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Takin' it easy in Amed

INDONESIA | Sunday, 21 April 2013 | Views [441]

We spent the weekend in Amed, a sleepy little fishing village and vacation spot, for Camille's birthday. During the day we went snorkeling around a sunken Japanese wreck that had been turned into a reef.

I've never snorkeled before, it was pretty incredible to float among schools of neon fish, staring down at undulating fronds and multicolored coral. After some initial trepidation I even learned to dive down to the wreck for a closer look. At dinner we ate local food while a local band played an acoustic mix of American and Indonesian tunes. We were alone except for a group of four young women from France, Colorado and Romania. Later in the night we danced and tried to remember all the words to Oasis and Green Day songs.

The next morning we got up before dawn and rode jukung, narrow boats with an inverted sail and port and starboard pontoons, out into the ocean with the local fishermen. They have multiple means of locomotion, including sail, paddle and a small outboard motor; however our engine's ripcord tore out on the third pull. As we rowed out to sea luminescent plankton followed each stroke of the paddle like brief green sparks. The stars were on full display as it was a clear morning and none of the boats have lights. As the sun rose from behind the island opposite of us its mountain peaks faded from view, giving us the illusion the whole island was disappearing in front of our eyes, leaving behind open waters. We didn't catch any fish, but the view as a fellow boat tugged us back into harbor was spectacular - green mountains rising up as though they were great pinched riffles in the dough of the land, each a different shade as they retreated back into the heart of the island.

The boats of Amed

Tags: beaches, snorkeling

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