[Indonesia: Bali: Kuta]: We arrived in Bali just before 2100 hrs. and got two rooms at the Suji Bungalows. The rooms are nice and fairly inexpensive.
As it looks now, I'll probably try to leave Sulawesi ASAP after Muna and work with our forestry contacts in the Nusa Tenggara. Which leaves my last few days to spend on Seram. . .
Now a list of items for the book hunt:
Well, the book hunt didn't faire so well, but at least we have tickets for an early flight to Balikpapan. I hunted bookstores in Denpasar and Kuta, but found little except for a travel guide for the Moluccas. I also got all our bags from the airport so that we are ready to go in the morning. There's no sign of Paul and Rachel. Maybe they're at the beach. Which is nice. I have some down time to myself. . . While the beach is nice, there's too much tourist stuff here and the street merchants are aggressive as hell. I can't see Gunung Agung to the north. Tomorrow we should be in the field in Borneo. It's about time. We made a mistake coming here first, but hindsight is always 20/20. We could have caught a flight from Jakarta and been in Borneo today. I thought Merpati had direct flights from Denpassar [sic], but not any longer. Instead, we have to fly through Surabaya [on Java]. Oh well, we'll know better next time. Tomorrow is the Day of Silence, apparently the Hindu New Year. We'll have to leave here at 0400 hrs tomorrow, for from 0500 Thursday to 0500 Friday there will be virtually no activity among the local Hindu population. . .
I can hear the drums and firecrackers of the Hindu New Year celebration. It sounds pretty wild. People walk in pairs, one beating a drum, the other striking the ground with a long piece of rattan or something, apparently to drive evil spirits away. . .
10,000 Rp transportation; 16,000 Rp food and water.
There's a beautiful sunset here. I hope I see more.
We left for the airport at 0400 to avoid being trapped by the holiday shutdown. It is hot as hell in the airport.
4,900 [Rp] breakfast.
Indonesia: Bali: Legian: All flights were delayed yesterday because a damn air show shut down Sukarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta. We arrived four hours late, at about 0100 hrs. . .
The Kuta-Legian area has a nice beach, and lots of places to shop, but it's a circus town. I was ready to punch the next jackass who shoved a box of watches in my face. The hawkers are pretty disgusting. I'm ready to leave.
Indonesia: Lombok: Ampenan: [This was written after I had returned to Lombok.] I went to Bali today. I flew over in the morning to stash some stuff at the airport. Then I went over to Sanur to get some money from the American Express Travel Services office at the Hotel Grand Bali Beach. I bought [Alfred Russel] Wallace's The Malay Archipelago at a bookstore there. Then I hired a taxi to go to Ubud and to raid bookstores there, and bought [Odoardo] Beccari's Wanderings in the Great Forests of Borneo, Tom Harrison's The World Within, and David Attenborough's Zoo Quest for a Dragon. Then [the taxi driver and I] went to Padangbai [so I could] catch the ferry to Lombok. I met Helena Coutaux, a lovely French woman who now lives in England; Theirry, her boyfriend; and two gorgeous young English women, Lucy [Noel-Buxton] and Anna [Harrison-Munay]. The ferry ride was fun.
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