Tulamben, Kubu


The first thing to mention is that I am insanely happy. I just asked Bryan and he’s happy too. This has been such a great experience and although it’s not over yet, we do only have 1 full day before it’s time to fly home. So I best get typing, eh?

I’m just going to dive right into it because I left the last entry at an odd point. I’m sorry about that.

During our drive from Tagallalang to Kubu we saw a lot of beautiful sights; remote villages full of smiley people, their livestock and ornate homes. We saw fields full of crops, an abundance of fruit trees, and mountains covered in dense jungle, crested with wispy white clouds. We also saw a fair amount of 3rd world conditions which was hard. Having said that, it’s really humbling to see how happy everyone is and how grateful they are for what they DO have… and I’ve not met 1 Balinese person that didn’t smile back at you, which is more than I can say for folk back in England.

When we arrived in Kubu it really didn’t look like much and I was a little concerned that maybe I’d chosen my first ‘bad’ Airbnb. WRONG. Holy moly did we get lucky. We decided last minute to change our accommodation for the 1 night stay in Tulamben, Kubu as I’d read some pretty bad reviews recently posted about the place. Now, David and I don’t really do resorts, it’s not us. We like nature, we like first hand experiences of culture and we like our own space but this place looked good and we figured that for one night we would probably cope.

Check in wasn’t until 2pm so we had some time to kill. There is a cool sunken ship off the coast of Tulamben which you can snorkel/ dive out to see (haha, geddit?) and we had planned to do just that. We parked up next to a run down temple on a cliff and had a little wander down to the beach. It wasn’t really a beach? More of a dock for some cool boat… things. So we pulled Amed Beach (the place we originally planned to stay) up on Google Maps and drove 20 minutes to scout out the fishing village by the sea.

Parking in Bali is awful when you have a car. It’s just really hard. You can never find a spot because there aren’t any so now we just make them! 🙂

We finally settled on a ‘space’ by the side of the road and went to find out if we could do snorkelling here. The first guy to grab our attention said we’d get a free sunbed for the day if we rented the snorkelling gear from him; we would also have use of the gear until 6pm which gave us more than enough time as we arrived about 11am! So we went with it because the prices seemed fair, he was nice and we were lazy.

I have never snorkelled before which means I’ve never tried to walk in flippers before. Ha. HAHAHA. It’s hard, man. Bryan showed me a cool penguin waddle to try which worked for a bit but I just flopped in the sea as soon as I could, I’m much more comfortable swimming than walking half the time, especially with those things on.

Snorkelling is by far one of the best things I’ve ever done. I did burn my back doing it but golly it was worth it. I love the ocean and that is no secret. To see the life within the coral was magical. We saw a load of amazing stuff but I’ll only list a few highlights, I don’t want to bore you with every single fish we saw but there were some pretty vibrant colours. I saw puffer fish, angel fish, a huge bright blue starfish, schools of neon tetra and a tonne of guys I have no idea what to call. But there were brilliant purples, yellows, greens and much more! I felt like I was swimming in a carefully curated aquarium, designed to resemble a carnival of colour.

We both swam out quite a way and there was one point that we could not see the bottom. The moment that you swim over the reef edge and into the blue is a bit scary but totally liberating. I expected it to look a lot darker, to be staring into an abyss. All I saw was blue. It was the most brilliant, clear blue I’ve ever seen and sun rays beamed down through the water like never ending streams of gold. I was still for as long as possible just listening to the waves crash on the shore, the high pitch ticking sound that I could not pinpoint and my own breathing, but I had to resurface to get Bryan’s attention as I had to share this with him.

After exploring a bit more we swam back to the beach and after drying off a bit decided it was time for food. We ate at a cute beach side warung and enjoyed the sea breeze. Then it was time to check in to the new accommodation.

We arrived at what we assumed was the car park for ToyaBali Resort but there were so many people walking around balancing baskets and boxes on their heads that we thought we were maybe walking into something we should not be walking into. But we were fine and stuck to the path until we found a seclusion of 5 villas and a beach restaurant, I could also just about spy a pool out of the corner of my eye.

Our suite was heaven. The staff led us through a colourful garden to home for the night. Beds are great, but this one was GREAT. It was huge and the mosquito net made me feel like a princess. There was a minibar fridge fully stocked with beer and soft drinks which is always welcome. The highlight for me was the bathroom. All of our bathrooms have been outdoors bar our villa in Penestanan, but this was light and a airy. The walls were painted a light creamy stone colour with a stepping stone style walk up to the shower and a fudgin’ whirlpool bath full of spring water. I was very excited to get in it but Bryan had a better look at the pool and convinced me that I wanted to go for a swim first. He was right, of course. An infinity pool right on the beach with a view of an active volcano behind you really isn’t too shabby now is it?

We had dinner at the restaurant and stargazed. The view of Mount Agung at night was special. I also saw the we Milky Way! After we we suitably sleepy we gave the whirlpool a go… well, I did.

All tucked up in bed listening to the waves after an afternoon and evening of relaxation had me feeling on top of the world.

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