Tuesday, July 21, 2009

There will be blood (Pemuteran, Bali)

It was a massacre.  They outnumbered us and came while we slept.  They got exactly what they wanted, and what they wanted was our blood.  I awoke at about 3 am, and noticed some blood on my pillow.  I figured it was a bloody nose, attributing it to our rigorous travel schedule.  I inspected my nose, found no problems and went back to bed.  About 2 hours later, Kristin and I both woke up, and our sheets had numerous blood stains.  We looked up at the netting that draped our bed, and what we saw made us shudder.  Mosquitoes, everywhere.  We had been eaten alive while we slept.  A fleeting attempt at genocide was made at this point.  We went around the room like desperate banshees smashing bugs in our hands, spraying 100% deet bug juice around like an assailed woman wields a bottle of mace.  There was panic and deliberate attempts were made to kill, but our comfort would not come.  We had to wash our own blood from our hands.  This is never a good thing.  We laid in bed smacking at our arms and bodies, waiting for the morning to come. A rooster jestfully crooned on in the distance, and our Indonesian innocence slipped right through the cracks in the floor of our lavish bungalow.  Staring at the ceiling, both of us realized something, mosquitoes suck.

"I dont know, maybe 60 or 70 bites," I told Kristin as we sped away from our villa the following morning heading towards the westernmost point in Bali.  I would try and count them, but it was a futile endeavor.  We both knew which appendages were peaking out from our sheets because our bodies told the tale of their feast.   We pictured mosquitoes sucking blood until they exploded, swerving around the air like drunk maniacs, stopping only to high five.  We must have been fun, two exhausted american travelers, too starry eyed to notice that pitfalls of Indonesian living.  My face looked like that of a 6 year old with chicken pocks.  Kristin's shoulders looked like she spent a whole day wearing a backpack with straps made from poison oak.  We looked like a couple of freaks, and we were about to be right at home.  We were on our way to Gilimanuk Bay, a driftway between Java and Bali, home to some of the strangest creatures that the world has to offer, essentially an ocean freak show.

Our dive was great.  We saw a bunch of weirdos down there, and Kristin even liked it.  Our dive partners were an Italian couple from Paris, and we had a good time talking with them at a local warung for lunch.  The dive site was like a desert, littered with small oasis of quaint villages filled with odd residents.  I will let the pictures explain it below.

After our dive and lunch, we returned to the Amertha to settle our bill with the hotel and dive shop.  We spent millions.  Gusti returned to pick us up and take us to south Bali.  He took one look at us, and said, "You need Bokasi."  Bokasi is apparently an all natural salve popular in Indonesia.  He told us to rub it on our bites, and we would be bagoosh (good).  We were informed that people even use this antidote for stomach aches, with a few drops in a glass of water.  I have no idea what sort of alchemy is going on in this bottle, but it works.

Gusti took us through the rice terraces and mountains to south Bali.  It was a very long but beautiful journey.  We even stopped at a real Balinese department store on the way, and were very impressed with the deals.  They also had super nintendo and sega genesis games for sale, as if they were new.  This brought back fond memories for me.  We arrived at our hotel, Le Meridien Tanah Lot, just in time to watch the sun set over the Indian ocean.

A young Lionfish

Some slugs

Nice camo buddy

A village of weirdos

The big ole mean mug of a frogfish

A cagey abode

A sunken ship

A family of lion fish

Maybe friends, maybe not

The strangest creature that I saw, Kristinfish


A large school

A bunch of urch

Mean looking clams

What are you looking at punk?

Orange frogfish

Kristin sat out the second dive

These creepy things were everywhere

Large star


Pretty colors

A fish hauling by

An eel face

Very weird creature of some kind

Close-up of creature


2 cuttlefish which look like squids

Another ship

whats up man

Bottom dweller

Luxury accommodation

More underwater scenes

from a very weird place

Last day of underwater pictures

Coming up in Secret Bay

My bites

Rice terraces on the way through central Bali

Just nerding along

A random roundabout statue in Tabanan

Tanah Lot at sunset - more on this place tomorrow


  1. Beautiful sea creatures!! Including the bumphead freak at the end of the pics! U guys need to watch out for West Nile virus! Can u get that there? Luv u nerdbombs!

  2. Amazing, Fantastic, Awesome creatures in a interesting setting. Great job!!It was so wonderful talking to you today Justin. Thanks!

  3. Yep, Justin you looked just like the black and white spotted fish. I liked the Kristinfish the best, (especially the belly button dangling down) Did you see any missionaries there for Jesus campaigns?? Such interesting sites. Thanks a million for sharing, wonderful love Gram

  4. First of all, your mosquito story is my greatest nightmare! Dave said I would have turned into a giant welt. Your Mom is right, West Nile, hello!!! Spray that Deet stuff on yourself before you go to bed. 2 deets cancel each other out, right? Pics were very cool. I have to go scratch myself now. Yikes.

  5. Dang... That's more like it. Those creatures were photo-licious... -Dave P.

  6. oh... I'm suuuurrrrree.

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