Day 5 - Snorkeling, Traditional Village and Mount Agung

Today Wayan was taking me to a beach called "Blue Lagoon" in Padangbai to go snorkeling.
It was going to take a little over an hour to get there, so Wayan also made some suggestions for places to see while we were out that way.
I met Suzy at breakfast and we met up with Wayan at 9:00am to start our adventure.

Snorkelling at Blue Lagoon, Padangbai

Wayan charges about 600,000 Rupiah for a full day of transport (about $60 AUD) and because Suzy was joining me it only cost about $30 each for the day.
Some tourists think this is too expensive and rather hire a scooter and do it themselves, but I think this price is quite reasonable considering it is a full day and you end up learning a lot more about the culture and area when you spend time with a local like Wayan.
Not to mention the roads are very different to here in Australia, you have to be constantly alert in case someone enters your lane or another bike cuts you off from the side of the street, which is very common in Bali, but the locals are so used to it that they simply slow down and let them in. In Australia, this would no doubt end in road rage and probably even an accident.

As we were driving through the more rural areas of Bali, Wayan was telling us about "the simple life" in these smaller villages.
The whole family will work together to grow crops to live off the land, this means that everyone does everything.
There will be both men and women working in the fields, carrying large heavy items on their heads.
The local Balinese people are quite conservative compared to other regions in South East Asia. They have a lot of ceremonies and there are small offerings left all over the streets every morning. Even in our short stay here in Bali, there was the "Dark Moon" ceremony and the "Ceremony of Growing" within the space of a couple of days.

Making our way towards the beach, we were stopped by government officials to pay entry to the beach.
They charge about $1 to access the beach and this money goes into keeping the area clean. Wayan was saying that it wasn't long ago when this area was very dirty, but they are always working on making it nicer.
We finally arrived at the snorkeling place. We were greeted by some of the staff and we were given lockers and forms to sign.
Snorkeling cost us about $30 each which included snorkels, flippers, food for the fish, a (really short) drive to the beach and a (really short) boat ride out to the coral, an hour out in the water and then back again.
On the boat there were some divers too. At the place we went there are anchors and guide rails in the water, along with a sort of man-made ship-wreck (a big cage), I'm guessing these are all to assist in diving lessons.
Suzy and I jumped in and admired all the aquatic life, it was awesome to just peacefully float there and watch all the colorful fish just swim around.
The assistants then gave us some pieces of bread in plastic bags to feed the fish. As soon as that bread touched the water, fish came from everywhere and we were completely surrounded, so much so that just moving our arms to swim felt like we were pushing our way through clouds of fish!

I brought my GoPro with me to try to capture some of this, but I made a few mistakes (my first time taking a GoPro underwater).
Firstly, I shouldn't have set the resolution to 4K, as this meant the frame rate was slower and produced quite a choppy video.
Also, I was trying to move very slowly and keep the camera still and it seemed like I was doing ok at the time, but looking back at the footage... I did a terrible job of this! It's very shaky, luckily YouTube could stabilise it a little. Lessons learned for next time!

Mount Agung

After our hour of snorkeling was up and we headed back to get showered and changed we got back in the car with Wayan to head for lunch - by this stage we were really hungry!
Wayan took us through some more beautiful back roads, past more small villages and uphill through windy, narrow, overgrown roads heading for a place he referred to as L.A.
While the joke was that L.A. stood for Los Angeles, it actually stood for "Lering Agung" and had a view of Mount Agung - Bali's biggest volcano.
When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was a massive bat hanging from a tree (in the middle of the day) at the entrance.
I had never seen such a big bat up close before, it was quite fascinating that it was just happy hanging there with people up close walking past and taking photos.

When we got inside, the waitress showed us where the buffet was and took our drinks order.
Our table was right on the edge of the restaurant looking out at the mountain, the photos don't do it justice but the view was spectacular!

The buffet cost us around $10 for all-you-can-eat and food was really nice! They had everything from fried rice and satay chicken to black rice cake and fruit.
I tried the Salak (also known as "snake skin fruit") - it looked pretty interesting, but I wasn't a big fan of the flavour. Everything else was delicious though, especially the black rice cake with palm syrup over the top!

Traditional village

After we had lunch, Wayan was telling us about the village where his parents lived, but we didn't have enough time to see that.
Instead, he took us to a small village that tried to show what the traditional Balinese villages were like in the past.
We paid a small entrance fee of about $2.50 and walked around. The roads were quite different to in Ubud and the locals invite you into their house to show you around.
Of course, they all want you to go into their house so they can sell you souvenirs, but it was quite interesting either way.
One of the ladies showed us through there place where they had a nice temple and garden in the front, and small kitchen area in one building, then across the garden was the main living area and she even took us out the back to show us her pigs!

Art Market

From the village, the last stop on the itinerary was the art market to pick up some souvenirs.
Wayan was saying that this place has a bigger variety and was cheaper than the local markets.
It was already quite late in the day, so Wayan rang them up and asked them to stay open until we got there so we didn't miss out.
I'm not sure how cheap they were, but it was definitely a big place! Suzy and I picked up a few things and we headed back to the hotel.

Back to the hotel

It had been a big day, but the snorkeling was a great way to spend my last full day in Bali.
On the way back to the hotel I realized how sunburnt I actually was! I put on sunscreen, but lying on my stomach in the water under the sun for an hour is still a fairly long time to bake. Poor Suzy had burnt the backs of her legs and arms too.

I had booked in my final massage for 6:00pm and we got there just time.
This massage was supposed to be quite different to the usual ones, it was meant to be a traditional Balinese bath, that includes a scrub! But with the sunburn on my shoulders I didn't want anyone scrubbing my skin, so I asked them for a more gentle massage with an Aloe Vera moisturizer instead!

After this I met up with Suzy for dinner and she hadn't tried the duck at Murni's Warung yet, so we headed there before going home for my last night's stay at the Honeymoon Guesthouses!

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