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Published: December 2nd 2007
We found the dolphins!!
Selamat siang from Bali!
This blog is one of three we hope to publish regarding our travels in Bali. We are going to be in three different locations in Bali, each of which has a distinct flavor.
Bali is only one of the 13,000 islands in Indonesia, which is part of the world’s largest archipelago.
We’ve divided our time in Bali to three locations: Lovina Beach in the north, Ubud in the central and Kuta Beach in the south. We would have loved to go to the island of Lompok but we didn’t have enough time. Sounds funny coming from us, but trust us, the world is too big to see it all, and compromises must be made from time to time.
We decided to start our time in Bali by heading north to the quiet town of Lovina Beach, which did not disappoint. Our hotel was called the Bali Paradise and we have truly enjoyed our stay here. It’s an elegant small hotel that had the “villa” feel to it. Since we are here in off season there were only two other couples staying here at the same time. The staffs made us feel very
We found the dolphins!!
special. Even though this property is not beachfront, it is close by and the views of the Java Sea are quite nice.
This area of the country offers snorkeling, diving, visits to temples, hot springs and waterfalls. What we enjoyed most was our boat trip out to see the dolphins.
We were told that the dolphins feed each morning about a mile off Lovina Beach. We immediately secured the services of a hired a boat and headed out in search of dolphins.
The next morning, we awoke early and walked out to the beach in darkness searching for our waiting boat guide at 5:30 a.m. He greeted us with a smile and a wave. A short distance up the beach we boarded his small wooden boat to enjoy our adventure. A glimpse of light was beginning to show all around us as he manually eased our boat out into the Java Sea.
The quiet and solitude were amazing. The smooth sea around us was breath taking. The light in the sky and the reflections of light of the water seemed to merge at an unknown point on the horizon. Slowly more colors filled the skies as
Our guide Katuk
He is very happy that he found dolphins for us.
the sun rose behind the volcanic mountains. This was one of those special moments in time when you can appreciate the natural beauty that the world has to offer….. and we were pleased to be taking the time to enjoy every moment of it. The sunrise was beautiful out on the water as the moon faded in the distance and the sun began to dance off the ripples made by our boat and the slight water movement from a slight wind.
After about an hour and a half of the most amazing boat ride our guide became very excited and started singing and shouting. We looked around but did not see any dolphins and were unsure why he was so excited. Off in the distance ahead of us, what seemed to be about 3 miles away was a group of boats huddled together. He said that was where the dolphins were.
This was very exciting as we have neglected to tell you that we had gone out with another boat captain the day before and had not seen any dolphins. The staff at our hotel was shocked as that rarely happens but we were determined to see the
dolphins so we tried it again the next morning. As you can imagine we just wanted another one of those spectacular sunrises and we were not disappointed.
The collection of boats and the supposed dolphins seemed so far away as our little boat puttered in that direction but our excitement was building. We set the watch so that we would know how long it took us to get to the appointed spot. Our excitement mounted the closer we got but at one point we saw some of the boats leaving the area and we were afraid we would not make it to our destination in time.
Twenty minutes later we pulled along side the few remaining boats and were delighted to see many dolphins jumping and frolicking in the water. It was an amazing site and something that we will never forget. In the next thirty minutes we saw 3 or 4 pods of dolphins, we saw at least 50 dolphins and maybe closer to 70. They move around gracefully in groups and it makes it hard to tell how many are there. The guides are respectful to keep a safe distance but we wanted to get a
little closer to see if we could get a good photo. Katuk got us a little closer and then he started happily shouting again and pointing to the water. At that point we looked down and the pod of dolphins was about 6 or 7 feet under the water swimming under our boat. It was a lovely site to see them in their natural habitat.
We will cherish this morning for the rest of our lives. Bali is beautiful. Bali is paradise.
We loved the dolphins!!!
Katuk was a charming guide who sang to us as we rode along the glistening sea. He was all personality and energy. He wanted to ensure that we had a great morning out on the Java Sea. On our way back in to shore he had a fishing line trolling out the back of the boat and he caught 5 fish. The yellow fin tuna had no chance with him around! This was a very special morning.
Each morning we enjoyed sitting on our balcony listening to the roosters demand that everyone wake up and join the day as we looked out over our rice paddies and cows with palm
We saw dolphins
They were jumping!!
trees and the sea in the distance.
The hotel/villa only has 8 rooms so you never feel crowded and the staff makes you feel very special. This kind of room in the United States or the Caribbean would be very expensive. Our rate was similar to what we would pay at the Best Western.
One night we were in bed reading when the room began to shake. We experienced a small earthquake. The building shook for about 15 seconds, but without any damage. Earthquakes are not uncommon in Indonesia, as there are over 100 active volcanoes, which definitely increases the chances of a tremor. Most are quite minor, but occur with some frequency.
Indonesia Background Information:
Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with over 245 million people. It moved up the list after the demise of the U.S.S.R. It extends along the equator from the Malaysia mainland toward Australia. Indonesia comprises more than 13,000 islands. The archipelago forms a natural barrier between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Three hundred languages are spoken in Indonesia. The official language is Bahasa, spoken by 90% of the inhabitants and English is a secondary
Bali has skillful farmers and rice is the chief crop. Vegetables, fruits, coffee, and coconuts are also produced. Pigs and cattle are the chief exports. The Balinese people are noted for their artistic skills, in wood carving and forms of music, folk drama, dancing, and architecture. Although Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation, Bali is mainly Hindu.
In natural-resource potential, Indonesia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It has great timberlands; vast rain forests of giant trees (among the world's tallest) cover the mountain slopes, and teak, sandalwood, ironwood, camphor, and ebony are cut. Palm, rattan, and bamboo abound, and a great variety of forest products is produced. Indonesia is a major exporter of timber, accounting for nearly half of the world's tropical hardwood trade. However, the rapid deforestation of Indonesia's hardwoods, mainly due to its expanding population and growing timber-related industries, has caused concern among international environmental groups and sparked ethnic conflict (particularly between immigrants and native Dyaks on Borneo). In addition, enormous out-of-control brush fires, started illegally during the dry season to clear land, have caused significant health, navigation, and economic hazards some years.
We will provide more details about
Sun glistening on the sea as we look for dolphins.
Indonesia in our next blog, which will describe our time in Ubud, the cultural center of Bali. Until then…..Selemat tinggai!
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