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  • Day12

    Day 12: Lovina Beach

    June 27, 2016 in Indonesia ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

    Very early start for the dolphin watching this morning! Alarms at 5:45, awake and dressed at the hotel lobby by 6am with GoPro in hand. Here we met our boat skipper, a man of so few words I didn't catch his name. Thankfully his boat was just on the beach nearby so we walked the few minutes out onto the sand and down to his boat.

    The boat was basically an oversized canoe with an engine and small pontoons either side for balance - it would've seated four plus the captain but Shandos and I were the only passengers for the day. If that sounds isolated, like we were the only three folk around on a gentle sea against the sunrise, think again.

    Once we left the beach I was rather reminded of the opening scenes from Saving Private Ryan, such was the enormous flotilla of boats zigging and zagging, jockeying for position. There was a couple of early dolphin sightings but with probably 60 boats zooming in close and charging around hoping for the best view, we retreated about a kilometre down the coast and watched the sun rise - exquisite.

    Soon a few other boats joined us, and after heading slightly back up the coast towards the main scrum, we were rewarded with a large pod of dolphins. No jumping or tricks unfortunately, but they popped up to breath near us quite a few times. The water is fairly dark so it was hard to tell how many dolphins there were, but I'd guess about 15 in the pod. It's sort of funny how you motor to a spot where they were, turn off the engine (well, generator attached to a propeller at least), and then look anxiously around for them to surface again. Sometimes nearer, sometimes further.

    After a couple of hours of this (and when the herd had thinned out considerably), we decided it was time to call it quits and head back to the hotel - we'd been up for nearly 3 hours and still hadn't breakfasted! So we took our leave of the dolphins, and our silent captain.

    Spent the next couple of hours relaxing in our villa - we have a huge area to ourselves along with a private plunge pool and outdoor bathroom which is very nice! The most expensive place we've stayed since Seminyak, but we got a good deal and it's very comfortable.

    Decided to venture into town a bit later since we were out of cash. Walked via the main road which as promised was quite a way - took us probably 30-35 minutes all told, though we stopped obviously at the ATM and a couple of little shops too. Had lunch in a local restaurant facing the beach, though again it doesn't feel that clean since the sand is black and there's quite a bit of rubbish around.

    Had a look at the local shops, chatted to some locals who struck up conversations (usually as a 5-minute prelude to selling jewelery or art or something - it's usually good but we just don't buy that sort of stuff) and had a look at the dolphin statue which marks the centre of town. Pretty kitsch really. Walked back to the hotel along the beach, realising that the night before we had probably walked 2/3rds of the way anyway - the lights we'd seen were a resort much further along.

    Very little to report from the afternoon which we spent relaxing and swimming in our pool! Shandos sorted out accommodation for tomorrow's leg, while I spent some time on Skype with mum and Rae - the first time I've really managed to have a proper chat with them since we left. Dinner at another nearby restaurant where I had fish & chips, and as the last action for the day organised a driver to take us along the coast tomorrow.
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