© 2012 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_bali_giliair_68

Bali – Gili Air – 20th/25th Feb

We were now ready to join the Manta forces and take on a diving course, Dave’s intention was to do some basic pool skills and then a fun dive in the afternoon. Helen needed to do a refresher so we were together learning and remembering the skills needed to dive later on that day.

Our instructor Thomas was an ex school teacher from Germany living the dream on the Gili’s as a dive instructor. At around lunch time Dave was sucked into doing his Open Water, why not? Thomas had explained that he’d already done most of the skills in the pool…a good salesman but we both knew it would be well worth it. For the next few days Dave was fully on board with the diving and loving it!

Helen would mix in yoga and then diving and was equally enjoying being back to a zen place with the tropical fish below. Dave took to it like a pro and was coming up with around 60-70 bar of air after an hour of diving each time, he pretty much had one to one instruction the entire time which made the videos a little more bearable! Our last dive at Mirko’s Point was in our eyes the best, the coral was so colourful and mesmerising and we saw all kinds of fish, the list would be too long to write on here! Diving with Manta was an excellent experience for us, the prices are fair and with waters as warm as in the Gili’s it’s a really great place to start. Big up to Thomas too and congrats to Dave for now being a certified Open Water diver…WOOO!

For our last few days we enjoyed some more snorkeling, reading, chilling out and yoga along with frequent gatherings with our group of Gili Air friends. For us it was like having a one week holiday, we had loads of fun and could have easily stayed another week. After 7 nights our accommodation bill was around $140 with breakfast which at Chill Out Bar was again excellent. One thing we should mention is that the bungalows we rented were owned by Chill Out, they’re not the expensive air-con one’s but they have a lot of charm in their own right.

So after one week we were finally ready to leave, in fact we had to if we were to make our flight out the next day. We said our goodbyes to our lovely group of friends and were ready for the off. The prices with Ocean Star Express was again good (although they need to sort out their baggage situation), and at Padangbai our transfer to Legian was ready and waiting. We were packed into the front of a taxi van with little room to budge and it took around 90 minutes to reach Legian. We decided to stay in Legian mainly because of its location to the airport, and we didn’t want to stay in the heart of touristy Kuta. Once we’d realised that the Three Brother’s Inn was way above our budget we found the Sri Beach Inn, nothing really to recommend here but it was a cheap room for us to get our heads down for the night and the owner helped us out with a taxi pick up at 4am to get us to the airport.

On our last night in Bali we had a stroll along the busy and popular Legian Beach which was packed with surfers, holiday makers and umbrellas! We also found time for a 2 hour massage on JI Padma Utara pretty much opposite the Warung Yogya, where we enjoyed a recommended a foot reflexology and back massage for 150,000 rupees. It was fanastic, although the little paper undies that we had to wear didn’t too much for us other than to make us laugh!

We really enjoyed our time in Bali and think the main reason for this is that we didn’t follow the tourist trail too far into the wrong places. Obviously Ubud and the Gili’s attract tourists but just not as many as in the peak season and as in Kuta and a few of the other busier areas. Perhaps hitting it before peak season is the best time to go, lower rates, less people and it’s still pretty hot!

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0, 18mm f4, 90mm Tele-Elmarit f2.8 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, Sony DSC-TX5, processed in Lightroom 3)

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One Comment

  1. Carryn
    Posted 31 Mar ’12 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    ahhh! Mirko’s! those corals! just incredible!

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