Here we are in the garden again, enjoying a healthy and satisfying breakfast. They have really great yogurt here and some of the best papaya we’ve had in ages.
So here is the fill in on the last few days:
Mr. and Mrs. Orchard are simply incredible hosts. Mrs. Orchard especially has a huge desire to have us experience the island. So after a few days of ‘hard work’ she planned for the three of us to go on an island adventure.
We left at 6am on Thursday morning with Emma and Lee, another couple who have been staying at the house, as well. Our destination: Danau Batur, the largest crater lake on Bali at the foot the volcanoes, G Abang and G Batur. There is a magnificent trek here that takes you up on the ridges of the surrounding volcanoes allowing a wonderful understanding of the island’s layout. Our guide was a local Balinese man by the name of Gadang (not sure how to spell it, but it is pronounced like good-day). Through thick forest, tall grasses, small villages and beautiful vistas we went until we arrived at the edge of lake Batur where we took a boat across to where we started. Overall, the trek was about 4 hours and well worth the time.
We parted ways from Emma and Lee as we continued North to swim with dolphins. Yes – this may sound exciting as it did to us, but things turned out a bit different than anticipated. At one of the hotels near Lovina, they have trained dolphins in pools, much like you would find in Orlando or Hawaii. The pools were a bit smaller, but the dolphins still seemed interested in visiting with us. Mrs. Orchard recommended we hang out with the female, as the males tend to be ‘attracted’ to female swimmers. All was well with the female as we were swimming with her and touching her (the skin is incredibly soft), until she decided that perhaps one of us shouldn’t be in the pool, so she wacked her nose quite aggressively against a leg prompting an exit out of the pool. Mind you, all of this is happening while the male in the other pool was jumping like crazy. Really spectacular to watch, but was a bit chaotic. I stayed in the pool, reasonably nervous, as I was floating around with a wild animal that had shown aggression earlier. The trainer encouraged me to keep my legs up and remain calm – perhaps this would be helpful to someone else, but it seems that such instruction allows for the heart to pound a bit harder… why should you need to remain calm if they are such sweet gentle animals? To make a long story short, the female began to aggressively go after my legs as well, forcing the trainer to stand between me and the dolphin…ack! With the assistance of Mrs. Orchard’s hand and ankle, I came out of the water quickly thanking God that I still had legs. Apparently dolphins also get tired and irritated after a long day of work…We helped feed a couple of males in a different pool who were in much better, more affectionate spirits… very affectionate. After swimming between us several times, rubbing himself against our bodies and even swimming over our legs, the dolphin became aroused and we decided our swimming session was over…
We found a sweet little hotel on the beach and had a spectacular sunset. The three of us had a lovely dinner and some fantastic prayer where God really showed up in miraculous ways. The next morning we took a small boat out to Menjangan Island for incredible snorkeling – the best we had ever experienced. The area is packed with coral and the reef drops immediately to 30m (100ft). You could just about see the bottom in some areas. It was absolutely amazing…so many colors of fish and a garden of corals….God’s paint brush is spectacular. On the way home we stopped at a local market and picked up two baby bunnies for Inigo and Savannah…they are the sweetest things and I, in particular, love them.
We’ve had some good time to ourselves the last couple days, as well as the opportunity to pray for more new friends. Our time here has been unbelievable. We hope we’ll be back sooner than later. We have the day before us – we must be off.