Day 8: Amed to Tulamben

Posted: June 10, 2010 in Cycle touring Mountain biking Bali, Indonesia 2006, 2008
Tags: , , , , , ,

Sunday May 14, 2006, 40 km (25 miles) – Total so far: 290 km (180 miles)

Today, while Coleen was rearing to go, I saw no hurry to leave one of the nicest rooms we’ve had in Bali. After all the next stop was just 40 kms away at yes, another beach in north Bali. Besides, lying spread eagled in bed, gazing at our slowly turning wooden fan, I’ve always wondered if some bright spark could come up with a mini air conditioner built into a bike helmet. It’s just a matter of time. Maybe yesterday’s circle trip was too hot.

We left at almost high noon on a ride punctuated by many look sees at new rooms along the way (thank you Anda for being full, it was very tempting indeed) and 2 ice cream stops. We were at this view point above Lipah Bay when a motor cycle screeched to a halt and we heard a resounding ‘Kerisss!!’ Who could it be then? It was Wayan, one of the girls who worked at the old Bayu and was doing the same at the new Bayu, hence the source of all the updated news. She proudly showed us her new wheels, a Yamaha scooter no less which was essential in these parts and for some reason wanted us to know that the minimum wage in Bali had risen to $65 a month. In these small villages everyone knows everyone else. So in no time we had 3 other scooters stopping right behind Wayan’s, all friends asking the same questions to which Wayan has to give the same answer of who we were, from where and other earth shattering news. She was also parked on a crest around a blind corner which was none too safe. We enjoyed our not so brief encounter with Wayan, and the promise that Made and Anik e-mail us, someday.

( It’s been some five years since we last met and this husband and wife team, plus some siblings who are doing real well in their new whitewashed, high ceiling minimalist restaurant overlooking the Straits of Lombok. No more slogging though late nights all week long, for someone else, as they did the last decade.

They have a new deal to run and operate this restaurant and bar, keeping all the profits, while paying off the loan of Rp 600 million (or US$65,000 ) it cost to build it. It’ll be theirs lock stock and barrel after 10 years. On our two nights here we saw managers from surrounding hotels, as well as parties of six to eight diners here, so they must be doing something right. They’ll be even more blessed with good stress when a luxury ‘villas only’ resort opens up on the hill behind them )

We got to Tulamben round 3 pm heading straight for the latest new fangled restaurant cum dive shop here. Tulamben is just a 200 meter row of small buildings which might not exist if not for World War 2. About a mile off shore on the sea bed lies the wreck of the USS Liberty, a merchant ship which was torpedoed in 1942 by Japanese forces based on Bali. I think the parking lot for divers on day trips from Bali’s south must be the single biggest developed piece of real estate here. We spent a lazy afternoon looking at expensive scuba gear in the dive shops and beach combing, the highlight of which was a German adult magazine basking on the rocks. We didnt understand any of the words but the artsy black and white pictures were interesting if not instructional.




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