…last few days in paradise
Our last few days on Nusa Lembongan flew by far too quickly, much like our first dive at Blue Corner. We agreed to do a dawn dive, very unlike both of us who are pretty bad at getting out of bed (before 7am for me and 10am for JHubz). But the likelihood of seeing something spectacular increases the earlier you rise. So there we were, half asleep eager beavers at a deserted dive shop, the outraged yowls of Mr Cat, who had accidentally been locked in the office overnight, punctuating the otherwise quiet morning. Martin our fellow diver soon arrived telling us there would be another woman also joining us and Instructor Eaz and divemaster Deni followed. Another few minutes of searching for the office keys and a very relieved Mr Cat was free and we were soon on our way to Blue Corner, excitement filling the air.
A short ride over a suspiciously flat sea later, our gear on we simultaneously back rolled into the ocean and began a hasty descent, against a whipping current. As we flew along descending as we flew JHubz signalled he was having ear problems so I stuck close to him keeping an eye on the others until he signalled the all clear and we began descending again. At almost twenty metres he caught my eye, signalling that he was having more problems and wanted to abort the dive. I signalled our intentions to Eaz and Deni and began ascending unfurling a surface marker bouy as we went. I’ve heard plenty of stories of SMBs being ripped from the hands of unsuspecting divers in strong current and as we were still travelling at a fair pace I waited until we were only about eight meters down before I used my alternate to fill the long tube that would notify any boats that divers were below. As it shot to the surface we saw two beautiful eagle rays dancing below us, two huge napoleon wrasse came to check us out, and a lovely turtle swam by for good measure. Not bad in a five minute dive!
Back on the boat (much laughing at our speedy dive had) it was about twenty minutes before the next divers surfaced, Eaz and the woman who’d joined us who had sadly had a bit of a panic and seen nothing struggling with an ill-fitting mask and the current throughout the dive, current on a dive is not for everyone one! Deni and Martin were last aboard about another ten or so minutes later having waited out a ferocious down current before they were able to safely surface. The good thing about most string currents is that they are not constant and can at times dissipate in only a few minutes. It is incredibly important to know your limits when diving, that you are your own responsibility. It’s also inportant as a recreational diver to stay with your buddy, I would never leave my buddy, in this instance JHubz, to surface alone, no matter how short the dive. According to the others, we only missed out on a couple of sharks so basically saw as much as they did in our five minute dive and kore than the poor woman with the bad mask who saw nothing! JHubz often has trouble equalising and choses a slow descent, which is not always possible on high current dive sites. I’ll be back to dive Blue Corner for sure, while he’ll most likely sit it out ☺️.
And then before we knew it we were on the fast boat back to Sanur and our last few days in Ubud. Wayan, a wonderful man who has been our driver on Bali since we first arrived in 2015, was waiting at the harbour and we were soon on our way. Our forty eight hours in Ubud was planned with military precision to ensure we ate everywhere we needed to and had as many massages as we could squeeze in 😁
On our first evening we headed out to the pick up point for Luxe, a restaurant reachable only by moped and known for its spectacular views. Something I was looking forward to until I realised that of course the sun would be down when we arrived for out dinner reservation, dork! 😂 Not to worry though as we had wonderful company in the form of Melanie and Daniel who we had met diving a few days earlier. One of the (many) lovely things about diving with World Diving is that we inevitably meet interesting people that we want to see more of. Thankfully as well as being known for its views Luxe is pretty highly thought of for its food, ranking sixth on Tripadvisor. Paul, one of the owners was on hand to ensure everything went swimmingly, and an evening of laughter and gastronomic delight was had by all. Going back on the mopeds was a little more exciting than on the way, no doubt due to the wine imbibed but I am a changed woman where mopeds are concerned and rather than clinging on with my eyes closed I’m now able to enjoy the scenery and am usually laughing as we go ☺️
The next day saw us head out shopping for, amongst other things, art. We prefer to avoid the central market with its piled high identikit and overpriced art and seek out some of the many artists galleries around Ubud where truly talented individuals sell their work. While we are now rather fond of haggling in Asia we refuse to haggle with the artists. The paintings are stunning and the prices they charge so reasonable. Our two must see artists in Ubud are Aex and his incredible sealife, all the more remarkable as he has never dived in his life . And Manik who has gallery space on Jalan Lungsiakan and some art in a clothes shop on Jalan Hanoman, his wonderful vibrant and passionate art.
A delicious lunch at Kafe, various paintings and bits and bobs purchased, it was soon time for our final massage of the trip, final meal and return flight to Blighty.
Mount Agung remained silent, and still does, the press’s momentary hysteria now firmly focussed elsewhere. As voiced by Wayan, I join him in his wish that if she is going to erupt she does so soon so that life can resume albeit as a new normal for those who make her slopes their home Xx