Sunday, August 15, 1999

Kuta Beach

Bali, Indonesia
It's a good thing that I didn't go out partying last night (Kuta Beach is infamous for it) because I slept poorly last night. I remember sweating and mosquitoes, as well as turning on the fan and closing the window slats. I woke up at 7 am cool and comfy and still a little tired, but the free breakfast and 2.5 cups of coffee (Java?) helped. Hand held shower, big bathroom, no shower curtain.


I was on the beach at 8 am and had my rented board in hand when I hit the surf. It wasn't so bad getting out the first time, but getting the board handling skills was rather tricky. I caught a few solid waves and was looking down about 6 feet from the top of the wave, but I couldn't get the board to go over the crest. Then I caught a few solid waves...to the face. Through trial and error, I got the thing to go under the waves. But the ones that broke before I got there, well, I was six feet under breaking whitewater, that was ripping me from the grip I had on the board. But most of the time I held my breath and my grip until the board pulled me skyward. My leash kept unvelcro-ing in the wash, but when I switched which leg I tied it too, it completely detached from the board, so I went in, my hour and 45 minutes of surfing with the big boys proudly behind me.

After changing and showering etc, I hit the beach, so as to cover the Kuta-Legian area thoroughly. One of the not-so-unexpected surprises were the topless female foreigners. As Bob, the cartoon character in "Bob and Margaret" summed up, 'It's amazing how quickly you become accustomed to the sight of topless women on the beach'. Besides, some of the old guys had much larger ones. Whatever. I walked around Legian when I saw a sign advertising tours to Tanah Lot and a few other places. For only about USD $5. Cool. We went at 3 pm to a Royal Water Palace and Temple.



Then we stopped off at the Monkey Temple-Sangeh. I bought a bag of food for Rp 500. I fed a few monkeys, some held on to my shorts, one held on to my foot. But there was one little bugger who leapt upon me from above and behind, taking me totally by surprise. He made a quick grab for the bag of food. I was encumbered by my camera, and tried to lure him into reaching for my last morsel, thinking that I would grab back my bag and teach him a lesson. But he just took the piece before I could take the picture properly with it on my shoulder/head. I got a photo, but it was so dark the only way to see the monkey was to distort everything else.
The thief
From there, it was on to Tanah Lot for the sunset. I picked up some hawker satay (10 sticks for Rp 5,000) and figured it would be safe because the locals were eating it too. Spicy. The sunset was rather dull, due to clouds and low tide. At high tide, the temple is inaccessible by land. But it was still kinda cool.

I was dropped off a ways from my hotel at around 7:15pm. (my watch light is working again). Showered again and sat down to figure out what to do next at 8:15. After a two hour nap, I decided that sleeping was far more interesting than the nightlife where most people are around 30.

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