Bali (8 December 1999 - 14 December 1999)

If I had thought the weather in Darwin to be hot and humid, it was more so in Bali. I arrived just before midnight and checked into Agung Cottages on the main street in Kuta. Kuta is the main tourist strip in Bali and I had promised myself that I would not stay there, but instead would try and find a less spoilt part of Bali. Due to the fact that I was only in Bali for four and a half days, together with the poor weather, I changed my mind and used Kuta as my base. In fact for three days I remained in the town, walking on the beach and looking at possible souvenirs to buy.

On my third day I hired a car and driver and went on a tour of some of the towns and temples. Our first stop was the village of Batubulan where for an hour I watched traditional Balinese dancing. Next we went to the town of Semarapura, via Celuk to see some silver jewellery workshops. At Semarapura I visited the Hall of Justice, an open sided building with its ceiling covered in detailed paintings. There was also a small museum which I went in to. The main stop of the day was at Pura Besakih , Bali's most important temple complex. There are many individual temples here, about one thousand metres up one of the volcanoes. It was then on to another temple, this time the one at Tirta Empul. Our last temple stop was that of Goa Gajah, where an entrance to one temple in a cave is via an elaborately carved rock face depicting an elephant On the way back to Kuta we stopped at Mas, one of the centres of wood carving on the island. It was interesting to watch the carvers at work, and there were many lovely pieces, but most were far too large for me to take home.

My last few hours in Bali were spent haggling for souvenirs, both for me and for Christmas presents for relatives back home.

It was time to leave Bali, I must return, but not during the wet season and I must give myself more time there.