Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Batur & Lavina

We bought fruits on the way, as always Kostya bargains Russian style. LP says that guides could be a nuisance, and that tourists are ripped off. I'm never worried about it when I'm with him, he won't allow himself to be ripped off not for a penny. Arrived at yet another volcano, Botur. What a beautiful viewpoint! The craters are inside a larger crater with a blue lake on the side. We absorbed the setting at a cliff restaurant where even there Kostya took off 50% off the price for tea. Then we watched a local girl pray to a statue while decorating it with flowers, and drove down the crater walls into the heart of the volcano.
For the volcano trek, we took the price down to $30 for 2 people, and met a couple who will pay $45 each! But even $30 for 2 is a lot, so we'll do it in the morning on our own.
We got lost! the directions don't make any sense, there are no roads which exist on the map and nobody to ask for help cause nobody speaks any English. We drove a huge circle around the volcano, and came back. On the way I came face to face again with normal Russian rudeness, and I'm feeling like enough is enough. Why should I be in a bad mood on a volcano?
Stopped at a beach town - Lavina, for a night cap. What a nice little place. It wouldn't be nice to come here specifically, but for a random night cap, it's quite a place. On the way we stopped at a local warung to have rice with veggies and chicken. A huge plate cost $1. The owner was very happy to welcome us, took our picture and shook our hand. It's almost always a pleasant surprise to eat with local people, though you usually can't get anything more than fried rice or fried noodles. Lavina, a backpacker corner in the middle of local north coast. Very lovely guest houses, big, clean, green, swimming pool, cheap, great! And our guest house looked like it was built in a fairytale. Black sand beach, cute restaurants offering fresh sea food to the sound of life acoustic guitar.
I signed up for LP recommended diving site, I thought to skip it because it's expensive, 125 euros, but after a complete lack of interest from my side to his "best" and "only for me" prices, I agreed to go for $60 for 2 dives, and what do you know, they signed me up. There were only the 2 of us with the guide, everyone else was snorkeling. Unlike Koh Tao where you see more divers than fish, here we had a huge never ending wall all to ourselves. It was a feast for the eyes, though we didn't see any big fish, the amount of varied corals on the wall was very impressive, like a coral forest, I didn't know where to look or what to focus my eyes on. Once I decided to count how many different corals I see in say 2 sq mt and I lost count. Our guide didn't bother us with too many questions. Are you ok? How much air you have? Come here! Stay level! Are you ok?? He just asked us when we descended and left us alone. Usually when you're at 50 bar, it means almost out of air, time to come up. When I reached 50, I asked my buddy how much he has, he also said 50, and then put his index finger to his mouth ... shhhh ... we'll come up when we'll come up. When we came up, I was at 25 bar. The next dive wasn't as impressive as the first, but here I decided to explore everything on my own. I would hover around a coral or a fish in the cave, away from my buddy for a minute or so, then see where they are, swim close to them, and start the rediscovery again. Not very advisable to stay away from your buddy on such depth (advisable distance is about 2 meters) in case of panic or malfunctioning equipment, but I don't know ... I don't feel much in danger.
When I got back to town, I was hoping that Kostya would like to stay another night, but he disliked the owners for some reason and we hopped on the scooter for the mountains.

Sorry for too many sunset pictures :)


  1. Yana

    the sunset pictures are beautiful
    they remind us of the beaches in Wasaga
    and we watch the sun go down.
    thanks for another great adventure

    Ken and Pat

  2. Love the pics, makes me hungry to travel again!