As I have mentioned before, I had to leave Oz within 4 weeks of being unemployed. I was able to get a visitor's visa but had to be out of the country to apply so the nearest (cheapest) place to go for me was Bali. Yeah I know, tough assignment.
Naturally these pictures are not in order however they do reflect my first few days. As warned by so many Aussies who have been to Bali, the first several days are disorienting. It was damned hot and humid and I spent most of my time in the pool conveniently located next to the bar (see photo above). I stayed at the Mastapa Garden Hotel in Kuta which is about a 10 minute walk to the beach. Every morning the staff would sweep the gardens and paths of Plumeria blossoms and leaves while the birds, both caged and free would chirp in the new day. Breakfast was included and was a choice of either American, Indonesian or Continental which sounds good, but as with everything in Bali, not exactly what you'd expect. It was all good though and would get you started for all the new adventures.
The garden and pool were such a nice, quiet oasis from the frantic traffic and relentless buskers and heat outside. The walk to the beach was fraught with being hassled by everyone wanting to sell you everything and anything from the perfect night, a stack of CD's and Viagra to the actual woman herself in the form of a love massage (long time). I did get a couple of legitimate massages for about $5/hour, one on the beach! Bin Tang's (or Bali Hai or Anker beer) was about $3 per 1.5 litre bottle! Needless to say, I took the savvy traveler's advice and stayed away from the water. In spite of copious amounts of beer drinking (for medicinal reasons, of course) I'm still in the 220's which I haven't seen for decades. My disappearing act continues.
Like other ancient cultures, Bali is so full of the past which isn't entirely paved over by the present. Everywhere you go are shrines with people actively placing offerings at them several times a day. The little square, reed baskets contain all sorts of blossoms, candy, cookies and incense to please the Gods and ancestors. Like all travelling, the smells are so different from home. Incense wafts over everything including the open sewers that seem to be so common in the so-called undeveloped world.
I'll continue to post more pictures and hopefully more coherent descriptions of my Bali adventures during the week.