Exploring Indonesia – Below the surface and above – Bali

As we journey to our last destination our group of creatives have all grown to be friends. For me this trip was very productive, except me being sick! The travel staff at Indonesian tourism made it so easy for all of us to focus on creating images and video. Not once did I need to check my flight, touch my bags or worry about where or what I would eat next.

Bali is a unique place. The diversity of people traveling here compares to the world class waves and underwater marine life. The people are of Indonesia might not be the richest in the world but they are the happiest. One the reasons I love visiting Indonesia. Bali is a great place to get your feet wet before exploring outside of the Island. This leg of the trip would be short in Bali. We would start our trip to Bali with a 3 hr drive to the eastern, less populated part of the island. Tulamben is an are known for diving and exploring the underwater world. I had never been to this side of the island, since there are no waves, so I was excited to see another part of Bali. Of course they put us all up in a really nice hotel call Scuba Seraya Resort, directly on the ocean. On our way there I chose to sit it in the front sea of the bus to embrace the rollercoaster ride of traffic. Like many asian destinations it kinda a free for all driving. There are constant chicken wars of who will pass who and try to avoid on coming traffic during a pass. I would prefer to be the one driving instead of gripping the every time a close overtake would happen!

Just after arrival we would get our first dive after traveling all day. It was a muck dive, which usually lends itself to macro photography. The visibility was unusually bad while we were there. They were not sure why, but I still enjoyed the dives. Throughout this leg of our trip my goal was to get more images of clown fish and anemones. It is images that everyone has asked for years as a photographer. That night was great as we all had a somewhat western choice of food. Not that I don’t like traditional Indonesian food, but I was ready for everything to not be spicy. I really wish I wasn’t so weak when it comes to spicy!

The next morning we would head to the liberty wreck, famous for this area of diving. It is over 300ft long and in up to 20 meters of water. Not the best for my fragile shallow water ears at the moment. I still had a sinus infection so I would only free dive in shallow areas. Visibility was poor again and we went at rush hour as the snorkeling tourist where there. I explored for just a short time before heading back to the boat. Definitely one of the places I was bummed not to be able to dive and the best was deeper. The next dive would be Amed where the shallows were filled with bright blue starfish to photograph! That evening there was also a night dive, which I would not go on since I didn’t shoot lights or was diving. That evening we had ice cream after dinner! Boy was that good!

The next morning would be a sunrise dive! My favorite time to shoot, right at sunrise! We would head back to the Liberty wreck in hopes of spotting the schools of bump heads! I would opt to a place called coral garden only about 400 yards away from Liberty. It is know for a carpet of anemones! It took me almost 40 mins to find the anemones but was so worth the search. The morning light was great and visibility was a bit better than the days before! I shot nearly 700 images of clown fish! lol. Afterwards we would head back to the resort, eat breakfast, pack and head back the western side of Bali were would spend the last 2 days of the trip. That afternoon/evening we headed to Uluwatu Temple, famous for its monkeys. The temple sits along a huge cliff above the ocean, where I usually would be surfing or shooting surfing. The group splits up and our little crew go explore. The highlight of the the temple are the monkeys stealing visitors sunglasses and hats. It says everywhere to put them away yet people ignore it, including people in our group!
As the sun begins to meet the horizon we all head to the small amphitheater Kecak dance. It is a traditional dance that tells the story of Ramayana. The end was the best….. of course when they light things on fire!
That was our last activity! The next day we enjoy our first day off, kinda. In the morning I got a few friends to go surfing with me. Quicksilver Bali hooked up some boards for us to use. We only had about an hr before we had to meet the team for lunch. After lunch I had a spa massage at the resort. I fell asleep drooling on the floor! lol After catching up on some edits and prepping files for the Ministry of tourism it was time for our last dinner. Saying good bye to all these amazing people I am now friends with was sad but knowing I was close to being home and seeing my family was bitter sweet. Another amazing adventure in Indonesia. I can’t thank the Ministry of tourism enough for inviting to join an amazing group of creators to explore Indo!

For more on where I went and how you can go visit: indonesia.travel

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