I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet.
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Published September 11th 2019
Alongside the jetty, there are shells arranged in neat rows near a little stall selling satays and other street foods. The owner tells me that he used to dive for the shells until he found out that they were becoming rare, now he just keeps a few to attract customers. Each day he displays some of his collection and they certainly make for an attractive advertisement.
I am walking along the Sanur beachfront in Bali. For me, the essence of Bali is the ocean and this area, one of the oldest resort beaches, still has traces of Bali before it became such a popular tourist destination. There are colourful Balinese outriggers at rest on the low tide, fishermen plying their trade and children flying kites.
Further along the beach I stand on a rocky breakwater and watch local people fishing. Some use long bamboo poles while others skillfully cast nets in the shallows; simple techniques that have been passed down through generations.
Next morning I have another ocean experience booked. A catamaran takes us out to Nusa Lembongan to view the seaweed farms and learn about the process of growing and harvesting algae and its many uses in foods and cosmetics. A fascinating full day excursion from the main island.
On the trip back I relax as one of the crew brings out a guitar and we sing Beetles songs in this wonderfully incongruous setting. Halfway through a rendition of Lady Madonna, the strum of the guitar is interrupted by the insistent buzz of a fishing reel. We have been trailing a lure from the stern. The boat slows, I'm given the rod and dinner for the crew is landed.
Bali is a Hindu island in the predominantly Muslim nation of Indonesia and as such there are a plethora of temples both on the coast and inland. One of the most famous is Tanah Lot which is set on a massive rock platform. This site also highlights one of Bali's other aquatic attractions, surfing, and the break at this location is well suited to accomplished surfers.
My time in Bali is nearly over and there is still so much more to see. The island boasts volcanic craters, rice paddies, monkey temples and coral reefs; not to mention the nightlife and shopping. Certainly, another trip is warranted where I will look inland to the area around Ubud in the highlands.