Getting through customs at the Denpasar Airport, Bali is by far the slowest process I have encountered at any airport anywhere in the world. I lined up to get a tourist visa upon my arrival, which went quickly. I then stood in line for 2 hours waiting to get my passport stamped. While waiting I struck up a conversation with two English girls, and we ended up splitting a cab into Kuta.
Before arriving in Bali, I had been in contact with my friend Ramon from my San Diego. He had spent several months in Indo and referred me to his friend that has helped an Indonesian man start a cab company in Bali. I contacted Marty(Australian) that helped Roni (Balinese) buy a van, to use as a cab to support his family. We set it up so that Roni would meet me at the airport and take me to a hotel that Marty has stayed at in the past.
Roni specializes in day trips for surfers. Since he has a van and can fit boards, he is often hired out to drive surfers to spots and hang out while they surf. He watches the gear, and knows all the good spots to hit up pre and post surf.
Kuta is the main tourist area of Bali. It is a gross chaos of bungalow motels, hotels, high end resorts, slummy, mid-range, and high end restaurants, shops, hawkers, and lots and lots of stark white tourists. Most white people are from Australia as this is their close third world destination. The best way to describe this place is its Australian’s Cancun, Mexico.
I spent 4 days in Kuta waiting to meet up with Dustin and the POW Glove guys in Semarang over on the main island of Java (more on this later). I tried to get a little surfing in at Kuta Beach. This is a beach break that is not great, usually its too big and closed out. The beach is also crowded and very polluted. I would compare this beach to Pacific Beach in San Diego.
I had to do some work for a freelance project, so I ended up staying in each night and cranking out sketches and technical drawings. Not the most fun I have had while traveling. I walked around Kuta, and explored a little. I got lost on the streets that are narrow and built with no particular order. Some ally ways just end, and other streets twist and turn in a confusing quagmire.
The 4th day I was scheduled to fly over to Java to the city of Semarang to meet up with the Pow Glove crew. For over a year I have been talking with them to set up a consulting contract to help manage production at their factory in Indonesia. I was finally going to meet with Dustin, the owner and the rest of the design/development team and some of their sales and marketing team.
Oh, and I was to go to Dustin’s wedding………