Day 10 (February 9, 2004)

Up at 9.30’ish for a shower – our room probably has the best shower I’ve ever used, such a mighty blast of steamy water. Then off to breakfast (it’s part of the package we booked, as it was at the previous hotel), I expected to just be served, but it turned out we had access to a huge, and quite excellent, buffet.

I helped myself to several plates of scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, croissants, swiss cheese, and rambutan, as well as several glasses of orange juice, water, and milk.

Bloody nice. 🙂

For the rest of the day we’ve been lounging around in our room, or beside (and, of course, in) the pool.

We’re thinking about chartering a boat & heading out to turtle island, maybe I’ll get a chance to have a bit of a snorkle around… And snap some more shots with my underwater camera.

Lazy days in paradise.


Okay, really fun afternoon, went along to see about a charter, was told that the time we wanted to go, later in the afternoon, was no good – due to the tide – so it was either right now or tomorrow at 9.30am. Went back to the hotel room, Claire was pretty much ready to go, so we decided that right now was just right.

Dashed back to the beach, grabbed a boat, travelled out only a few hundred metres (enjoying the view through the glass bottom of the boat) and anchored to get some snorkelling done… The conditions weren’t very good for it, there was a bit of a wind up, which made the water a bit choppy, just choppy enough to stir things up and make the water a bit murky.

Shame, as we were anchored right next to some serious coral, and there were loads of fish around, iridescent blue ones, zebra striped ones, etc etc.

Had some fun snorkelling around and snapping quick shots, of which I expect none to come out, then managed to swim right into the boat (I was looking down, you see, not ahead) and bashed my head. Was quite a shock, very nearly stunned me, which wouldn’t have been nice. Claire heard it from inside the boat, ergh.

I had quite a lump.

Jumped back into the boat, up anchor and off we go to Turtle Island.

The tide was already getting a bit low, so we couldn’t moor very close to shore, so I carried Claire a hundred metres or so through knee deep water, everyone seemed quite amused by that.

Up the steps and onto the island, it’s quite an interesting place, their mission is to replenish the Green Turtle population around Bali, which was decimated by overharvesting, and is still being badly affected by poaching, despite having been outlawed.

So they run breeding programs, and to help fund them they let tourists come and look at what they’re doing, and they don’t keep you at a distance (except with the hatchlings) they actually let you get right into the pens, with the turtles, and you can touch them, or even pick them up if you like.

And we liked. 🙂

It was good fun, as you walked around in the shallow water, you’d have a bunch of these little turtles watching you, they’d swim over and have a good look, and follow you around. It was great fun. Claire hand fed some of them seaweed, which they’d chomp on quite happily.

Picking them up, they’re fairly heavy, and have quite a flexible belly, so I was worried about holding them up for too long without much support under there, the woman showing us around did it the same way, so I guess it must be okay. When you’re holding them up, they start flapping their fins like wings, I don’t know if they figure they’re floating in water and are trying to swim, or if they’re freaked out and trying to escape – it really looks like they’re trying to fly.

I guess it’s just for the tourists, but they have a bunch of other animals you play with, including a monster snake (which you can’t actually pick up, due to it wanting to kill you), a huge lizard, which was very wriggly, and very heavy (felt a lot like a snake, I guess all reptiles must feel like that), a couple of fruit bats, which are seriously cute (Claire hated holding it, I thought it was great) and a big bird which we were told was a fruit eating pelican, I didn’t know pelicans came in any other variety than fish eating, and it looked more like a toucan than a pelican, to me. They also had a huge, terrifying eagle, with talons that freaked the fuck out of me, what with all their crazy plating and scales and long razor sharp claws, very very scary.

The biggest fun was had when we were introduced to a friendly little monkey, I think her name was something like Pip, anyway, she hates girls, but likes boys. She liked to climb around on me, at one point she sat on my head and searched for mites (no joy sorry Pip)… With Claire, though, she tried to bite her clothing, and while she wasn’t really aggresive, she did behave a bit differently with her.

She tried to bite me as well, but her tiny little mouth didn’t have much in the way of scary teeth, so it was more like being nibbled, I don’t think she was trying to hurt me.

She was extremely cute, I’m not sure that the animals (at least, those that aren’t turtles) are treated terribly well, a couple of times she’d climb up onto my chest and make a sort of trilling mewing noise, which sounded to me like "I’m sad and need a cuddle" she certainly stopped making the noise, and instead curled up, if I put my hand on her back and gave her a little hug.

Her very favourite game seemed to be standing on my back, jumping to a nearby pole, then immediately jumping to my back again, repeat this a dozen times, and it actually gets really really cute and funny.

It is a lot of fun hugging a little friendly monkey, even if she did try to chew my necklace, and the buttons on my shirt.

We finished by having a drink, then gave them a donation for animal feed (who knows where it will actually go), walked the even greater distance out to the boat (the tide was going out pretty fast) and headed back to the hotel, enjoying the sight of huge starfish through the glass bottom of the boat.

Later still…

For dinner we decided to head down to Jimbaran Beach, and a little restaurant right on the sand called Dena’s Cafe, they had a bunch of lobsters in a big tank (Gosha, learn a lesson from these guys, this is the way it’s meant to be done), so I picked one out, Claire went with snapper – this time wisely choosing to have it filleted, she doesn’t like eating things that still have heads, and she especially doesn’t like looking into the eyes of something she’s eating.

My lobster was very good, with a garlic butter sauce, served with rice, a selection of sauces (most of which I didn’t touch, favouring a simple soya sauce with slices of chili), potatoes, salad, etc. I like using the big lobster-cracker-plier-things, more food should involve specialty tools.

Claire’s snapper was so fresh, and cooked so well, that it simply fell into flakey pieces if she went anywhere near it with her fork.

When we finished up I secreted a couple of potatoes about my person, planning on giving a present to a dog or two, I searched the beach, where we’d seen some dogs playing as we arrived, but they’d obviously moved on, when I finally found a dog, it sort of looked at my potato, sniffed disdainfully and ignored it. I just dropped them on the ground, sure that something would eat them.

We walked away from Jimbaran Bay and back up to the main road, grabbed a taxi up to Legian, and had a last look for shoes for Claire, there were lots of shoes, but none were right.

Also failed to get me one of the cool Jiggy-Jig t-shirts, in bright red, with bold white writing, which I’d had my eye on. Sad. It’s hard to get clothes here, unless you’re wee (like the locals).

Had a look at phones as well, there are some crazy cool ones here, and on the whole the prices are much better than in NZ, but I’m happy with my Nokia, and Claire has a very specific model in mind, so with no phones, no shoes, and no Jiggy-Jig t-shirt, we hopped a taxi back to Tanjung Benoa, and another night of luxury in our gigantic bed.

Day 9Day 11ish