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Published: August 3rd 2011
I arrived at Denpasar airport worrying. My parents and I had planned to meet on the 25th but their plane landed on the 24th. I knew that they had arrived early but wasn’t able to communicate with them to find out where they were going to stay. When I stepped out of customs they were there waiting. PHew...after a celebratory group hug, we looked for my name in the sea of drivers holding up signs and went to Tulamben.
The Balinese are super friendly. Everyone smiles at you on the street and says hi. I love it! The people we encountered treated us like friends rather than clients. Don’t let this deceive you though, you have to bargain everything.
Tulamben is a diving town set between a 9,300 foot volcano and a beautiful black sand beach. We stayed at the relaxing Matahari Dive Resort where a dive is only 25 USD, a massage is only 9 USD and a plate of giant prawns is only 5 USD. The famous USS Liberty is just a 60 foot swim off the shore and it is stunning. Many people spend day after day diving on the Liberty and don’t get bored. The
ship was hit by Japanese bombs while at port so the wreck is more of a pile of broken metal with light shinning through. The fish are abundant. Early in the morning you can spot Bump head Parrot fish about 3 feet long with a giant forehead and white buckteeth. If you dive the wreck anytime after 7:30 there are a lot of people. They get bused in from around the island so diving early is a must. Another bonus to getting up early is the sunrise over the ocean.
We visitied the Almapura Water Palace and then the Royal Water Palace. Both were majestic. I imagined myself as part of the kings family swimming in the water under the shade of a banyon tree. This was in contrast to the Bali Aga Village which gives you an idea of how local people lived. The countryside in Bali is so peaceful. Aside from its natural beauty and smiley people, there is something so calming about the flow of life. It feels much slower than the pace I’m used to. You get very use to seeing candy cane palms in the road, alters, offerings, rice drying on the road, terraced
rice fields, women carrying baskets on their heads... I can see why people come to Bali on vacation and end up staying. The Balinese make it feel like home to everyone. It's beautiful.
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