The island was beautiful. Verdant ridges angled up to make sharp points against the impossibly blue sky. Deeper blue ocean surrounded the green jewel. From one side of the island, no visible signs of civilization marred the view.
From the anchorage, I could see a thin pier jutting out toward us. The rolling waves set the ship rocking slowly, as if the mast were the tip of a giant steel metronome keeping time for the world. Timing was everything as we boarded the boat to go ashore; I was out of sync. The ship rolled, and dipped the small platform and bottom three rungs of the accomodation ladder into the sea--along with my legs up to the knee.
But it didn't matter, because I had dry clothes in my bag, and I was off for beach guard duty at the hotel--the lovely kind where one has a room to sleep in at the ship's expense. The sunset on the beach was breathtaking.
On another of the days, I was off with my friends to enjoy the day. The streets were rather clean, and the people friendly. Walled Hindu temples and shops crowded against each other. In front of many shops lay little woven squares, with rice and flowers inside. Offerings. I took care not to step in them, as that seemed rather disrespectful.
Food was good.
Some friends took rooms at the hotel with a pool bar. Nothing draws sailors like a bar in the middle of a swimming pool. I think it might be because they don't even have to get up to pee, and thus don't have to stop drinking.
Everywhere were shops with bright cloth and shining silver waiting to be purchased. I walked a lot with my friends, and bought a lovely linen dress with lace.
On the last day, I spent the last of my foreign money buying drinks in the bar at the hotel where the bus stopped. Even bought one for the Chaplain--although since he was LDS, that ended up being a Sprite.
It's still sits in my memory as one of my favorite places. One of the few where I'd love to go again as a tourist.
And the bastards keep setting off bombs there.
May all of the gods be with the people of Bali. They deserve better.