Jason and Dawn - Around the world 2011 travel blog

Beach next to our hotel

Amazing sunset

opening up the stench of the durian fruit

Enjoying a nice supper

We decided to move to another hotel near Lovina beach. Last night we were inundated with mosquitoes, we have never been exposed to so many. We ended up getting a smoke coil from the front desk and smoked ourselves and the mosquitoes out of our room. We slept inside our sleeping bag snuggies and covered our heads up so we wouldn’t get bitten overnight.

We had walked down a ways on the beach looking for a better deal or a better place to stay. We went back to the room, I packed up our stuff getting ready for check out while Jason ran back down the street to find a hotel we found on line that had a great deal for a room. The room turned out to be further down than we had thought. (5kms or so) In the process of Jason trying to find it, he was stopped by two men on mopeds. Jason hopped on and they took him to see a few rooms at different hotels. We had found a better deal earlier so Jason said he was going to take that one, turns out one of the moped drivers said he was friends with the hotel staff there. They offered to bring Jason back to the Lovina Beach Hotel where I was and take us to the where we will stay for the night.

So we checked out, each of us hopped on a moped with our large back packs and small packs and away we were scootered through the streets of Lovina to our hotel. Long story short, these guys did not charge us for the moped ride as they belonged to the Malibu Diving Center. They of course wanted to offer us a deal on diving for tomorrow. Once we got all settled into our new room we sat outside with Agus (the dive master) and Wayan (the captain of the boat) to discuss what great deals they had to offer us on diving packages. In the end Jason drove a hard bargain and got us a diving package (which includes two dive spots around Menjangan Island with lunch and beverages included) for $65 Canadian each. Plus, PLUS Jason got us two free Sunrise Dolphin Tours in the morning. When the papers were all signed and everything paid for the captain turned to Jason and said, “You are a very skilled negotiator”.

We ended the day off with a wonderful supper in a local restaurant across from our hotel. Traditional Balinese dishes with two large beers; Bali Hai turning out to be our favorite of the night. Our server, Kartika brought us over two welcome shots which we gladly ingested. We had a great time talking with her over the course of our meals. At one point she had told us about he traditional Bali style salad however they did not make this at the restaurant. So I jokingly asked if we could come to her house and she could make it for us. Kartika got so excited and right away said she would gladly cook supper for us. We had to decline the offer as we are leaving tomorrow morning for a day of diving and than staying in a town called Pemuteran for a few days. She was very disappointed but still very happy that we asked. This is the type of treatment you receive here from the locals, they are so warm and welcoming and love to just stop and have a chat or help you with directions.

The vendors however can be a very different story, some turn out to be so pushy that even a hard stern “NO” does not stop them from pestering you. But for the most part you just have to remember that these are just a small percentage of Balinese people that have the potential to ruin the perception for everyone else, if you can get past that and see the real local Balinese villagers your stay here will surely be a great one.

After supper we walked along the beach, Jason snapped some awesome photos of the sunset on the ocean. We ran into a local villager selling some fruit. It was the end of the day for her and she wanted to lighten her load before heading back home. Her basket was filled with Rambutan, Maganiss, Durian, Mangoes and Coconuts. We had fruit we bought the previous day so didn’t really need anything. She offered us to try the Durian fruit, if we didn’t like it we paid half but if we did we paid the full price.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Durian fruit, it is a large spikey green looking fruit shaped like a football. Anthony Bourdain loves it and had featured it on his Bali expose. It is a STINKY smelly fruit, the worst smelling fruit out there. It smells like a garbage dump and contains seeds inside that are incased in a stringy slimey fruit. As she cut it open we smelled it and Jason immediately turned his nose up and away and said, “Oh my god that stinks”. The vendor lady was laughing her butt off at us. She loves the fruit and so encouraged us to try it and so we did. It tasted like a mild onion but slippery and stringy in texture. Not at all something we would ever purchase ourselves, I can’t imagine people paying to eat this fruit. There isn’t even that much fruit there to eat, its all taken up by the pits. You literally have to suck the fruit off of it. Your mouth and breath smells like a dump afterwards. when we burped after it was even worse! What the hell, who eats this crap? We agreed to take it at full price and away we went with our Durian, only half remaining to be eaten. We put it in the washroom for the night so we didn’t have to smell it.

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