This place was full of fisherman culture and is named 'The Old Bali." It's very traditional and less overrun by tourists. On the outskirts of the volcano Agung Agung (last erupted in '63), the eastern shore of Bali is where you can find the best snorkeling on the island...so we came to Amed! We took a fishing boat out to a few fantastic spots where you were literally floating above a natural aquarium. So much life and color at this live coral reef! The boat ride in itself was the best way to see the unique coastline. We met a whole new group of people here and again, a planned two day trip turned into four days. We really didn't want to leave this spot... ever!
We rented a scooter for a whopping 50,000 rupiah ($5 ) all day and scoured the coast all day.
Wooden boat mid-production:
Helping dad weave the fishing net:
We stopped at this cafe to check out the view over a Bintang:
Jam session with the guys at the bungalows:
Sunset at our bungalow...
[Infinity pool, right on the beach, black sand beaches, volcano views and fantastic snorkeling 15 feet off the shore.... in the U.S. you'd never pay what we did in Bali for this.... scroll to the end of the post to find out]
The gorgeous Lotus!
A little story behind the next series of shots:
My favorite coffee is Illy Coffee. I'm by no means a coffee snob and I drink whatever is in front of me. But when I see the little red square I get really excited and uncontrollably shout out the name, loud enough for whoever is with me to think "What the...?" It all dates back to when my best friend Rachael and I traveled a month through Europe and fell in love with Italy and its caffé. That little cup of espresso and foamed milk takes me right back to people watching at our petite table outside those little Italian sidewalk cafés with my best friend. I would fly right back to Rome just for that!
So here it is.... we saw the sign! Almost causing an accident on the scooter, we pulled over and had an amazing breakfast complete with Illy Coffee!
Students on their way back from school:
It was so exhilarating, riding around on the scooter through small villages where tourists rarely go. Our goal was to get as high up the volcano, Agung Agung, as we could. The children were so full of life, waving and yelling "Halo! Halo!" and running up to slap hands as we past through. We stopped a bunch of times and when we did, we found a mix of excitement and astonishment. From the little English they knew, to the even less Indonesian that we knew, we understood that they were completely shocked that we stopped to talk with them. It required a lot of body language, but we got them to laugh (most likely at us) and we were thrilled to make them smile!
The gentleman below invited us up to his house for some "arak" and to meet his family. He was so blown away by meeting us and kept saying, "American? American? This is like joke! Come! Come! Oh, this is like joke!" Arak is basically Balinese moonshine..... it's actually a rum and it's the only alcohol consumed since alcohol is extremely expensive, relatively speaking.
In Bali, many families in the villages all live in the same plot of land. There may be six little huts on one property, with each part of the extended family having their own space. Everyone has a purpose and understands its importance for the family's survival. When we met this man, his son ran back up to tell everyone what was happening and only a few minutes later about twenty people looked on from above.
Feed for the animals on its way to be chopped: