Here comes my last week. Full of anticipation of what the future holds and gratitude for all the time and experiences I got to have in this beautiful country.
Monday. First time diving in Lombok. Early start, very local vibes and beautiful pristine corals full of life. Honestly Kuta in Lombok surprised me. When we were scootering through it few weeks ago I was under the impression that this part of Lombok is very western and full of tourists. Some of it is true, it definitely has some western or should I say Australian? feel to it. Hipster cafes and shops are definitely present, but. I was so pleasantly surprised that local people are not pushed away somewhere where you can barely see them as is the case in Bali in my opinion. Here people still get to enjoy their own island with its nature and beaches. They get to hang out in local warungs or just gather by their own shops or I don’t even know where else, because here they live. We strolled along the main beach and instead of resorts and sun-beds, which usually occupy such nice beaches there are houses. Houses of people who live there, not rent out for tourists, but actually live with their families and let their children play. The dive master who we dived with today said that Lombok reminds him what old Bali was like. I think it is a very fair comparison. He also said that the government is aiming for Lombok to be as touristy as Bali one day. Honestly I don’t know how I feel about it. Would it really be better? Those questions aside, I can definitely say that diving here was exceptional due to the health of the corals and abundance of marine life. If this place was to develop to the extent of Bali, I doubt that the state of it would remain the same. Maybe it isn’t a priority, but what is?
Tuesday. Day two of diving. We arranged to go to Belongas Bay, which is one of the top dive destinations in the world. We simply could not miss the opportunity since we were here. The day started with a very shaky 50 minute speedboat ride to the first dive spot called “the blue hole”. It is essentially a cave and for me it was the very first time cave diving. As we entered the water I felt chilly, Belongas for sure has much cooler currents than I previously experienced in Trawangan. Also, swells! I am relatively experienced diver and it has been a while since I felt a little bit nervous underwater, but today was the day. As we were hanging out at the entrance of the cave, which was pretty dark, I should add, I heard a little voice in my head going “really? You are doing this?” and then a shark swam by… You would be surprised, but I did not loose my shit. It is a weird feeling, because I used to be so afraid of seeing a shark due to all the scary “Jaw” movies which have nothing to do with the accurate representation of sharks. But still, I kept hanging in there thinking “I can do this” and “sharks tend to attack surfers or divers on the surface because they look like seals” so surfacing was definitely the last thing I should be doing. Also it was not my first encounter with a shark, I have see two of those just a week ago. Something about the cave setting freaked me out a bit though, but as we went in, there were more sharks, at least 3 circling around in one spot and what I quickly learnt is that the best thing is just to stay still. It is literally what you should be doing. It put me at ease and as a sign of that I saw a flash light at the back of the cave from another dive buddy team who were diving with us today. First dive was a success followed by two more: “Gili Serang” and “the Cathedral”. There is a lot I could say about those dive sites, but I probably should leave that info for my log book. All I can say is that, by diving here I realised how important it is to research your dive spots and how different it feels to be underwater with people who are there because of their love for diving and not because they are passing by and decided to give diving a go after a night out of partying the day before.
Wednesday. Day three of diving. We were supposed to have another day diving in Kuta beach, but the weather conditions were not suitable so our dive school took us to a different location – Pink beach. It is on the east side of Lombok and few weeks ago when we were travelling around Lombok, we were in the same area. As we were driven there in a van it was nice to recognise certain places from our previous trip. We had two dives on the day with a pretty strong current and not such great visibility, but the corals there still looked stunning. I get it why they call it Pink beach. It felt like being in a girl section of a baby store (yes it is sexist, but so is girly merchandise always in a soft pastel pink colours). Regardless of gender objectification, those two dives were beautiful and a really nice way to end our diving adventures. In the evening we went for a meal and I finished listen ing to “The Cows”. Such good read!
Thursday. Most of the day I spent flat out on the bed listening to “So Lucky” By Dawn O’Porter, I believe it is her newest book. I was pretty tired after all the diving and the following day was about to mark our last day of Indonesian adventures.
Friday. Started at 2 am with packing suitcases and heading to the airport for 7 am flight to Kuala Lumpur. This whole corona virus situation made me really not to look forward to the airport experience, but to my surprise it was not that bad. It was pretty empty, probably due to the virus and everything went very quick. In the plane I finished listening to “So Lucky” and started “Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho. As we arrived we were greeted by the driver which my company booked for us. It’s nice to feel looked after. All of the sudden I felt like I have fallen into a warm embrace of a certainty. I have missed it. Being on a job, when freelancing probably as close to security as one can get. I would not want 9 to 5 comfort, but this… this felt good. The hotel the company booked for me was also pretty nice, close to the Thai embassy, which is a sole purpose of my trip here – to apply for my work visa. We did have a little situation on arrival though. Due to the virus on arrival the hotel staff now also have to take your temperature and for some reason as we arrived my bf had 38.5C. It was interesting to see how the hotel staff was going to handle it. Firstly, we were asked to wait for few hours and come back later with the hopes that the fever will go away and is probably a consequence of an early morning flight. Unfortunately for us it was not the case as after few hours of sitting in a cafe next door my bf became more tired and feverish. As we returned to the hotel and explained that in order for the fever to go he probably needs to sleep first, we were allowed to go to our room. It was around 3pm at that point I think. We both went to bed and woke up the next morning.
Saturday. We stocked up at the local supermarket on food and water and “self quarantined” ourself in the hotel suit with all the remains marvel movies on our watch list. We have succeeded watching all of them by the end of the day.
Sunday. The highlight of the day was the trip to the cinema to watch “Birds of pray”. The movie was ok I thought, my bf really liked it. I could argue with that, but each to their own I guess. We chose to see the film in the screen called “Beanie”, which literally has two joint beanie chairs forming some sort of a couch as primary seating option. I have never seen screens like that anywhere else so wanted to go there just for the experience. It was ok, just as the film. I’d say it is a bit too chilly to be sitting on a rubber beanie for extended amount of time, but if you bring your own blanket it could be pretty cosy.
My last week of Indonesia went so fast and as I am writing this it kinda makes me a bit teary. It was great and I am sad that it is over, but also I am excited for what lays ahead. I have definitely did much more travelling and much less yoga and diving than I though I will, but that is my lesson here. It is ok to change my mind. It is ok to think that I want something and not want it anymore when I finally get to live it. The key here is to readapt, detach and find a new path. It is impossible to plan it all and more importantly, it is not necessary.
- Diving in Lombok! Adventure divers! Customer service was so personal and the vibe so local. If I am back in the area, that’s where I would go.
- Caves and sharks. Thrill.
- On one of the dives we saw a rather big puffer fish laying on the bottom. I though it was about to have babies or soothing, but the dive master said that this is how they die…
- Kuta Lombok. Such nice place. Between the dives we had lunch on a beach and because the area is not so developed we were literally alone there. Surrounded by 50 shades of greenery.
- Going back to work!!
- Being looked after by my work.
- Audio books!! “The Cows” By Dawn O’Porter, “So Lucky” By Dawn O’Porter, “Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coleho.
Cheers with a glass of elephant for sometimes it is all we can have.