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Published: August 8th 2010
Zoe gave me about 36 hours notice of her arriving in Bali so pretty similar to Richard although she arrived at half 3 in the morning and I didn’t go back to sleep afterwards so it was a bit of a tiring day of diving in the morning. We went on a little adventure to the east side of the island, starting with hiring a car and the first stop of the day was at the water palace. It reminded me a national trust sort of place. It was really beautiful with lots of water fountains and stepping stones across the ponds. We stopped at several temples, one called the Batcave and that was definitely what it was - a cave full of smelly bats. There aren’t many roads in Bali and this is the road that I travel on for most the dive sites I go to and I always see lots of ceremonies occurring no matter what time of day we go past. Apparently they celebrate everything from large religious services, lunar occasions as well as someone moving house so it’s not unexpected to see ceremonies so often.
We had a really nice driver and after a lot of explanation, he took us to a sort of place he would have lunch. When I’ve asked local people what their favourite food is I more often than not get the answer, suckling pig. It’s a dish that is usually only eaten at special occasions and it’s cooked with a lot of Indonesian spices and very slowly. A bottle of water is put inside so it steams from the inside out. We tried this for our lunch and it was really delicious and we were given what seemed every part of the pig so I’m not quite sure what we were necessarily eating.
The final stop of the day was at Ubud which is meant to be known as a top place to visit in Indonesia. We only stopped at the monkey forest which is a tropical rainforest in the middle of the little town. It’s inhabited with a lot of long-tailed macaque monkeys and they say that researchers are studying how the monkeys interact with the people who go the temple and tourists I guess. They are definitely very clever because they know how to get food off people if it’s by scaring them or snatching it from their hands before they’ve even noticed. It’s unquestionably a good place to go see though.
Zoe has definitely been a good influence on me whilst she’s been here when it comes to fitness. My motivation to get up at half 5 in the morning to go for a run has been very slow so I had only managed one run before she came out. Somehow we got up a few times, even if that pretty much involved her dragging me out of bed! We noticed that local people only went out running or speed walking if it was before half 6 so that’s what we tried to do. Although no night we were up really late so decided it would be too hard to get up in the morning so went out really late instead. Considering that Sanur is normally a very quiet by half past ten at night, we were alone on the beach at two in the morning doing our circuit training. I don’t know if anyone did see us there because it was only just light to be able to read my little notes, telling us what exercises we were doing, but we must have looked very funny doings things like jumping squats in the middle of the night on the beach. That’s definitely commitment to getting fit! I hope I keep it up!
I’ve made a good start to the fitness with changing my moped for a push bike. I’ve paid for this bike now for the rest of my time here so I’ve got to be good and use that instead of getting the bus instead. I think my bike sums up the Indonesian approach to life quite well though, it’s only got 7 gears and even cycling on the top gear is pretty slow and laid back. I can’t go fast even if I want to. It’s probably a good thing though because I can’t leave late for diving, thinking I can make time up by cycling much quicker. It’s not designed for the pot holes at the side of the road but it’s ok. I fit in with everyone else with a basket on the front of it though.
Zoe and I accidently found the local mafia when we choose a restaurant for dinner. It’s a place I’ve walked past a lot on my way to the night market but I’ve never seen any tourists there and hadn’t stopped before. As we were eating our meal, I noticed that the man staying in the room next to me was amongst the local people and he waved as we often talk whilst having our breakfast. It ended with one of the guys coming over and telling us all how this bar was the only true local bar in Sanur and if I wanted something sorting out, these were the people to see. After explaining how these people were the mafia of the area, he went on to tell me about how safe a place Sanur is for a single women on her own. Which is always nice to know but it was quite a funny place to eat. Unfortunately, three out of four of us paid the price for it the next day. I think it must have been food poisoning because it only lasted a day but I didn’t leave my room until the evening time and I felt awful. I had got up at half past 5 to go for a run but gave up because I was feeling really weak. For a short amount of time, I was really worried I had lost a lot of fitness if I was feeling this bad about such a short bit of running - thankfully I’m going to blame the being ill instead.
I’ve enjoyed a few quiet days on the beach, really relaxing and when I went back to diving I had a really bad day. From the waves knocking me over when walking out of the sea and being stuck just where the waves broke, my tank was on the rocks so I couldn’t reach the ground to stand up. I must have looked really silly lying on my back, kicking my legs about until someone helped me. I had also had two bad dives were I struggled to stay above the coral but also struggled to stay away from the surface. I left as if my BCD was constantly filling with air so when I released it, I kept releasing a little too much air by trying to avoid shooting to the surface. I felt as if my diving was worse than some of the new qualified people I mention. Needless to say, I’m sending my BCD off to be serviced and hoping the next dive will be much better!
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