|From Tirta Gangga Water Palace and Gua Lawah Bat Cave Temple|
Today Jamie and I set out for my first scuba diving adventure. Our guide told us about a great diving spot on the eastern side of Bali of an old US ship, the USS Liberty. We didn't get to take pictures because we don't have an underwater camera and didn't rent one. Nonetheless, you can check out the information as well as a few pictures HERE.
Jamie had been trying to get me to go scuba diving for some time now. I was hesitant because I just didn't feel right about it. I decided to go nonetheless because we'll be going to the Philippines this summer as well as Australia eventually so I thought I would give it a shot.
Our first dive was to the ship from off the coast. It went well and I thought I did OK. Since I am not certified, I had a guide literally holding my hand for most of the way. He worked my regulator and guided me around. It is peaceful and great when you are not thinking that you could die from lack of oxygen. The fish were gorgeous and the ship was cool and full of coral. We saw all sorts of Nemo's, Dori's, but no Ariels unfortunately. One shark, but he apparently didn't want to eat us.
We ate a quick lunch and then headed back out for our second dive from the coast. I was feeling pretty good about this one, but became tired for some reason half way through. There was an old plane wreckage (which I think they planted) which was pretty cool as well as some very colorful eels and a huge blue starfish. Toward the end, I started to get sick and by the time I hit the shore, I was really sick. It took me the next few hours to begin to feel better. The VERY windy roads leading home didn't help my upset stomach, but I began feeling better after stopping at the Tirta Gangga.
Tirta Gangga means "Holy Water of the Ganges." This site is a Water Palace built by the former King Raja of Karangasem in 1948. The grounds are gorgeous and the Hindu locals come there the take a dip in the pools. The Ganges River in India is a sacred river for Hindus and millions cleanse themselves in its waters for spiritual cleansing. The grounds of Tirta Gangga are for the Balinese people to do such spiritual cleansing. Be sure to check out the pictures of Tirta Gangga in the Tirta Gangga and Bat Cave Temple Photo Album.
Afterwards, we proceeded down to Gua Lawah to see the Pura Gua Lawah or Bat Cave Temple. We really didn't know what to expect, but it literally was simliar to all of the other temples we had visited except for the large cave entrance (which actually isn't a large cave, but looks like an entrance) and the 1000s of bats the were clinging to the walls. Pretty amazing actually, somewhat icky, but very interesting. Check out the bats in the same photo album.
Jamie and I decided to hang out in the room tonight instead of going out. We've hit the island pretty hard the last few days. Tomorrow, we'll sleep late and then head to the famous Kuta Beach. Jamie wants a T-Shirt from Hard Rock and I want to watch the surfers on the beach. Our time in Bali is coming to an end, but it has been quite memorable.