We woke up at 3:30 am to reach the town of Lovina by 6 am. Of course, we were late in getting to our driver, so we ended up there at 6:30 am and had to do some hard negotiation to get the boat price down to something that resembled reasonable. Although we were at one point accustomed to waking up at 3:30 am while staying at the World Peace Pagoda in Nepal, we were already back to bad habits and waking up that early was a challenge yet again. How time changes everything.
I digress. So why were we waking up so early? To go dolphin watching in Lovina Bali. We disembarked on our little fisherman boat just as the sun was kissing the bay… literally. It was spectacular and the picture can show it better than I can explain.
After only moments of waiting, we saw the Lovina dolphins… schools of them. It didn’t take long despite the numerous boats chasing the jumping and playful fish mammals. And yes, they were majestic.
It was almost too good to be true to see how many dolphins were swimming around so many humans and also quite comical to see these loud but small fisherman boats chasing them throughout the bay. I wouldn’t be surprised if the locals were feeding the dolphins to keep them coming back. However, I’m not privy to cetacean mammal behaviors. Regardless, who doesn’t enjoying dolphin watching or observing any animal in their natural habitat?
The picture was the best one I could get with my Iphone camera. Apparently it’s quite difficult to snap a good photo of lovina dolphins, which doesn’t make much sense considering these dolphins were like divas, splashing around and having us chase them. If you want to see a video of these dolphins in action, you can check out my Instagram.
Our next stop on the tour was to the Holy Springs Temple. Here you can bathe in the semi-hot springs and that’s about it. Maybe you get blessed by the water or maybe it’s merely a tourist attraction. Either way, it’s pretty nice, and the architecture and structure alone make it a worthwhile stop on this tour.
Afterward, we drove to the GitGit waterfall. I’ve mentioned previously my fascination and glee regarding waterfalls. This one was particularly beautiful (full disclosure: I’ll likely say this about every waterfall). There was also a small jump to fling yourself into the water and under the vast energy of the strong flowing cascade. We spent a lot of time swimming and watching Germans swim back and forth with their Go Pro. The funny things tourists do…
I’ll skip a few stops on this lengthy day and let the pictures describe this fun, but less touristic tour of Bali.
The temples we saw were absolutely beautiful. One temple is situated in the middle of a large lake and is laden with flowers and funky religious decorations. The lake temple is called Pura Ulu Danu, which is a name that for some reason kept reminding me of the movie Willow. My guess is because the baby in the film is Elora Danan. Same same but different.
Either way, the temple is still beautiful and has a mystique to it that is worth seeing. When we arrived it was quite cloudy, so I’d imagine that the view could be even more graceful than it was when I was there.
The other temple we visited was called Taman Ayun, which has a series of pagoda-like structures with many thatched roofs in the typical Balinese style. Unfortunately, there’s not much explanation as to the purpose and reason for variety of such temples on these tours, however you can learn more about the Bali temples through the link or in the Lonely Planet for Bali and Lombok.
From there we did the standard coffee tour, which, unfortunately, is not as nice as I remembered it from six years ago. It’s actually a bit sad. The products are loaded with sugar and taste quite processed, and the civets producing the coffee are a main attraction for tourists.
I’m not going to lie, the civets are super cute, and I enjoyed playing with them. However, it does come with a bit of a somber note knowing that these furry friends are being stuffed with coffee fruit and papaya, while their feces are scavenged for a delicately light and quite expensive brew.
The tour and the tastings are free, but they are sure to take you to their shop to sell their sugary goods, some of which are quite tasty. The knowledge imparted on the coffee plantation tour is meager and basic. It’s more of a step on the path to get you to buy something – a common occurrence in Bali and much of Southeast Asia. Well, Asia in general. In India we were either rockstars or walking dollar bills.
Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable must-do, because you get to taste “cat-poop-chino!”