Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I came to Padangbai on Monday and barely made it here with my head. There was so much for sale  on the ferry - water, chips, cigarettes, t-shirts, cookies, instant noodles, fruit, rice, dvds, knives (!), blankets, matresses, peanuts, drinks, gum, hats, towels, jewelry, honey, and newspapers (yes, I actually made a list just so I'd remember) - and I said 'no' so often that I was sure I was gonna nod my head right off my body! But I made it here and I'm staying at a place called Kembar Inn, just a short walk from anything that I could possibly need.

After my five hour ferry, I decided to treat myself to a beer. I walked into Sunshine Bar and no one was there, but a local by the name of Newman introduced himself, talked to me for awhile, and said that live music would be starting in an hour. Awhile after that, when more people had streamed in, I turned to the table next to me and asked if any of them were divers. They all kind of laughed and I couldn't figure out what was up. So I went on to say that I just arrived, wanted to do some diving, and was looking for a recommendation for a dive shop. As it turns out, they laughed because they all work for dive shops! Happy coincidence for me, huh?

I really liked Gabby and Chris with OK Divers, so I decided to dive with them the next day. It was just me and them which was awesome. There were lots of new things about these dives compared to the ones I've done previously. Full wetsuit with booties instead of a shorty wetsuit without booties, a new type of boat to the dive site, a different way to enter the water, using toothpaste on the goggles to keep them from fogging up instead of plain ol' spit. And, perhaps you've figured it out by now. . .I saw a shark!! A whitetip reef shark, to be exact. How cool is that?! We saw two, actually, but we think that it was the same one. He apparently wasn't particularly large, but everything looks bigger (and closer!) underwater and I didn't care anyway, I was just excited that I got to see it. We also saw a cuttlefish hunting and catching a shrimp, lots of very colorful nudibranches, nudibranch eggs which look like a ribbon of pink tissue, and a huge clam. All in all, they were two awesome dives.

Today, after a breakfast of Bali coffee, a pineapple jaffle, rambutens, and mangosteen, I walked 20 minutes or so to a pretty, secluded beach. There's a much closer beach to my hotel, but I specifically chose this one because it's so quiet. I spent the rest of the day, lying on the beach in a shady spot, and putting a huge dent in the book that I'm reading. Tomorrow I expect I'll do more of the same. :-) I'd been planning on leaving on Friday to go back to Kuta, but I think I just decided tonight that maybe I'll stay here a bit longer. Kuta was rowdy/drunk tourist central and not really my scene. Padangbai is quieter and just lovely.


  1. Wow. I SO wish I were there. Nudibranches look very cool. Like you could freeze-dry one, put it on a chain and call it a necklace! Your current place sounds lovely. I'd definitely stay there if I were you. You're getting closer and closer to New Guinea. Are you going to go there? Love ya!

  2. Oh my god Shan!! Never, Never, Never start out
    with a title Shark! and then say I barely made
    it with my head,my heart was pounding a mile a minute! I'm glad you got to see some more cool things on your dive though. How far down were
    you when you seen the shark? That is really cool!Love ya!

  3. ToadMama - Nudibranches really are very cool. They are so colorful, they could totally fill in as jewelry like you said. Unfortunately, New Guinea isn't on my agenda. I see another trip in my future because there's a lot in and around Indonesia that I'd still like to see.

    Mom - The shark title and line about barely making it out with my head never occurred to me - sorry! I'm not sure exactly what depth we were at when we saw the shark, but I'd guess somewhere around 15-18 meters (50-60 feet).

  4. what you saw looks way cooler than the millions of yellow tail snapper that we have seen snorkeling. it's about the only thing you can count on seeing when snorkeling in the caribbean. fun but gets a bit boring.


  5. oh wait - and i love the new header! xoL