No, it’s not Kuta. We arrived yesterday actually, two more hours of potential death at the hands of the taxi. Fantastic views of Bali from Pekutatan down to Seminyak: Vast rice paddies, mountains smeared with jungle, traditionally dressed children for festival packed three to a scooter with Dad, Roaring and snarling twelve foot surf, crushed people carriers in ditches, soft breezes blowing through waving palms, scooters in ditches… All very beautiful and uninsurable.
The Oberoi Bali, is not roughing it. We didn’t shack up with backpacks and twenty dollars at Mrs. Yons and ask for a straw bed for a month. We wave our hand at the lack of travel cool, go stick it up your pipe whilst we have a Singapore Sling and watch the Balinese dance troupe and band play for us in the hotel’s amphitheatre – yes, an amphitheatre.
We took a cab to Kuta and walked back. Kuta is very. That’s all I shall say. We knew what to expect and were not let down. Crazy, sweltering, packed with boutiques and shops and hawkers every fifty feet. But it wasn’t hell. We didn’t hate it. They smile and hawk, you smile and say “no thanks”. If you remove the fiscal element, it’s just smiling at each other!
A lot of development rolling on there. Seemingly little over two levels though. Is that good planning or structural restrictions? There is a new shopping centre going up that conveniently blocks the entrance to a part of the beach, but even that seems not too high. I wish I could compare it to previous trips to Bali and bang on about how it’s all changed so badly, but I can’t.
I nearly came over in the nineties. I had a few weeks of night shifts lined up to pay for it, sweet! My old chum, Sean, came over for a beer and brought with him his son’s chicken pox for me. Two weeks night shift lost, Bali out the window. My fault for not getting it before I guess.
This shot of the beach only just shows the scale of the surf. It has calmed down a bit but I still haven’t gone in. Last night it was about eight to ten foot, for fu@&’s sake! I have surfed at Pekutatan but even that four foot shore dump left me breathless and shocked so I may just skip paddling out in eight foot if that’s okay? Perhaps tomorrow?
We shall head out into Seminyak tonight and grab a local nibble. Tomorrow, a temple and a surf I hope. Who knows!?