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The 'Without A Plane' is back on - Back in Kuta, Bali again!

Written on: Monday June 30th, 2008

A journal entry from: Around The World Without A Plane

How big an impact on one?s outlook can just three weeks break from that envionment make. I was through with Bali the last time I was here, was longing to get to Australia and get back in to a routine again. A routine that didn?t involve having to pack my bag at 6am every couple of days, nursing a horrible hangover and sitting on a bus for the next half a day at least. And then how quickly I missed that life, the warm weather especially. So here I am back on the road, back to continue the original quest of getting to Oz without the use of a plane. And it felt good.Exiting the airport terminal and being confronted by Balinese men muscling their way past one another to offer you their taxi, to begin that bartering process that only three weeks earlier I was so fed up with made my pulse fire up. The heat, even at midnight when I arrived, resonated through my body. Why did I ever contemplate giving this up for cold mountains?I grabbed some food, jumped in a bemo and in my first meeting with a local, the bemo driver, was immediately attempted to be swindled. I loved it! The fact that I now knew my way around Kuta caught the bemo driver by surprise especially as he tried to drop me nowhere near where I wanted to be, pointed across the street and told me that was where my hotel was. He wasn?t particularly pleased at me indicating exactly what street that was, and giving him directions to exactly where I wanted to be and paying only the price we had agreed on back at the airport.It was the night of the Euro Final, Spain vs Germany, so I dropped off my bags and headed straight out to the Sports Bar on Poppies 1 to join the party atmosphere there. I?d never seen so many Spanish on all my travels, there?s just a whole lot less of them travelling than most of the other European nations, but they all appeared to be in this bar, equalling the German numbers in their support. Bizarrely the next person to walk up the steps of the first floor bar after I had reached the top was Irene from Holland who I?d first met in Bukittinggi in Sumatra and then again the last time I was in Bali, so the two of us joined the Spanish contingent and proceeded to get straight back on to the Bintang.I didn?t intend to stay too long in Kuta, as I only have a month on this visa to get all the way across to Timor, but Kuta is a difficult place to get away from. I ended up staying for three days in the end, spent lazing the day away on the beach and sipping cocktails watching the sun sink away in the evenings. Some good advice from my friend Stu who?d recently just spent his honeymoon in Bali was to witness the sunset from up in Seminyak, just north of Kuta, at the gorgeous Ku De Ta Bar, and it was well worth the lengthy walk up the beach if not for the sunset alone, then definitely for the mojitos. Walking back along the beach after some grub I spied what looked like a drunk Australian crawling up the beach. Stopping in our paths the object suddenly became more distinguishable, it wasn?t an inebriated Antipodean after all, but a huge green turtle making her way up the beach towards the bright lights of the bars and the restaurants lining the beachside road. Now I?m not sure if I have my facts straight here but I think some time ago I saw a wildlife documentary on TV about turtles and remembered from it that sometimes they get confused on a beach as to which way the sea is and end up in a bar somewhere getting hit upon by a dirty, grubby backpacker from Lyme Regis or somewhere equally undesirable. Well I didn?t want this turtle going that way so I thought I?d try and turn her round to face her in the right direction. I?d sort of underestimated how much this thing weighed though so I sort of ended up grappling with it in the middle of the beach, me trying to spin it 180 and it working its flippers relentlessly like one of those wind-up, Fisher Price turtles you used to get in Woolworths in protest at my interfering. I gave up in the end after every time I turned her she kept turning back and instead sat watching with Irene from a distance. We watched one of wildlife?s incredible acts as over an hour the turtle lay on the beach and dug a huge hole using its back flippers to where I?m assuming it was going to deposit its eggs. We left before that bit happened lending the turtle the decency of not having two gawping Europeans witness its labour.