Our second day with Kadek was an adventure of a completely different kind. He drove us down to Nusa Dua to the PT Pacific Bahari Bali – a dive and marine sport centre. He hooked us up with Made, who worked there and made sure that we indulged in every water activity we have ever dreamed of doing, but without paying a ridiculous price.
We began with walking under water. This was a tad daunting at first, as they forgot to tell me that the tiny bit of water that began to enter the big ball helmet on my head as I got in the water would not increase beyond my shoulders! From there, the descent was quite rapid, but not so fast that a newbie like myself did not have time to equalise my ears! We dropped 4 and a half metres underwater to just above the ocean floor, where we walked along a metal gangway with a railing to cling to (fortunate, as the current was strong). We fed the vibrantly coloured and cheeky fish that loved the fact that their underwater visitors have gladwrap-clad bread hidden up their rashie sleeves. The mini-diving bell over my head and shoulders ensured that I could do all of this with my glasses on and without even getting my hair wet! It was a very surreal experience – I have to admit that I would’ve been more than a tad scared if not for the scuba diver who took us down and diligently watched over us on our circular underwater walk. The only disappointment was the fact that the water was incredibly cloudy, so I could only just see John walking ahead of me (and he was only a metre in front). But the bread led the fish right to us, nibbling crumbs from our fingers, and that was so worth it!
After the underwater walk, a jet boat dragged us along, while we thrashed about on an inflated donut. It was pretty intense and is something neither one of us has to do again! While it was exhilarating, it certainly shook us up a lot – am so glad we do pilates and have strong cores, otherwise we could’ve rattled something loose skeletally! We capped the morning off with a spot of parasailing – another first for us both (although, I think John’s experience of this one minute thrill may have been marred by his harness!).
Upon discovering that we are vegetarian, Kadek ditched his first plan of taking us to a place that apparently does the most amazing BBQ pork, and instead headed to Indian Dhaba in Nusa Dua – delicious, authentic Indian food that really hit the spot after a morning of exuberant water activities!
After our lunch it was time for some temple action. Pura Luhur Ulu Watu, located on the coast about 30 minutes drive south west of Jimbaran is often ranked number 1 of the Bali Temples. We had been warned by many about the rascal monkeys that live on site, and that we had to be constantly on guard to protect our property, but we arrived well into the afternoon, and it was all a bit of an anti-climax on the monkey-front. The first monkey we happened upon was plonked in the middle of the path grasping handfuls of peanuts and resting his forearm on his protruding belly. He was too tired, fat and disinterested in all of the people walking past to make a move. Maybe they are more feisty in the morning…?
This cliff top location has been the home of a temple structure since the 11th century. This is no surprise as the location is serene and beautiful – conducive to meditation and reflection. Shame about all the tourists! Still, watching the waves and soaking in the atmosphere of the holy place was lovely…and watching the local fauna suckle their young and make grabs for the sweet lychees on offer was cause for smiles all round.
My fascination with our near cousins meant that nearly more time was spent observing them than the scenery. A particular highlight was watching a small family fleaing, nibbling and resting while paying scant attention to the observers…except for one young lad, only weeks old, who started to inexpertly clamber towards John’s camera lens, all curiosity, only to be prevented from advancing closer by ‘mum’ who nonchalantly grabbed his tail, halting him in his tracks.
Dinner that night was at La Lucciola. We had ridiculously early reservations because we wanted to make the most of the sunset from the perfect spot on the higher floor of the restaurant (non-smoking), sipping cocktails and snacking on shared entrées before making our major decisions about our mains. This really is a top spot to enjoy the evening, and the food and service were flawless. Highlights on the menu for us vegetarians were the hand made potato gnocchi, with wild mushrooms, spinach, creamed leeks and white truffle oil, and the green beans with butter, lemon, chilli and toasted almonds – simple, but perfect.
Driver used for day trips: Kadek from Kadek Mishel Transport