Monday, November 14, 2016

Snorkeling off Menjangan Island

Exploring Bali

We could stand it no longer.  Day after day we watched these wooden boats taking divers out to Menjangan Island.  We wanted to be on one!  Those reefs were just too tantalizing.  It turned out to be the highlight of our stay at West Bali National Park.

This island is considered the premier spot for diving in Bali.  It is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and deep canyon walls.  Our boat took us to two different drop-off sites.  As there were two divers in our group, the last spot, a deep wall, was exceptionally beautiful.  We could float atop the canyon while they explored deeper.  There were gorgonian fans, giant clams, sponges, angelfish and parrotfish.  We spotted a scorpionfish, which was a real thrill (though scary).
I have to confess we had a bit of bad luck.  Our underwater camera popped open under the sea and although we were able to salvage our SD card, our camera was ruined.  Then my travel buddy got stung by a jellyfish.  By nightfall his arm was red, swollen and itchy.  We always carry Benadryl with us during our travels and it certainly saved the day this time around!
It was fun to see this uninhabited island up close. The eroding cliffs are dramatic.  I understand there's a nature hike with panoramic views from the top, but we did not go ashore.

If you aren't staying at one of the resorts in the national park, you can hire a boat from Labuhan Lalang harbor near Pemuleran.  The harbor is a fun place to hang out for awhile.  Playful monkeys are all around and there are restaurants, public showers and restrooms to make your wait a pleasant stay.


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