My first trip across the equator
My wife’s brother moved to Australia a couple of years ago, so we recently paid him a visit. Sydney?, you ask. LOLno, I respond. It’s a town called Esperance on the south coast of Western Australia, about an eight hour drive from Perth. Thankfully, we had a tiny plane take us there.
We did everything there is to do there: drove miles and miles of insanely beautiful and inexplicably vacant beaches, hung out with kangaroos, took a boat to some of the hundreds of islands off the coast, where the endangered Australian sea lions live, and visited a Stonehenge replica, which was erected in 2011, too late for the Spinal Tap tour.
That was literally all there was to do there, so next we flew to Bali, Indonesia to do some diving, of which I got exactly zero pictures. We stayed in a tiny town called Candidasa in a resort crawling with geckos. The first day we drove north to Tulamben, passing rice paddies and villagers carrying crazy amounts of random shit on their heads. We dove to the USS Liberty, which was torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942 and stayed beached in Tulamben for over two decades. In 1963, nearby Mount Agung erupted, and the resulting tremors and flow pushed the ship back into the ocean, where it sunk about 100 yards out. There we saw all manner of tropical fish, giant clams, a colorful mantis shrimp, and a busy sea turtle who didn’t give a fuck about all the gawking humans.
The next day we did drift diving in Padang Bai, and saw the kind of wacky shit you see in nature documentaries: stingrays, lionfish, batfish, cuttlefish, a moray eel, more shrimp, a stonefish, and the most enormous butterflyfish we’d ever seen. The dive shop’s driver had to go back to Denpasar, so we hitched a ride and he took us to Gua Lawah, a hindu temple built around a bat cave. You can walk up to the mouth of the bat cave (but not into it) and see that the roof of the cave is black with bats. Hundreds of them. There was also a python sleeping in a crevice nearby, barely visible by eye and invisible to camera. From there, we drove to Ubud, where the main attraction was located. Monkey forest. You hear me? Monkey fucking forest! Macaques roam free, hassling tourists for treats even though they’re fed plenty by the park. Most of them ignore humans, but some will come over and start digging through your pockets. I wanted to stay there, like, forever among my own kind, but we decided to go downtown and get wasted instead, which was an excellent end to a fantastic trip.