KUTA BEACH BALI INDONESIA
Of all of the places I traveled in 1974, Bali seems to have changed the most. When I lived there for six weeks on the western side of the island, an isthmus where Kuta beach lies, I saw one high rise hotel only! Now, I don’t even recognize Bali with all its skyscrapers. I loved living in the losman with its ultra friendly owners and their children. I prefer the streets with long-haired pigs running around rather than cars. I feel so fortunate to have traveled at a time when for nine moths of traveling slowly through Asia, I never paid more than $.50. That cover my half, one dollar for a room!!! Some places, like Nepal, I paid twenty-five cents!!!!
While in Bali we decided to visit the famous artist colony called Ubud in the mountains.
First we rented a moped. We carried our shoulder packs and started out journey. The dramatic scenery startled me. The beautiful pristine rice paddies seemed to go on forever. We travelled A ribbon of road up and up seeing endless rice fields speckled with conical straw hats of the workers. Phenomenally beautiful meadows of green rose in the distance up and up.
On the way we stopped at an overly populated famous monkey temple. Steps led us up intricately carved steps to the shrine. I felt surprised that the monkeys didn’t fear us. Some even approached us, one biting my husband! Our first thought, “Could have the monkey be carrying rabies?” Somehow he found a doctor. My husband jumped around pretending to be a monkey biting himself. The doctor laughed before administering a Band-Aid. He’s undisturbed attitude would have to pacify us.
We headed out again. My husband’s eyeglasses fell onto the cement is Lee Road. Since they broke I drove the remainder of the way, feeling free with the wind in my hair.
When we reached the top we came to a place that look like a house. All of the homes that are like the little like huts. We were surprised that they offered us a double bed. Really all the room had in it was the bed. We felt thrilled. Night fell very quickly there in the mountains. And with the night brought what felt to me like freezing cold weather. Luckily we brought something that we usually used below our sleeping bags to keep them clean. It was a popular item in 1969 called a space blanket. It was blue on one side and like aluminum foil on the other. It was created to keep a person warm and freezing cold temperatures. So my husband and I zipped our sleeping bags together and wrapped ourselves inside the space blanket close together. We finally had a double bed and all we could do was try to keep each other warm. We had to laugh about this later.
The next days spent on Kuta Beach remain a blur of stunning sunsets, great food, and palm trees swaying in the breeze.
One event stands out. Usually when we went to the beach we would see no people or maybe one or two wandering around. We hadn’t seen any Westerners. Then one day is reset on the beach we saw a couple sitting nearby.
They came to join us telling us a strange story from their night camping on the beach in a tiny hut. As they slept, Jon, from Australia woke up when a light flashed in his eyes. Someone had attached a flashlight too long pole and inserted it through the window which had no glass. They were trying to put the pole into the handles of the bags Louise and John were carrying. They didn’t get away with it though. And this time taught me a very good lesson. From that night on I slept with my bag under my hand whenever there were any people around. However our room had windows closed.
The next day we met Louise and Jon again. Louise had come from England to Australia where she had met Jon. Now they were returning. Three men approach us. They had come to Bali to make a jean commercial. The jeans were knock-offs. They asked us if we would be in their commercial! We felt happy about that.