Our next stop on our exploration of Bali took us back down from the mountains to the northern coast to a place Lovina. Lovina is a collection of small towns that have all blurred its borders to create one region. We stayed in the main town where most restaurants and beaches are in an amazing air b’n’b – we couldn’t believe we got it on our budget!
Due to the mountainous backdrop which includes a number of volcanoes (like Mount Batur which we climbed), they have black beaches in Lovina. These don’t actually look black, more a dirty brown but if you look at the sand in the water it looks black. It definitely isn’t as picturesque as a white sand beach but is cool to see. Apparently these black beaches are full of iron which means that the sand heats up a lot so it is hot when you take your sandals off.
The main draw to Lovina is the dolphins. Wild dolphins spend each morning feeding here and there are a number of boat trips being sold all over Lovina to go out early and see them (they have dolphin statues all over the place so dolphins are obviously big business here!)
Mr Gede, the driver who picked us up from Munduk and is linked to the air b’n’b, has his own boat and offered a ‘special boat ride’ where you had your own private boat (instead of being on with another 10 people). This boat went out after all of the other boats had came back – apparently there are a lot of boats out at once so it’s more boats than dolphins – so that you have the sea pretty much to yourself. We chose this option as it wasn’t too much more and Mr Gede also said that we could take our snorkel masks and see them under the water (that sold it for us!)
We left at 7:30 and got scooters to the sea front. It was nice getting to scoot around like a local and I was surprised at how busy Lovina is considering how early it was. Once on the boat we were out for a long time without seeing any dolphins. We were both thinking that we might not see any when suddenly, after maybe half an hour, we saw them!
There were so many dolphins all travelling really fast and jumping in the air. I couldn’t believe how close we were to them and they were wild which made it even better! Mr Gede got me to go to the very front of the boat to get a better look (Niall did this later on) and we followed them for ages. Sometimes they would all go under the water and you wouldn’t be able to see where they had gone for 5/10 minutes and then they would be far in front or in the opposite direction to where they had been before.
After a while we put on our masks and sat on the white bars on either side of the boat (see the picture for reference). Then, when Mr Gede would tell us, after catching up with the dolphins, we’d go under the water to see them swimming below. They’re very fast so it wasn’t always easy to spot them but we got to a few times. Niall also heard the dolphins under the water, he says it was a high pitched noise.
We were out for a few hours and saw two groups of dolphins. Mr Gede was great at making sure we saw as much of the dolphins as possible. We only stopped following them when they were getting too far away from the mainland (they can travel huge distances)!
The rest of our time in Lovina was spent on the beach and in the pool (thank you air b’n’b!) seeing dolphins was definitely a highlight of this trip so far and I can’t believe how many we ended up seeing!
Our next stop, the Gili Islands.
Sending love x