Squille. Lovina Beach, Bali. July 2008.

First bubbles in Lovina

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

I am reconciled with Lovina Beach ! Thanks to two nice little dives, a traditional ceremony in front of the sea and a splendid sunset.

Diving with Spice Divers

The Lovina reef is certainly not spectacular. It has suffered from dynamite fishing and from the heating of the water. But to dip your fins after a few months without diving, it is perfect.


It is a gently sloping reef, covered with coral clusters and some barrel sponges, which goes down to a sandy bottom. In addition to the usual tropical fauna (angelfish, butterflies, parrots, etc.) and numerous lion-fishes, there are many interesting animals. Including a turtle, which crossed our path from a bit far, during the first dive!

-I did the outings with Spice Miscellaneous, big center installed on the quiet part of the beach, close to my hotel, the Lovina Beach Hotel (not a very original name!), west of Kalibukbuk.

My divemaster guide, a young Balinese from Lovina who calls himself Luxman, finds me two ghost-pipe fishesI saw a lot of seahorses, these species of seahorses with spikes, rather shy, and some nudibranchs. I have plenty of time to flash around and adjust my buoyancy, as I am the only customer!

We will make the second trip with a Dutch instructor, Johan, who has even more eye for it: he will find us in the stride a beautiful green and fleshy Javanese moray, a squilla (Manta-shrimp), kind of big green shrimp with globular eyes at once scared and curious. We meet a school of razor fish swimming down the head, another of small catfish grazing the sand.

Squille. Lovina Beach, Bali. July 2008.

On the way back, when the boat docks, I see from far away people gathered on the beach, in front of the dolphin monument. Some of them seem to be walking in the water. It is a ceremony, as there are many in Bali.

Traditional ceremony on the beach

Quickly, I jump out of the boat and head towards them, with my camera still in its case, without even taking off my suit, because already people are going up towards the big tree that borders the dolphin place. I arrive at the very end.


I point my camera at the people sitting there wearing sarongs. Everyone stares at me with round eyes, then nods and smiles. I must look funny, in my still soaked black suit. I realize that I still have my mask around my neck!

The men wear the traditional turban. The women wear embroidered openwork tunics. A guy in white officiates in the middle of the group and the baskets of offerings. He seems to be saying prayers, shaking a bell.


A teenager explains to me in broken English that it is a ceremony for the dead, so that their souls can join the Gods... At the end of the prayer, the guys pose with their sarongs and musical instruments, delighted that I am taking their portrait!

Sunset on the beach

I end this very pleasant day sipping a banana lassie on the terrace of Sea Breeze Cafefacing a splendid sunset. In the shadow, an old lady, with a sarong around her waist and bare breasts, is washing in the sea, in the old way. It is the small black silhouette that we see on the right on the photo.


That's how good I am tonight: I even made friends with a sarong seller, who apologized very nicely for constantly coming to the charge with her junk to sell and promised not to come and bother me anymore.

Three busloads of Javanese, probably Indonesians from Jakarta, arrived for the sunset. Muslim women in headscarves are not good customers, they don't buy sarongs, only food, complained my new girlfriend, shaking her head with a sorry look. These tourists do very organized tours. We drop them off on the beach for half an hour, and once the sun goes down, they leave again. The girls with arms full of necklaces rushed anyway, to try their luck. "Sunset price! » launches again a seller of souvenir notebooks ... I'm tired.

Tomorrow, I'm going even further west, to Pemuteran, with Spice Miscellaneous, to dive around the island of Menjangan, of which I was told many wonders. I plan to stay there for a few days. The underwater world is said to be among the most beautiful in Bali!

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

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  1. What luck, you've still left photos and a comment, so between folding 2 t-shirts, trying on my last year's jersey (to see if it's still holding up....or, if I'm holding up compared to it!!!)I can check on you!!!!
    I never tire of looking at your underwater photos,with all those colorful little creatures.it's great,because given my latest exploits with just fins and snorkel,I doubt I'll persevere to the tank and wetsuit.....And then,what's the point of striving,given that I'm so well dry,to dive with you via your photos!!!!
    Thank you!!!
    Glad you finally enjoy Lovina beach, sometimes you have to go a little further than his first impressions ....
    As for me, I'm looking forward to leaving tomorrow, with the heat and the sun, but also with the sea air, the smell of the sea, the landscape and the beach; because here in Geneva, we're suffocating!!! It's super hot, heavy, there's no air and the lake still doesn't replace the sea.....(Even though I'm quite happy that it's there when I'm in Geneva).
    Finally here, tomorrow I left !!!!
    I kiss you very hard, alas, I doubt to be able to connect regularly to follow you ... ..
    See you soon!!!

  2. I too have been reconciled with Lovina Beach! After this fascinating read and the beautiful photos that accompany it, well done! 🙂

  3. @ Helene and Lydie:

    Just a quick note to tell you that I've found a much better place than Lovina: Pemuteran! I'll be back to tell you all about it tomorrow... I've got to eat fast, as the restaurants in the town close early.

    See you soon !!!


  4. Thank you Marie-Julie!

    I'm going to put my Balinese underwater pictures online on my other website shortly (time to re-enter the time zone and sort photos):


    But now that I'm home and back with my beloved computer, I'll be able to come and say hello to you directly on Taxi-Brousse. See you soon!

  5. Good evening,

    What are your recommendations for beginner divers? I've never done one and for my 1st trip to Bali, I'd like to give it a try.
    Just so you know, we're going to Kuta for a few days, Ubud and Gili Trawangan. As we're staying in Bali for two weeks, we'll be able to visit other towns.
    For beginners, what do you recommend? Do you have dive schools to recommend?

    Thank you for your advice.

    from Yaya & Lili

  6. @ Yaya & Lili: There are so many dive centers in Bali, and so many turnovers, that I would be hard pressed to recommend a particular address. Look for reputable ones (in a travel guide or on the website Plongeur.com) and once you're there, get in touch. If you like the atmosphere, start with a baptism, and if you're convinced, sign up for the first-level certification course. Opt for a center with French-speaking instructors, if you're not too comfortable in English.
    As far as I know, there's no diving in Kuta, which is more of a surfing spot. For diving, head for Amed-Tulamben, where you'll find the beautiful Liberty wreck, accessible to all levels, and a number of other nice sites. What's more, it's a superb region for the "land" side of things.
    For beginners, there are some great dives and snorkeling spots on the Gili (Trawangan, Air, Meno), where it's easy to spot turtles. Most travel guides give the addresses of diving centers, and you'll find plenty more on your own.
    Good preparations!