Photo credits: Flickr - Remon Rijper
After dealing with stress at work, why not give yourself a kind favour with a retreat offered by nature? In modern life happiness is often mistaken with wealth, branded and fancy things. It is actually beyond that, now to have time and to be able to relax is a luxury.
Pay a visit to Pemuteran Bay in Gerokgak sub-distric, Buleleng Bali. When you get there, you will experience the same sensation as full relaxation. You will see the black sand mixed with white soft dead shells flakes sticking to the heals of your feet as you walk, and be ready to feel the tropical breeze giving you comfort that you want to lay back and close your eyes.
Because of its beauty, July and August is the peak season when many foreigners come and spend their holiday time there. Accommodation such as star hotels, boutique hotels, and affordable cheap lodges can be found on the site.
Various activities are provided in the 6km length bay, from snorkelling to diving. Its Nyegara-Gunung position (The energy of connection between mountain and sea) ‘provoke' tourists not only enjoy its beach and marine beauty but also spiritual tourism attractions like visiting temple and meditation.
Nobody could have ever imagined that the coral reefs in the area was in total ruin and the marine biota was dead due to careless destructive fishing method by using potassium cyanide poison and fish bombing. But since early of the 1900s, a tourism businessman I Gusti Agung Prana and a diving businessman Christ Brown invested stock in the area.
Realising that the region’s potential was the sea and its biota, they educated the fishermen and the local residents about the importance of preserving the environment and even established ‘pecalang laut’ (traditional maritime security force) that is in charge to oversee activities in the sea and the beach.
Through Karang Lester Institution, Agung Prana and Prof Thomas J Gureau (from the USA) and Wolf Hubert (from Germany) work together to restore the area's underwater beauty with biorock technology.
In addition to projects of sea turtle eggs hatching, nursery treatment, Christ also created a dive site at the bottom of the sea of Pemuteran Bay that has brought in many divers and international photographers’s responses over the under water temple garden that was made in 2005, biowreck and garden of the God that were built in June 2014.
There are more than 30 dive sites, for example Canyon Wreck, Middle Reef, Deep Reef, Tangkad Sepi, Tangkad Jaran, The Muze and Kebun Batu. There is also a unique site called Dive Site Jetty, which is an area of ’trash’ that has been buried on the seabed dozens of years ago.
The coordinator of Biorock Karang Lestari Pemuteran field, Made Gunaksa, claims there are many macro photographers love to dive in the ‘trashy’ area because it is where small scale fish and micro organism grow and live. “It is indeed unique, the small fish actually love to live the area. That is probably what the photographers like,” he said.
‘TRASHY’ AREA AND SPOOKY DIVING SITE
Some examples of the small fish are mimic octopus, ghost pipe fish, small prawn. These fish prefer to live on coconut shell, plastic bottle “Their appearance is unique and unusual, probably the ‘trashy’ factor gives the uniqueness,” added Gunaksa.
However, it does not mean the trash is deliberately left in Pemuteran Bay area. “No, the trash has been buried for dozen years long so that it becomes the living place for distinctive fish. We had held a meeting to clean the marine area, but many disapproved over concerns that the cleaning would vanish various of micro organism that live there. We now only clean new trash that float on the surface,” Gunaksa explained.
After visiting the Underwater Temple Garden, for those who have extra guts or are up for a diving experience with additional ‘spookiness’, check out also Spooky Point there.
Because of its successful conservation, Pemuteran Bay was chosen to host Buleleng Bali Dive Festival (BBDF). Chief of Fishery and Marine Official, Nyoman Sutrisna, said they invited foreign scientists for the festival.