Walk down Pat Pong Rd Bangkok and you are offered a ping pong show (sans bats), walk down the Ramblas in Barcelona and it’s gypsies with babies, walk down the Champs Élysées in Paris and its ‘Tourist Menu’ (microwaved bags of shite with a French flag stuck in it)….walk along the coastal path on Lembongan and it’s ‘snorkel snorkel?’.
Despite the obvious Benny Hill overtones it really is the offer to rent a boat and snorkel over the coral reefs Lembongan has to offer. Having seen those of Bali (covered in sanitary pads and devoid of coral-the basic premise of a coral reef you’d assume) and Lombok (dynamited into oblivion) you’d understand if your correspondent ignored the offer.
However the junior botfs were insistent and at 30 Aussie bananas for the day – this is for your own boat – it is a bargain.
Off we set and my mind was blown. This botf correspondent has had a previous life as a marine biologist and has dived on the GBR extensively. Lembongan’s reefs are in the same league. They are glorious and easily accessible. What is more impressive is that they are not formally protected. Our local guide told us there is an unwritten rule that if the reefs are fished or dynamited the tourists will stop coming. So any local caught doing this ‘disappears’ (his words).
On to todays meal. As mentioned Lembongan does not have a rich culinary history so I tried the Thai Green fish curry at the Bange Bange Warung that we have settled on as our preferred haunt.
One mouthful and the lining of my throat and oesophagus were instantly stripped. No thought was given to the providence of the fish as no microbe on earth could survive the chilli in this puppy. I consumed the meal assisted by Bintang but as I write this missive the sweat brought on by processing this meal is still wet on my brow. My hope is at least that it exits correctly and does not attempt to return via the gates.