So yesterday was our last day on Lembongan, and we were getting the speed boat back to Bali mainland at 3pm. The previous evening the other 3 had paid to go snorkelling on a trip with a local guy at 8am, and I was left as a maybe due to the ear. Despite having a rough on the night before it felt much better when I woke up, so I decides to jump on the snorkelling trip too.
Having had breakfast the dude picked us up about 8am as planned, and we went off in his boat. It was about a 20 minute journey from Lembongan, past the place we had taken the scooters to surf and cliff jump the day before on the next island, then further on to the 3rd and biggest island. On the way we got some awesome views of the volcanic cliffs with big caves etc, and locals fishing from remote cliff tops using traditional methods.
The plan was to find Manta Rays at the first stop, at a remote area with no access by land (due high+steep cliffs). Sure enough within 2 minutes of looking the captain spotted one, and we all bailed over board snorkelled up. My mind was absolutely blown by swimming with them, it was completely unreal. You would be bobbing on the surface and 4/5 of them would appear from the deep blue below you, as if they are flying. It hard to put into words how cool an experience it is, but I would reccomend it to anyone. It was also really cool to swim along right about them, and they must be about 6ft across and dwarf you. We also had Matts GoPro (I am going to have to get one when I go home) and were filming them and ourselves swimming with them, so there should be some cool footage on there.
After skipping from one Manta spot to another for a while, later we went to a secluded bay, where all the tourist snorkelling boats pull up. Here there is amazing vibrant and untouched coral reef, with huge amounts of smaller fish etc. I didn't want to chance my ear more than I had to, so I had stayed on the surface the whole time and had an ear plug on, but I still saw Nemo and all his friends all the same.
By the time we got back to the place we were staying we were all snorkelled out, and it was about 10:30am. Joey, Saskia and I had snacks, and then went out for a final surf at Shipwrecks, as the swell had finally picked up to 2-3ft with the occasional bigger set. We were dropped off by our local friend in his boat as usual, and asked to be picked up at 2pm, but in the end we were all knakered and back by 1:30pm.
Especially at the beginning I got a few really really good ones I was stocked out, as there was 'only' a crowd of about 15 people to contend with (a lot of which weren't much competition). However more and more people starting arriving, especially locals who surfed most of us out the water, and when we left there must have been 30+ people out.
We got back and had lunch as quickly as possible, as we were being picked up by a shuttle 'bus' at 2:30pm to get the boat. The last thing we did before we left was pay the bill, which we had been building up the entire stay. We were expecting a hefty $120+ each, but were amazed when it only came to $75pp!
As we got shuttled in the open back van with welded metal bench seats bodged onto it, and when we got onto the fast boat back we had the first really heavy rain storm of Lembongan - as Joey said, "it's like the island is sad to see us leave". A pretty fitting statement to by far the nicest place I have seen in Indonesia yet..
When we got back to Senur we were hearded into a minibus, which got us back to Villa Serenity by 5pm, after another educational drive. We got back to find Georgie alive and well, which was almost a miricle in itself knowing him. If was his last day and really wanted to go for a last surf, so I obliged. Although I was just completely and utterly knakered and felt really drained.
The surf was crap and I basically sat to one side chatting go Georgie not even trying for waves. I was more concerned about keeping my ear out of the s***ty water of Canggu, after the gin clear water of Lembongan.
We came back not much, got showered etc and went off to the really good pizza place we had been to before, as it was Saskia and Georgies last night. It was a really nice evening, and Matt got on the Long Island Ice Teas again, so was great value.
We couldn't have got back much later than about 9pm, but I could hardley stay awake.
Before I went to bed I bought Georgie's RipCurl watch off him, as he didn't want to take it to South America. I had been looking at very similar ones in Kuta when we went on our shopping trip, so I was stoked to find Georgie selling his. He got it in August for $150, and gave it to me for $60 in near perfect condition - what a bargain!
(Photo - New watch).