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Now boasting 160 ATMs nation wide.

Jane: What do you mean the nearest ATM is an hour away?
Guy: Madam, this is a village, the ATMs are in the cities.
Jane: But I need money.
Guy: Don't worry, my cousin has a taxi :)
Jane: Of course he does....

Bali - our last stop on the Asian leg of our tour. It was a short visit, just a week, and it was rainy! I'm starting to think that I should be googling 'rainy seasons' before booking plane tickets. Ah well, the people were great, accommodation was cheap, food was cheaper, and we managed to get in a couple dive days, so it was well worth it.

We spent the first couple of days at a village named Padang Bai, where women carry everything on their heads. Their balance is amazing. We arrived during some kind of religious festival so everyone was all dressed up as well. It was beautiful to see.
This woman is carrying two diving BCDs (vests) and air tanks. To put this into perspective, when I have my BCD and airtank on my back, I start to stagger. This woman has 2 of them - on her head! It was painful to watch, particularly because one of them was mine. I could almost feel her spine being compressed.
The highlight of the dives in Padang Bai, was the white tipped reef sharks. My children seemed to think they were in the same category as puppies, and that the closer you got the better. Even my daughter, who after the elephant experience in Borneo, is afraid of nature (as her dad puts it), practically tried to kiss the sharks. I was yelling "YOU'RE TOO CLOSE, BACK UP" into my regulator. Fortunately the sharks seemed to have been listening, because they swam away.
We dove off of one of these cute little guys.

We then traveled a little further up the coast to a village called Tulamben. It was a gorgeous drive through small villages, forest, and terraced rice paddies. It was nice to see that unlike Borneo, they hadn't replaced all of their forests with palm plantations.
While there, we dove a US Navy wreck called the USS Liberty. It was a big 'ol ship that was covered in coral and swarming with fish.
Here's Meg with the biggest bump-head parrot fish I've ever seen.

It was a bittersweet farewell to Bali. We were sad to be ending a fabulous five month stint in SE Asia, but excited to be heading off on the next leg which takes us to New Zealand.
Oh ya, and I just found out that it rains a lot in New Zealand!

Posted by wilsonprawdzik 01:47

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