|The beach at Gili Air|
Bali is lovely. I'm not sure it is an untouched as I may have thought before. There are plenty of tourists and hotels... but the beach I just visited, Sanur, is smartly developed with a brick walkway all the way up the coast for perfect morning walks and enough, but not too many, bars along the way to get fresh juice or a Bintang depending the time of day.
Last night I checked out the nightlife scene at the fancy beach area called Seminyak, and got to see the Australian revelry that is famous here. I am much more low key than all that, but I didn't want to miss seeing what else happens in Bali.
Before that I was in Lombok, another island to the East. My hotel there was right on the beach and I could lounge on the pillow covered deck area listening to the crashing waves. That place was also just down the
The main town in Lombok is called Senggigi. (Just say it. Its a lovely fun name!) Senggigi is a bit more of a rundown Indonesian tourist town then the Island I had come from, but my hotel was a worthwhile stop as was Happy Bar, the local hot spot, where my tour friends danced away the last night to strangely covered classic rock tunes. (Why oh why does everyone love Bon Jovi so much? That is American music to them. )
In the Gilis I finally got to snorkel with the highlight of that being swimming with a 3 foot seaturtle. He seemed used to people like me and just swam along letting me swim beside him and touch him... but it was natural on a large reef, not a staged thing. More like two creatures in the wild... kind of magical and like something my mom used to describe when she swam with manta rays near my grandmothers house in the Virgin Islands many years ago. (I've always been jealous and trying to recreate the experience.)
Anyway as the trip winds up I have seen plenty of rolling vibrant green rice paddies in various stages of growth and been on many rural village tours where I tasted plenty of fresh fruits right off the trees. (Indonesia seems to grow EVERYTHING.) I've had fun meeting folks from around the world and learning more about Australia than I ever expected since Indonesia is practically in their backyard.