Berlian Inn, Kuta
Our early morning dip was good, with reasonable body surfing. It was a long way out, a gradual slope to the breaking surf; this meant that we were some way from our clothes, towel, my ‘spare’ (i.e. with a broken frame) glasses and Sam’s Swatch watch and his ‘North London Athletics Club’ vest. They were all lifted from under the bush where we’d deposited. them.
Tony Wheeler says in the Lonely Planet Guide that “most people who lose things at Kuta are idiots who leave things on the beach.”
We idiots changed accommodation. The Berlian Inn is quiet. It’s also cheaper by Rp.5,000, friendlier (tho’ that’s subjective), and prettier. Instead of the previous view of on-going building work we have well-maintained gardens which obscure the view of everything except visitors passing by, and they are few. (A smiling seller with a tray of I know not what balanced on her head calls by as I write this.)
I could get to like Kuta – if it wasn’t for the motorcyclists roaring up and down. And the beach. “Do you want to buy handcarvings, watches (not Swatch!), rings, beach mats, a massage, a set of six plastic spoons … eh??”
We bargained heavily for T-shirts at the organised ‘craft’ market at the end of the beach, and a replacement towel. What costs Rp.4,500 at the Golden Truly supermarket is Rp.15,000 here, a rip off to replace a rip off.
Sam’s back is now a brownish red because he spent hours on the beach while I went Into Denpasar to get our Merpati tickets to Flores refunded. This was fine and good for the two American ladies who’d just been told that there weren’t any seats available for a week. They also discovered that getting back could be a problem, so maybe, yet sadly, calling off the Komodo trip could be very wise. Instead, we’ll explore Bali, leaving perhaps tomorrow or Sunday for Ubud, Mt. Batur and the beaches of the north coast.
Meanwhile, in half an hour we set off for a snorkeling trip.
Later: This wasn’t so good. Our ride didn’t turn up so we had to take a later one only to find that all the best equipment had been taken. We eventually got ferried out to the reef where other boats were parked. The current was strong and without my spare glasses to fit inside the mask I could see very little. Also it seems that all my duck diving has exacerbated my ear infection – pain and ooze. The Aussie girls on our boat seemed to be more intent on sunning themselves and chatting about their anticipated evening’s social activities.
Turtle Island had a crop of kids intent on diving for coins and the cockfight would only take place after “donations” for photographs. Exotic sights are somewhat tawdry and I hate being a ‘tourist’.
Yet I can’t say that I want to stay at home!