Kuta -

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This is the 'back' entrance to Matahari's Department store in Kuta. Past the two watches and trinket stalls in the foreground and across the exit roadway from the underground car park are the steps that lead up to the entry and the checkout counters from the food section. On the right of the checkout counters are the escalators that lead up to the other floors of clothing, cosmetics, toilets etc.

When you shop here, and you will be a rare tourist to Bali if you do not, don't be surprised if you get some lollies (sweets or candy) in your change. The reason is that the cost of your purchases might be Rp7,858 and you tender a Rp10,000 note. There are no 2 rupia coins to start your change so you get lollies to the next multiple of 25 rupia which is the smallest coin and is worth about 1 US cent. In this case you will get lollies to the value of 17 rupia and then 2,125 rupia in notes and coins which are a bit over 40 cents Australian in value.

Matahari's is probably the largest store in Kuta and is diagonally across the intersection from the famous Kuta Art Markets.

This is the Mayang Bali jewelery shop on the acute corner between the 'front' and 'back' entrances to Matahariís and also diagonally across from the Kuta Markets.  If you look through the windows and doors of this shop you will immediately think, 'This place is expensive by any standards.' You will be almost right but, amongst what might be some of the classiest and most expensive jewelery and carvings in all of Bali there are also some beautiful bargains that will astound you. Herself will NEVER go to Bali without scouring every inch of their shelves - and She NEVER walks out empty-handed!

A empty Kuta Beach in 2003, not long after the infamous bombing, when all of all was deserted.

Jalan Raya Kuta, the one way road along Kuta Beach that every tourist ti Bali will travel along soon after their arrival. It has been widened now, and room for more car parking provided which is a good thing because you can't see anything driving past because of that rock wall.


Tuban -

Dramatic sunset over Tuban Beach. I don't want to boast (wink, wink) but this was taken from the top floor Presidential Suite of the Balihai Resort and Spa.

Tuban beach looking from the bale of the Pantai Restaurant towards the Ramada Bintang Hotel beach front.  This photo was taken in April 2004, while the effects of the Sari bombing still affected the tourist numbers. The Australian school holidays a few days later may well be recognised as the turning point when Aussie tourists began to return in increasing numbers. In the trees just beyond the Umble umbles (flags) on the right is where our favourite beach trio of Ibu Wayan (grandmother Wayan), Mistri and Adi work their magic. The umble umbles mark the front of Ma Joly, a new, upmarket and expensive restaurant which opened in '03.

The groyne seen here was demolished in '03 and there are palms planted along the sand on the right. They will provide welcome shade in the years to come. The little dark roof in the middle foreground is one of the hotel shrines which are tended every morning with fresh offerings and prayers to the gods.




The photo on the top is of Jalan (street) Wana Segara which runs down to the beach. At this end it is the home of ENI Tailors where Yoyan and his assistants work their magic with needle and thread. At the far end by the beach it is the home of the Balihai Resort, the Pantai Restaurant right on the beach and the SA Cafe which is great for lunch and a cold Bintang - or two.

Preparations for a funeral proceed on Jl Wana Segara. All members of the local banjar (the village council) will attend such a funeral if they can. It is part of Bali life that such ceremonies are too important to neglect. Blessing by the priest and his assistant begin even during the construction of the golden bier which will carry the body. By early afternoon, just an hour or two later, the crowds in ceremonial dress were such that travel along the road was severely impeded.



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