Padang Bai: Snorkeling at White Sand Beach and Blue Lagoon

Here are some (overdue*) photos from the next (two-day) leg of our trip, to the little seaside, snorkeling-friendly town of Padang Bai.  You can check out Offerings and Outriggers for a more detailed description of our impressions of Padang Bai and Sanur, the first two towns we have visited on our month-long trip to Indonesia.

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Our hotel room, at a cheap but pleasant backpacker lodge called the Zen Inn. The room was basically a giant wicker basket. (Not actually — it was bamboo wall coverings inside a concrete and stucco building on the outside, we swear.)
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A little private patio out the back. From what we can tell, there was a time (not too long ago) when showers had to be taken in that corner on the right. Kinda glad we had a more standard indoor shower!
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The doors from the hallway outside our room to the street. PS: This was taken at 7:23 AM — there’s just that much sunlight here that it was already really bright out. The wonders of being near-equatorial!
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Rooster in a bamboo cage. One of way too many, cock-a-doodle-dooing at just about all hours of the day and some of the night, too. Starting at 4:30 am.  But we do feel bad for them, since every one is used for (lethal) cockfighting, with knives tied to their ankles.
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“Whitesand the Beach!” This path did actually lead to one of the two main beaches in town, despite its misleading appearance of being… a hiking trail. Up.  Away from the sea.  Despite the base starting at sea level. (It is a hiking trail up, it just promptly goes back down again soon afterward.  Well, more accurately it is an old construction road for an abandoned hotel project and was left rugged and rough on its way to the beach.) Glad the locals weren’t pulling a fast one on all of us stupid tourists!  At first, we weren’t sure that we weren’t being trolled…
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A view of the town from the path to this beach. This is probably like 80% of the entire town in one shot.
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So it does lead to the ocean after all! (also, panorama mode time!)

 

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The beach — featuring black sand and a few warungs (little family-run eateries)
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…and also a bunch of big, chunky, black volcanic rocks!

 

A video of the natural blowhole in the black volcanic rocks – there are small caves under where we were standing, and the water flowing in and out with the waves would create air pressure in there that aggressively forced the water back out again in great spurts.  There were a few small tunnel holes connecting it to the surface behind us, too, so there were surprisingly loud blowing noises surrounding us just before each of the big sprays.

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Just a giant pile of discarded coconut shells (one of the less unpleasant piles of garbage in the area…)
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Part of a Hindu temple (a bell tower, I think) at the top of a hill next to the second beach
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The second beach, called Blue Lagoon
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More cool volcanic rocks! Also, check out the prickly pear in the upper left corner. There actually seems to be quite a bit of it in this general area of Bali. Never would have expected any of the flora here to remind me of Arizona!
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About to go snorkeling!
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We got a waterproof camera before this trip precisely for times like this. 🙂
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Trying out a bit of free diving (not too deep — I don’t really know what I’m doing, after all!)
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Lots of fish!
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This is a peacock mantis shrimp.  Emmons saw one of these for a brief moment and was very excited (although we didn’t take this picture ourselves).
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There were a few monkeys (grey macaques) near the beach. We watched one of them steal food from an offering on a nearby shrine.

*We haven’t had very strong internet for a while, so after a few failed attempts at posting these shortly after they happened, we put off posting them until now.  But we’ve been continuing to have fascinating experiences in our various destinations, as we came here to do, and will post more about them eventually!

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