Friday, 13 June 2008

Selamat pagi Kuta Beach (Good Morning Kuta Beach)

We've arrived safe and well to Kuta Beach on Bali. The journey out of the airport was made much easier by having our visas in advance, following the aircrew to the ATM machine, and being met by our hotel driver. We drove through the busy night time streets of Kuta in the humid tropical air. Mopeds and other bemos (minibuses) weaved around us as we made our way to the hotel.

This morning we woke to sunshine and a lack of drinking water - a situation easily fixed by being directed to the local Circle K convenience store. Prices vary greatly - Volvic and Evian are 20,000 Rph whilst the local 'Aqua' brand is only 3,000 Rph.

Our early nervousness and culture shock has eased a lot over our first day. The hawkers selling everything on the beach offered everything to us at a bargain price - or so they said. Although they are annoying, we got used to them fairly quickly. Note to self - do not hire a sun lounger from a guy called Fast Eddy - we paid twice the price for half the time. He then tried to sell us some watches afterwards. We're learning quickly how to barter well - and to check with others what they paid first!

The hotel here is very relaxed and easy going and very reasonable for what you get. In the evening, the lizards come out onto the ceilings to hunt insects attracted to the lightbulbs.

The food here is lovely and mildly spicy. This morning I had my first Indonesian breakfast - spicy fried rice with a fried egg on top. This evening, eating in the open air, we had very tasty fish on lemongrass skewers and beef in a spicy coconut sauce.