Saturday, July 12, 2014

I never tire of saying the word: Indonesia

It was a pleasant surprise that the heat didn't seem to be nearly as intense as I had anticipated.  I'm unsure if this is simply because my body has changed after living in the warm, humid temps of the Caribbean for awhile, or if the forecast was wrong.  It was incredibly comfortable, and not as humid as home, which was a wonderful reprieve. 

The first 4 days I spent at an amazing resort located a couple of hours North of the airport, near a town called Candidasa.  The Alilah Hotel & Spa is set directly on the beach, stretched over acres and acres, giving the place a nice, spacious, open air vibe.  The staff are hands down the most phenomenal, attentive and friendly people I have ever met.  They practically read my mind.  They greeted me with ice cold, refreshing washcloths for freshen my face, then a nice spritz of Frangipani water and a to-die-for light & refreshing welcome drink.  My room was up on the 2nd floor, and overlooked the beautiful swimming pool.  Dining at the Alilah left me wanting to lick my plate, at every meal.  I loved watching the waves crash on the nearby rocks, while drinking coffee each morning at high tide, and the dragonflies land on the lily pads that sat among the ponds surrounding the restaurant.  Frangipani flowers quickly became part of my every day ensemble in Indonesia.  They are such beautiful, delicate little flowers that grow in bundles on trees.  The best part is they smell UH-Mazing!

Yep.  Almost too good to be true

Alila Mangiss Pool, Bali

Gorgeous Frangipani Tree

Frangipani Style

Bali Tea and local snacks were served every afternoon near the pool, by possibly the sweetest Balinese fella I met the whole trip!  He was seriously adorable!!  A nice break from the excessive lounging that took place all afternoon.

Bali Ginger-Honey Tea and traditional snacks

A little R&R... Okay, a LOT!

Lily Pads at every meal

On day 4 it was finally time to do some diving!  Up the coast to Telumben, and a famous shipwreck called the USAT Liberty, which was hit by a Japanese torpedo in 1942 during World War II.  She sat beached until 1963 when the tremors from a volcano eruption of Mount Agung caused the vessel to slip down the slope to where it now lies.

I literally woke up in the morning, walked to the ocean 30 steps away, where my gear had been carried & set up for me.  All I had to do was wander into the water and dive.  It was brilliant!  Within 10 minutes of my first dive in Bali, my guide had shown me 2 huge purple and orange nudibrach, pygmy seashorse about a half inch tall blended in perfectly to the purple coral fan, a painted frogfish a 1/4 of the size of my palm, another hairy frogfish (which my guide screamed with excitement when he spotted it, which is when you know, it's a BIG deal!), an ornate ghost pipehorse and loads more!  All the things we dream about seeing back home, were everywhere down there!

Beautiful Nudibrach

Painted Frogfish

Hairy Frogfish (image by others)

The cutest little Pygmy Seahorse  (image by others)

Ornate Ghost Pipehorse

The underwater world never seems to let me down.  Always something new and fascinating, especially on this trip!

Stay tuned for the next leg of the trip...  things get even more interesting!


  1. Dying to see a frogfish. Miss you. It won't be too long before we're underwater together.

  2. I haven't seen a Frogfish here either, but I know they're out there!!