36: Indonesia > Bali > Kuta Walkabout

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Late afternoon, 20th August 2007. As usual we start our journey at KLIA, with AirAsia Flight AK904 direct to Denpasar. Hot day and the wing makes a great shade.img_3064.JPG

Interior of Airbus A320, reg. 9M-AFV, a virtually brand new plane, reeking with new car plane aroma, whatever that is.

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Only runway 14R in use, so there’s quite a queue, but we manage to depart on time.img_3076.JPG

Brand new plane means scratchless brand new window, so a gawk below to see rubber being seriously burnt on the runway.

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We land at Ngurah Rai International Airport 10min early, after a 3-hr flight.img_3079.JPG

Morning, 21st August 2007. First view of Kuta, after night arrival the day before, from our breakfast cafe. We are staying at the delightful Melasti Beach Bungalows.img_3080.JPG

Outside the hotel, the main airport-Kuta road is picking up.dscn4265.JPG

After brekky, a stroll along downtown Kuta sees ladies carrying morning offerings to the spirits.img_3082.JPG

Once prayers said, offerings are left on the sidewalk. Comprising scented leaves and flowers, topped with light foodstuff.
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Kuta Square is quiet this early in the morning, and bikes for hire line the main road. img_3083.JPG

Puras (temples) dot the roads, and Nafis observes a prayer in progress.img_3088-1.JPG

Across the road, a major pura attracts more attention from devotees.img_3092.JPG

200m away, the famous Kuta Beach beckons. img_3095.JPG

The same turtles that land in Malaysia come here too.
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View to the south on a serene morning …img_3101.JPG

… and looking north.

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A company function already under way. img_3102.JPG

Nice hair, by Wella for sure.img_3103.JPG

Famous surfing beach …

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… especially for beginners.img_3106.JPG

Idyllic setting at low tide, watching the novices tumbling in the water.img_3107.JPG

Little stalls offering all types of foodstuff dot the beach, next to the main road. But they look orderly and clean.img_3110.JPG

Bali is known for its arts and culture, and this convenience (complete with menu) is no exception.img_3111.JPG

A young man makes a fibre-glass surfboard by hand, a tedious and smelly task.img_3113.JPG

A lady tries to talk us into a massage …img_3125.JPG

… under one of these huge umbrellas. But no sale.
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Offerings for the sea spirits, I guess.img_3127.JPG

Across the road from the beach, a Western icon stands. img_3130.JPG

Yessir, I could not agree more.

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A walk at Kuta Square again, now picking up life.
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My turn to be immortalised with a couple of models.

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We turn into Jalan Pantai Kuta, typical of the narrow busy streets of Kuta …img_3163.JPG

… and spot something familiar on the open sidewalk, which I just have to fondle and say ‘hi!’.collage2-1.jpg

Along the street, numerous lanes divide walls of traditional Balinese homes.
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A major pura is always not too far away. img_3162.JPG

We come to a junction of Jalan Pantai Kuta and Jalan Legian, where a pura again stands.
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Yes, the famous foreigner-dominated Jalan Legian … img_3155.JPG

… where on that fateful night of 12/10/2002, a disaster took place – the 2002 Bali Bombing. 202 people from 22 countries died needlessly, 209 people injured. [Seems to be a lot of ‘0’ and ‘2’ in that sentence … hmmmm.]img_3141.JPG

This grand monument is built over the destroyed Paddy’s Pub, …img_3147.JPG

… while across the street, the lot where the demolished Sari Club used to stand is left vacant. img_3146.JPG

Visitors from all over the world come to pay homage.
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As the day wears on, we find ourselves at a modern shopping centre right at Kuta Beach, …img_3182.JPG

… facing the ferocious Indian Ocean.img_3178.JPG

From the food court on the 2nd floor …dscn4273.JPG

… the view down is splendid. Note the lady in the middle – looks familiar. img_3175.JPG

As the sun sets, a soccer match takes place.img_3185.JPG

It looks pleasant for a walk. Note the dark sand, volcanic origin I think.img_3188.JPG

Meanwhile in a major pura on the beach, a smokey ceremony takes place, complete with gamelan music.img_3199.JPG

As the sun slowly sinks over the Indian Ocean, …img_3202.JPG

… kids will always remain kids.collage5.JPG

We end the day with a hearty meal at a familiar spot in the shopping centre.img_3206.JPG

A fast-food joint tastefully done as only the Balinese could.

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To be continued …

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