Day 13: Westward to PemuteranJune 28, 2016 in Indonesia
Checked out of our lovely villa amidst a torrential downpour. A few of the locals have mentioned it since it's actually supposed to be the dry season now, but the rain is continuing much later than usual. Must be related to what's happening in the Northern Territory, where the wet season was finishing much much later than usual.
Our driver was waiting for us in the lobby; either his name was Yes or he answered every question in the affirmative - I suspect the latter was true. Bags loaded into the car and off we went westward along the coast road for a couple of hours. Traffic really thinned out once we left the Lovina Beach area, and it really drove home how much less populated the northern and western areas of Bali are, especially compared to the south.
About halfway to our destination of Pemuteran, we'd arranged a stop at Hatten Wines - the only winery in Bali. And I know you're thinking, "isn't a tropical climate far too warm to grow grapes for wine??", and the answer is yes, sort of. It's a lot cooler on this side of the island thanks to prevailing winds (and the mountains are much closer), but most importantly the grapes grow so quickly they can actually harvest them twice a year!
We did some wine tasting; a couple of whites, a rose and a couple of reds, and of course bought two bottles. We both really liked the red as it wasn't particularly heavy, but they'd run out! Alas. Took a few photos and back into the car, arriving at our hotel just on lunchtime. The room wasn't ready so we had an early lunch and a laze on the beach before heading to our room (nothing particularly flash here, although it's a nice resort).
But the main reason we'd come here was for the snorkelling - inside the bay there's a large "bio rock" project, where they are growing coral on the sides of large underwater structures (think iron bedframes and so on). I'm not sure exactly how it works, there's some sort of power required as they're all hooked up to solar panels and wind generators, but there's lots of young coral growth and marine life is moving back into the area. Spotted a bunch of tropical fish including three clownfish (Nemo!).
I caught a couple of football highlights in the bar (embarrassing England's loss to Iceland), and we just hung out by the pool and in the water for the rest of the afternoon. Late in the day we went down the beach to where there's a turtle conservation project; 4:30pm is feeding time so we watched the little baby turtles plus a couple of injured adults getting fed.
A bit more "life on the road" admin as we sorted our plans for the next couple of days, organised a driver for tomorrow morning, and then dinner at a local restaurant for our last night in Bali!
Right now it's 9pm and I'm sitting in bed typing, listening to a torrential downpour hammer on the roof. I'm also bursting for a pee, wishing we didn't have an outdoor bathroom.Read more