Bali: Contrasts

I’ve tried and tried but can’t get photos to upload! (It’s the slow wi-fi connection that’s the problem.) I’ve tried on my iPhone and on my iPad. No luck on either device. But I want to record my impressions – so here goes without benefit of images.

This morning after a lavish breakfast buffet, I walked to the pool and the beach just beyond. Its what you’d imagine Bali to be – lovely sunshine on a sandy beach with waves lapping the shore and breakers in the distance, great for surfing. The pool and the grounds with lush tropical foliage (both trees and gardens) typical of a South Pacific island setting.

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Early this afternoon we went by taxi into Kuta – a gazillion motor bikes weaving in and out of the dense traffic narrowly being missed by the cars – some carrying cargo, some with passengers, all traveling at high speed. I’m a courageous driver but you couldn’t pay me to drive here!

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Then there are the streets lined with small shops – their owners persistently trying to entice us into their particular establishment.

We were in two groups – we had planned to meet at Tommy’s Cafe. Our taxi driver had no clue where the cafe was located. He dropped us off at least two kilometers from our destination! Cheryl our guide didn’t have the actual address with her; the four of us stopped frequently to ask directions – nobody knew what we were looking for. Finally Cheryl phoned her Balinese friend, had her explain how to find Tommy’s to a shop owner who had never heard of the place. Cheryl did this twice more before we were able to see the Cafe sign in the distance. Once there, four very hot and tired women were in need of what was billed as the “best iced coffee in Bali”. I have to say, not being a coffee drinker, that the milkshake consistency drink hit the spot.

After lunch at Tommy’s, we went a few doors down the street to shop for rayon batik fabric. A wonderful, colorful selection. It was frantic in the small shop as each of us made selections, had the fabric cut to length, wrapped and paid for it. Great fun! I ended up with 2 1/2 yds of a deep teal with a lighter design in shades of pale blue – it should be enough for a dress or loose shirt.

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We returned to the resort in rush hour traffic. If we thought traffic has been bad earlier, it was simply hair-raising on the return trip. I bet though all those people made it to their destination.

It was still hot so a number of us went to the pool for a relaxing dunk! That followed by dinner – I ended up at the Japanese restaurant in the hotel with two other of the gals (both from the Boston area). The rest ended up at the pizza place in the hotel.

The adventure continues tomorrow!

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