Jul 5, 2011
|Lembeh Island, Indonesia - March 18-23
The outstanding experience we had at Two Fish Dive Resort was certainly not limited to the water. With the exception of our rocky arrival, everything was fantastic.
Now when I say we stayed at a dive 'resort,' it sounds a lot more luxurious than it actually was. Not to say it wasn't nice - it was - it was just more of like being at camp. Which made it even more fun!
We all ate meals together in a big mess hall of sorts. The food was AMAZING... the kitchen staff served lots of local specialities (which was nice since up 'til that point nearly all the food we'd consumed in Indonesia was from Marriott room service or KFC) and it was so refreshing to have homemade food made with fresh ingredients. We ate well throughout the trip, but it's easy to get tired of eating out all the time, especially since a lot of the places we went had the exact same things on the menu.
Our only real complaint about Two Fish was that there really wasn't much to do to keep ourselves entertained when we weren't diving. Of course we managed to have fun anyway - there was a common area where we could sit and visit with the other divers. We entertained ourselves by reading, playing cards, drinking Bintang, and (me) making a half-assed attempt at catching up on this blog, but it would have been nice if there had been more games to play, or an area to sit and watch movies, or a ping pong or foosball table or something.
We were with a really fun group of people though, so that helped. It's always fun to meet locals, along with other travellers, and to exchange stories. Of course the staff were tons of fun. Every night, they would gather around the common area and play music. Turns out Handry's not just a charmer under water... he's a ton of fun on land, too! He's part of a band the staff has formed... He's fantastic on guitar and vocals. (His idol is Bob Marley; he refers to him as 'Uncle Bob,' and looking at his crazy head of hair, it doesn't seem too far-fetched!)
The other guys would join in and sing along, and one would always play the 'bass,' a large box with a single string on it and the notes written on the side.
I never figured out exactly how it worked, but I did figure out how to play 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' one night.
Our first (real) night there, Tom and Karen - Americans who visit Two Fish every year and know the staff well - broke out a box of wine that they had brought along and shared it with the rest of us campers, (thanks again, guys!) and we had a dance party.
We took requests from the local guys - they really like Lady Gaga and Kings of Leon - and I taught everyone the dance moves to The Macarena. This is weird, well, just because it is, but also because it was strangely reminiscent of when I originally learned it at camp the summer of 1995.
We met tons of other fun divers - like Alex, a Welshman teaching English in Jakarta; Cedric and Liv, a French/English dive instructor couple on Bali; Pia, a German dive instructor working on Gili Air; Amy, an American teaching English in Jakarta; and her dad, Ed, visiting from the States. Amy and I bonded immediately - it's always fun to find a female beer drinking buddy in a foreign country!
There were even two 'camp dogs' - Chocolate and Scooby, who immediately adopted us for the week. They'd obviously been trained not to enter the guest rooms, because poor Scooby would sit in the doorway, staring longingly at us and Howard.
They both loved Howard (who doesn't!?) and though I was afraid at first that they would think he was a yummy chew toy, they were in fact very gentle, even giving him kisses at times!
The second to last day we were there, I started to feel an all-too-familiar discomfort in my ear. The next morning, Charles felt it too. We were scheduled to leave the next day for Two Fish's Sister Resort on Bunaken Island, which is rumored to have some of the best coral walls in all of Southeast Asia. Whether we would get to experience it or not depended on how much our ears improved in the next 24 hours.