Day 110 - Snorkeling off Lembongan Island

Great Snorkeling!
July 26th, 2015

The French(?) guy who rented us the room didn't handle the room's problems very well. He wasted our time by getting us to wait in the room for an hour because he asked us to, then messaged us 45 minutes later to say he was with his girlfriend and couldn't come back right away. We're only there one night, and my natural urge is to not clean up after myself. He can clean it after being a dick. But I stop myself because that's not who I want to be. Ultimately, I'm glad I didn't because he came back later and reimbursed us ~40% of the cost.

We grabbed a cab to Lembongan. A sign saying "Sex, truck, rock'n'roll" confuses me as we cruise past it on the chaotic street. Based on what I've heard about Beijing, this may be an orderly street. My mandarin is slowly coming along, though my grammar is still quite simple. Add "le" on the end of a verb to make it past tense, add "zai" before a verb to make it what you're currently doing, add "yǐ ho" to make it something you'll do in the distant future. Now I really need to know more verbs. I only really know "to be," "to eat," "to go," "to want," "to like,"  and I figured out slang for "to have sex" based on the swear words they had taught me. I had tried to avoid the swear words, but it can be useful to know when people are swearing around you.

Waiting for the Ferry
Joy was making fun of Lee for being "old." He's 25 and she's 21. It's a good thing she's still got 4 years before she's "so old!" The celebration of youth is a funny thing. Time is the one resource we can't get back; it's strange to celebrate something we can only lose. I told them about my Uncle Wayne's perspective on age: 25 is the perfect age because you're still young enough to hang out with the early 20-somethings, but mature enough to socialized with older adults.

Lunch on Lembongan
The tickets were purchased from Rocky, a booking company, whisking us away to the beach, luggage and all. If you've been following along, this is the second time I've been to the beach in all the months I've been in this part of the world. The first was yesterday (unless you count Freyo). What a travesty. I honestly am not entirely bothered by it. We sat among other travellers in a scenic covered area, waiting for the boat to pull up to the beach. An ocean breeze was blowing, whipping hair and billowing clothes. It's much nicer than yesterday, which was just the bad side of muggy.

Without actual snorkeling pics, I give you this.
Use your imagination to fill in the gaps.
Lembongan island was good fun, again with the luxurious views. It was $50 round-trip to and from the island, and 25 for an hour of snorkeling. I've never been snorkeling, and had some slight reservations about doing it. As I've said, I'm afraid of the ocean, so this is a good way to ease into sealife exposure. Am I ever glad I did! So beautiful, it's so much fun. I pulled a hamstring from overdoing it with the flippers, but it was cool to be there in person instead of watching NatGeo. I could probably count the number of times I've swam in the ocean on one hand, but this is the most in your face. Shimou was more scared of it than me, and she'd been snorkeling before. We all had fun, and took lots of pictures while riding the speed boat.  I'm surprised they had flippers my size, just a little too small that they left a blister on the top of each foot. It happens. While swimming, I could hear this incessant popping, like a morbid crackling that was sinister to its very core. It nearly drove me mad! Surely these were the machinations of something dark and ancient, growing within the dormant, centuried reef. Kidding, I just wanted to try my hand at Lovecraft's style. There really was a faint, constant popping, though, and I did like to imagine it was the coral growing, ever so slowly while the fish nibbled to keep it back.

Cultural Mash-up
After collecting our luggage, we managed to wrangle a cab into driving us to Kuta to find a spa near food and the duty free mall. I feel bad for the guy. He drove us to at least 6 different spas just to find they were closed, full, or required a booking. We booked one and grabbed a bite to eat, then hopped back in the cab to the duty free. The food wasn't particularly worth mentioning, but Lee tricked me into eating something extremely spicy, and I came across a different type of coffee beverage.

The Spa
When you see a sign that says "80% off domestic Chinese prices," you'd think that would mean it's a great deal! No such luck... They were all higher-end designer products, most of which was at least $100 USD. If I found a stupidly cheap watch, maybe, but that is wasn't happening. Besides, I got that chess board.
The spa was way more worth it than the last time. Just the massage, none of the scrub or masks, and more thorough at that. Bonus: it was less than half the price: $35 for an hour massage. To compare, it's usually between $40-60 for a half hour in Canada, at least from my research.

Behind the Silken Veil (in a Kimono)
We were liquid afterward, agreeing that this was the better treatment. With that, we drove 10 min to the airport to drop off Lee and Joy for their flight that took off in three hours. I hugged them both goodbye, making Lee laugh, and Joy uncomfortable. I gave Lee a more emphatic hug because I thought it'd be funny.

It was 11:45pm and we had an hour drive to tonight's hotel. What surprises will be in store for us this time? From the car window, I spot the occasional well-lit sign for western businesses. Dunkin donuts, KFC, McDonald's, Starbucks, Manulife and others have made the leap to Indonesia.  Like I said, feels so out of place to see them among the many wires, stonework statues, and hinduism-inspired decorations.

My Favourite Shot from the Island
We arrived at the last hotel of the trip, which had a central kitchen for the various rooms, and a community pool. The bed had drapes hanging from a square frame above. Imagine a 4-post bed without the posts. It's already 2am and we quickly fall asleep after a quick inspection and a run-in with a wasp.

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