30 hours after walking our front door we stepped out into the humid Bali air. The first thing you notice is the traffic, which is gnarly as hell. Bali basically has no traffic rules, so the mopeds and cars are just one solid mass of honking, passing, swerving and brake slamming. All within 6 inches of each other. I saw one stoplight on our first jaunt through Kuta, but our driver ran the red light. So much for that... After such a lengthy travel it was pretty overwhelming to say the least. It's funny, because in the states pretty much everybody would be arrested if they drove like that. Seriously, every. single. person. After a few days though you get used to it, and the madness just becomes normal. I am surprised though that we never saw any serious accidents. One thing you do see is tourists covered in road rash. Obviously they are not as adept at weaving scooters around cars and through unmarked intersections as the Balinese. Its insane, but it works I guess.
Another thing you notice right away is how dirty and crowded Bali is. Its kind of like taking an American city and squishing everything together, and then re-building it out of bamboo, concrete, tarps and metal siding. the crowds makes sense though considering Bali is smaller than the Olympic Peninsula and contains a little over 4 million people.
We settled into some cottages about a 10 minute walk from Uluwatu. This is the road I would walk down in the morning. It was always really peaceful. Dogs just walking up, roosters crowing, birds and chirping geckos (which you don't want in your room because they are loud as hell). It was nice. Notice the wall on the left has shards of glass built into it. Probably to keep out monkeys/people?
This is why you surf in the morning.... By noon the parking lot is filled with scooters. Every one of which is a surfer.
From our cottages you could see the peaks of Padang Padang (closest), impossibles, Bingin and Dreamland. Its weird to be in a lineup with so many different languages. There are people speaking French, Portuguese, Spanish, I even heard some Russians. People surf in Russia?
Uluwatu's outside corner, which you could also see from our cottages. It is the last section at Ulus before getting to Padang. Only works when the swell is up a bit. I cut my foot on some limestone while crawling around in the bushes to get this picture. Just a couple feet below me is the 100 ft + cliff down to the water. And I don't even like heights. The locals were out this evening getting some legit standup barrels.
Uluwatu Temple is pretty amazing. Big cliffs and monkeys with empty pumping surf right below.
My first of many encounters with our simian cousins.
While we were at the temple there was a big celebration going on. There was lots of drums, bells and chanting. All these dump trucks were loaded with people. They were still chanting and singing as they drove away.