After the diving trip aboard the Ikan Biru, Darryn, Bo, and I rented scooters and drove up into the "mountains"to see the Cunca Wulang waterfall. It was quite terrifying being on an under-powered scooter going up switchbacks with big trucks and other motorcycles and scooters vying for the road but also exhilarating, cooler than staying in town, and the landscape of rice paddies, local villages, kids running along the road screaming "Hello! How are you?", and water buffalo by the road was really worth seeing. It was about an hour and a half on the motorcycles, mostly on paved roads, but then on some gravel, dirt, and boulder-strewn trails that were challenging. I dropped my bike once but am fine and got only a teeny scratch. There was a short, sweaty 20 minute hike through the jungle to the top of the waterfalls once the road ran out. The falls were beautiful and we hiked across the top of the falls to the other side where there was a rock ledge ~8m up from the water where we were able to jump in. AAAAAAAAAHHH!!!! Was the sound I made during the fall which seemed to go on just a little bit too long. The water was cool and refreshing so we had a swim to the base of the falls before heading back to town.
One of the more treacherous roads to the waterfall after we left the main road
Awe, baby water buffalo
Chrissie decided to stay on in Labuan Bajo for a few weeks to help out as a Divemaster with the newly opened Blue Marlin Dive shop there and the lucky girl secured herself another 4 days helping out aboard the dive boat too! I, unfortunately, had to decline the offer to use my new credentials as a Divemaster because I had to head back to Gili Trawangan to collect my Credit card and Bank card which the bank mailed to me (after they were stolen, well... I left them out - oops), and my passport which was being processed for a visa extension, and to do a Technical Diving Course I had signed up for. after Chrissie left on the boat I had 1 day to spend on my own in Labuan Bajo. I made the most of it with a walk up to a viewpoint, a $14, 1.5 hour massage, and a beer with the sunset as a backdrop before flying back to Bali the next morning.
A short (but sweaty) hike up to a peak led to this view
They say, "great diving; shitty towns, great towns; shitty diving" and Labuan Bajo was not the nicest spot I've been. Chrissie and I stayed in a nice, basic hotel which was clean, had AC, cold shower, and breakfast ($25/night). The first night there was a huge spider in the room, bigger than I've ever seen, it's body was about the size of a loonie (Canadian $1 coin) and with its legs the spider was teacup saucer diameter. I kept an eye on the intruder while Chrissie ran to "get an Indonesian man to kill that thing". She returned with a man and a woman and a broom. The man chased the spider to the floor with the broom and the woman stepped on it BAREFOOT! We thanked them profusely, then the woman said, in broken English, "it is good you called, that is uring spider, they like water, they make water from they body and if it get in you eyes... It cause problems with you eyes. We must keep out of our houses too because if spider makes water in babies eyes it cause problems". WHAT?!?! I tried to google uring spider, nothing, I'm not sure if she meant urine spider? Anyways, whatever it was I'm glad it's dead and not making water that causes problems for anyone's eyes!
Darryn showed us a shortcut to the hotel from Blue Marlin the first night we were there. While we were climbing the narrow concrete steps between homes he said "you will see some rats... Oh there are some now". Ahhhh, the tropics.
I decided to spend 2 nights in Kuta, a beach and shopping, touristy area 10 min south of the airport in Denpasar, Bali. I reconnected with a dive guide from Tioman Island, Kelsey, who I dove with just over a year ago. We logged some beach time, did some shopping, got leg massages and a pedicure ($11), and napped by the pool at my hotel. The boy who drew the short straw and had to deal with pedicuring my nasty feet joked that there were 2 kilo of callouses removed... gross! Bo, from the Liveaboard was also in Kuta so the three of us had dinner and breakfast together, nice to have folks to share a meal with! I had heard mixed reviews of Kuta but I really like it. I had a lot of fun getting lost on the narrow winding roads, dodging cars and motorcycles, discovering tucked away temples and gardens, shopping, and people watching on the beach. I was too lazy for a surf lesson, but there are surf-shops everywhere and every third motorcycle in town has a rack on the side to carry a board so it's on my list for the next time I'm in Kuta!