe 3 other boats, and then we were spotted and the crowds gathered. But that first 15 minutes was fantastic, the photos of course can’t capture the feeling of being surrounded by perhaps 100 or more dolphins as they hunted tuna. We didn’t manage to get one on camera, but there were many young dolphins, apparently only a few weeks old which were exceedingly fast and seemed to be sticking very close to their mothers in a high speed race with the fish. The fish lost.

In the end, we stopped complaining about our 5am rise - it was well worth it and we had time to go back to bed after breakfast and catch up on our much needed beauty sleep.

Its possible that we will be out of touch in the coming days as we are heading off into the Volcano region of Eastern Java to do some volcano climbs. Fingers crossed for no monsoon rain in the Bromo region or that will make our adventure somewhat more challenging and much less fun. We don’t need to be moist anymore.



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