Day 136, Year 3: Lovely Day in Lovina
Date: Hari Senin (Monday), Bulan September 22, Pada Tahan 2008
Weather: Broken Record . . . Another Beautiful Day
Location: Lovina Beach, BALI, Indonesia

Snorkeling, renewing oneself in the hot springs, visiting a Buddhist monastery, and having dinner at a Thai restaurant where you sit on cushioned platforms with your back against cushions and your feet stretched out in front of you on more cushions-tough day. Actually it was a really lovely day and my description of Lovina has gone from ‘nice’ to ‘lovely.”

Early in the day, Mark, Jo, and Justin went to shore to have a big breakfast and do some shopping. I stayed on the boat to cook, clean, and organize photos, but I’m afraid I didn’t get beyond cleaning. The black sand beach here seems to be moving aboard our boat, so I vacuumed, and vacuumed, and vacuumed some more. I even vacuumed the teak deck as it was starting to look like a sandbox. I made cheeseburgers for lunch and just when I was getting ready to work on photos, the gang arrived back home.
We decided to go snorkeling on the reef not far from here and again saw some beautiful fish. Today there were no fishermen anchored around the reef and there were a number of dinner-sized fish out trolling for their lunch. We then got ready to go ashore for a trip to the local hot springs called Air Panas Banjar and a visit to the Brahma Vihara Arama monastery. Mark had reserved a car and driver to take us, but Justin and Jo REALLY wanted us all to go on motor bikes. It appeared that there were no bikes left to rent, but Justin and Jo had a secret place and actually turned up with two bikes. One had a left rear-view mirror and the other had a right rear-view mirror. They were certainly not as nice and stable as the ones we had rented yesterday, but I took a deep breath and gave in. So off we went. We had to drive down the main highway about ten kilometers and then we turned to work our way up the mountain. The Air Pans Banjar hot springs are in a lovely tropical garden setting. There are two main pools, one with stone-carved figures from which the hot spring water pours in the first bath. This is the really hot pool. And then the water overflows into a second pool through the mouths of five more carved figures. There is a third pool where the water pours from a spout three meters over your head to give you a massage as it hits your body. Mark and I did not go into the pools today. We decided to sit this one out in the lovely restaurant that overlooks the pools, but Justin and Jo thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

By this time, the day was coming to an end, so we hopped on our bikes and headed three kilometers through the mountain-side villages to the Brahma Vihara Arama Buddhist monastery. The views of terraced rice fields and vineyards leading down to the sea were beautiful. We reached the monastery just in time to enjoy its beauty before the sun set. I had declared earlier in the afternoon that I would go on the bikes but that I would not ride home in the dark. But as we walked further and further in
to the monastery grounds, it became clear that we would be driving home in the dark. Again, I took a deep breath and just enjoyed the moment. There was one section of the monastery that is designed like a “mini” Borobudur. This is the huge and famous temple in Java. The part of this monastery designed like Borobudur is small, but beautiful. We watched the setting sun and beautiful views of the north coast of Bali, and finally tore ourselves away to head home. At first our ride was in twilight, but by the time we reached the main road, we were driving in complete darkness. Actually the ride was fine even though it was a little nerve-wracking in the dark.

Once back in Lovina Beach, Justin and Jo did a little shopping and then we went to the Jasmine restaurant for dinner. It was the perfect place to have dinner at the end of a beautifully mellow afternoon. Tomorrow morning we head back south to Ubud, the art and cultural center of Bali. I found it just way too busy for me the first time we visited, but others that have stayed overnight have found it to be a great place. There are some art galleries that all of us are interested in visited, so we
are going to give it another go. When we return here the following day, we will prepare to leave for Karimunjawa. These are islands north of the Java coast and they sound absolutely beautiful from the descriptions we have read. It will take us about three or four days to get there and we will spend about four days there. Then it will be time to head to Borneo to see the orangutans. Unfortunately, Justin now has the cold that Mark and I have had. So hopefully the passage time north and west to Karimunjawa will give him time to recuperate. Mark and I are on the mend, so that is a good thing.

080922 Day 136 Bali, Indonesia–Lovely Lovina
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Day 137, Year 3: Recovering in Ubud
Day 135, Year 3: Day Trip Across North Bali