Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Padang Dive & Surf Trip

15th - 18th December 2011

Never planned for 3 dive trips a year. But this was a great deal. Buy 3 FOC 1. And this is in a foreign country (ok, it's just an hour flight, something like flying to Penang). Sounded cool so we signed up. Never expected to dive international water so soon!

It was a pretty early flight for all of us - Tee Hui, Sam, Scott, Soo and myself. Arrived in Padang and it was raining! Was a little concern of the visibility. We met Bob, our friendly guide for our trip. He owns and runs Star Ocean Scuba & Surf with his "boss" wife Dewi.

We checked in to Nature's Inn early and unpacked! Ready to dive! We were welcome by Brown and Goldie! Brown was afraid of us till the day we left. But Goldie was just big and playful. The bunk beds were probably the most comfortable I ever had on a dive trip so far (I'm the budget kind).

First thing first… FOOD! OMG, so much to try and everything just looked delicious.

 It was about an hour boat ride to the nearest dive site. This place is rather new for divers. As far as I could see, we were the only divers around. So Bob had the liberty to name the site himself. The water was pretty choppy… OK, worse than I thought. A little puking made me feel better. But once in the water, I feel better than ever. Visibility was great and every site was beautiful, untouched - quite different from Malaysia. The only thing that looked the same was the moray eel. Most of the sites we went were wall dives. My highlight for the trip was probably the coral fans and sighting the nurse shark… 2 meter long and 2 of them together. Think they were residents there. Pretty much ignored us until the cameras came. Yea, and I didn't have a camera.Got the photo below from Soo. Our packed lunch was delicious too, but my seasick was just untimely.

The food was just excellent. Bob took us to different places and have to say, the winning dish MUST be Satay Babi. Best pork satay I every had. And the cucumber pickel was perfect. The Ikan Bakar was excellent too. For drinks, the must try are Alpokat (Avacado juice with chocolate) and Terung Pirus (some kind of pink fruit) Can you see how thick the juice was? No water added!

We extended our stay to go on a day trip to the catch a view of the active volcanic mountain. Unfortunately for us, it was cloudy. But we did visited some tourist area in Bukit Tinggi like Japanese Tunnel and the Zoo (?).

Our last activity day was our discover surfing session. With only 1 layer of sun block, we braved the waves and sun for more than 3 hours. Didn't feel a thing. We surf and surf and try to stand on the surf board as long as we can. We didn't want to stop! But stomach was getting a little hungry. When we returned to rest, I was shocked when I looked into the mirror. I have never seen myself so burned in my entire life. It was BAD. And the silly thing was we forgot to put sun block behind our legs. All of us were burned terribly and sitting down was a challenge (for a good few weeks as our skin started to peel). Another silly thing was we booked massage that night. It was supposed to be relaxing but with all the burns, it was a painful one. Great memorable trip.

Must go Padang again! Thanks Bob and Dewi for your hospitality.

All the dated photographs were shot by Soo and Scott and occasionally Bob.

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