After a long but uneventful flight, we arrived in Bali in the afternoon and set off for Jimbaran. The beach was a surprise and much prettier than Kuta. We enjoyed getting up early and watching the men haul the fishing boats up the beach. As Jimbaran had limited facilities, we went into Kuta to get some supplies and change some money. From our view, Kuta has deteriorated into a down-market Surfers Paradise. Aside from a local supermarket and department store, the rest of the shops consisted of expensive upmarket brands or tourist ticky tack. So, for the rest of the week we hang around Jimbaran and enjoyed the local ambiance – including a great massage.
While we were wandering around the village on Saturday, we found the villagers preparing for their local ceremony and we met Wyang, who offered to fit us out with the right clothes so we could see it. In the afternoon, we went to his home (a family compound) and got dressed up. The ceremony was fascinating, with the women dressed in colourful skirts and the men dressed in white. They had people dressed up as a Barong (lion) who were opposing the evil spirits. The Balinese seem a very spiritual people, who make offerings to the spirits many times a day. This is reflected in the way they treat each other and even the numerous tourists (who must often try their patience).
Went out to dinner to a resort on the beach on Saturday and watched the sunset while having a drink. Late Saturday night, Katie, Carl and Xavier arrived and Laura was meant to arrive after midnight but her plane was delayed and didn’t get in til 2am – much to the relief of her worried parents.