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.
Interior of Airbus A320, reg. 9M-AFV, a virtually brand new plane, reeking with new car plane aroma, whatever that is.
Only runway 14R in use, so there’s quite a queue, but we manage to depart on time.
Brand new plane means scratchless brand new window, so a gawk below to see rubber being seriously burnt on the runway.
We land at Ngurah Rai International Airport 10min early, after a 3-hr flight.
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.
Outside the hotel, the main airport-Kuta road is picking up.
After brekky, a stroll along downtown Kuta sees ladies carrying morning offerings to the spirits.
Once prayers said, offerings are left on the sidewalk. Comprising scented leaves and flowers, topped with light foodstuff.
Kuta Square is quiet this early in the morning, and bikes for hire line the main road.
Puras (temples) dot the roads, and Nafis observes a prayer in progress.
Across the road, a major pura attracts more attention from devotees.
200m away, the famous Kuta Beach beckons.
The same turtles that land in Malaysia come here too.
View to the south on a serene morning …
… and looking north.
A company function already under way.
Nice hair, by Wella for sure.
Famous surfing beach …
… especially for beginners.
Idyllic setting at low tide, watching the novices tumbling in the water.
Little stalls offering all types of foodstuff dot the beach, next to the main road. But they look orderly and clean.
Bali is known for its arts and culture, and this convenience (complete with menu) is no exception.
A young man makes a fibre-glass surfboard by hand, a tedious and smelly task.
A lady tries to talk us into a massage …
… under one of these huge umbrellas. But no sale.
Offerings for the sea spirits, I guess.
Across the road from the beach, a Western icon stands.
Yessir, I could not agree more.
A walk at Kuta Square again, now picking up life.
My turn to be immortalised with a couple of models.
We turn into Jalan Pantai Kuta, typical of the narrow busy streets of Kuta …
… and spot something familiar on the open sidewalk, which I just have to fondle and say ‘hi!’.
Along the street, numerous lanes divide walls of traditional Balinese homes.
A major pura is always not too far away.
We come to a junction of Jalan Pantai Kuta and Jalan Legian, where a pura again stands.
Yes, the famous foreigner-dominated Jalan Legian …
… 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.]
This grand monument is built over the destroyed Paddy’s Pub, …
… while across the street, the lot where the demolished Sari Club used to stand is left vacant.
Visitors from all over the world come to pay homage.
As the day wears on, we find ourselves at a modern shopping centre right at Kuta Beach, …
… facing the ferocious Indian Ocean.
From the food court on the 2nd floor …
… the view down is splendid. Note the lady in the middle - looks familiar.
As the sun sets, a soccer match takes place.
It looks pleasant for a walk. Note the dark sand, volcanic origin I think.
Meanwhile in a major pura on the beach, a smokey ceremony takes place, complete with gamelan music.
As the sun slowly sinks over the Indian Ocean, …
… kids will always remain kids.
We end the day with a hearty meal at a familiar spot in the shopping centre.
A fast-food joint tastefully done as only the Balinese could.
To be continued …