Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
To fight against the spleen of the return, I walk again on the beach. The one of Kuta-Legian-Seminyak, known as Kuta Beach. A huge and splendid tongue of gray sand, well packed as it should be, that I love to walk in one direction, then in the other, until the fabulous sunset.
Sunset on Kuta Beach
In the evening, when the last rays light up the sky, the Balinese families come to take a dip, the solo surfers go to meet a last wave.
Wild soccer games are organized between locals and tourists, while the kids continue to challenge the wind with their kites.
It is also the hour when one makes his jog, with the freshness, along the waves. We see small girls trotting valiantly and old handsome ones burned by the sun a little ridiculous.
Tourist, and so ...
Kuta Beach, with its street vendors, its surfers on parade and its skewers of tourists baking in the sun, is often decried by visitors looking for "authenticity". However, I really like this beach.
It is so big that it never really feels crowded (as long as you don't wallow on the sand among clusters of other tourists). Surfing and surfing schools are now fully part of the local "culture", and it is Balinese people who train the beginners.
In short, this very touristy beach is also a component of the "real" Bali of today, whatever we think. The huge rollers that break as far as the eye can see offer a superb show, which I never tire of.
Station with the rollers
On the sand, the atmosphere is relaxed, rather good-natured, very pleasant... You just have to put your sarong at the edge of the wet sand and the dry sand, or to walk quietly with your feet in the water, not to be disturbed by the nice tourist pesters, who persist in trying to sell you their trinkets.
Red flags, adorned with a beautiful skull and crossbones, remind you as you head into the waves, that the waves are treacherous here. The rollers of Kuta Beach are worth those of the Basque coast. The best is to go swimming in the supervised area.
Besides, being monitored by the lifeguards (lifeguards) from here, frankly, it is not unpleasant...
Yes, I couldn't resist. Just for you, girls... I went to ask him if he would be willing to take a souvenir photo. What he accepted willingly, in his beautiful red shorts, with a bright smile.
I have another picture, where I'm posing next to the gentleman (but I'm keeping this one, because it will make the girls talk again).
But clearly, the actors ofBaywatch can go and get dressed! He was actually quite flattered that I wanted to draw his portrait, this Balinese lifeguard.
As I was asking him in all seriousness about the size of the waves, the strength of the currents, the layout of the coast and the presence of reefs, just to make me feel better, he first thought that I was working for a magazine... I almost answered him that I was a journalist and I was doing a story for a major French regional newspaper, but hey. I restrained myself from doing too much. I'm on vacation right now, though...
Sea, surf and sun
In fact, a guy from the Australian TV, who I fell after, had just passed. For a real report, which will be aired in September, about Kuta's lifeguards job and a surfing competition taking place in the area these days.
I meet a little further the Australian, feet in the water, maintaining as best he can his big camera, his microphone and his tripod just above the foam. He is waiting there, in the middle of the doldrums, ready to pounce on the first surfer in distress and the team of musclemen lifeguards in action ... Hard job, I assure you.
I exchange a few words with him. It's funny, he was also still in Nusa Lembongan the day before, to film the surfers from over there. (This neighboring island of Bali is famous for its waves.)
Baptism with Followers of Jesus
Later, while I polish my tan after a refreshing splash in the waves (in well-supervised zone), I am pulled out of my torpor by songs.
I raise my head, dismiss with a gesture of the hand a "manicurist" who redirected her trajectory towards me to propose her services, and discover a group of people, with the vague allure of boyscouts with their shorts and their white socks in their sandals, accompanied by a guitarist very "Jesus is coming back" as in the film by Étienne Chatiliez.
They sing in chorus, clap their hands. It looks like a sect. When the singing is over, they close their eyes. They are praying, obviously. Then they go together to the sea, surrounding a guy whom they help to advance in the waves. I jump on my camera, wrap myself in my sarong, and rush towards them. It is a baptism.
I arrived a little late and only had time to take a few shots from afar. A red-haired guy with big teeth, noticing my interest in the thing, tries to evangelize me by explaining the meaning of baptism. I thank him and pretend to be fascinated by what he tells me, just to know who these people are.
I finally got my information: "We are the Followers of Jesus. We are from all over the world, America, Australia, New Zealand..." I leave it at that. I'm not sure if it's the name of their religious movement, or if it was just a way to explain to me that they were Christian "followers of Jesus" from all over the world... I am a miscreant, I remain a miscreant.
Frankly, if I had to choose, I would rather be a Hindu... Just before, I also met three Balinese women in traditional costume, who had come to leave their offerings. They knelt on the sand, just in front of the discotheque 66 and its bungee jumping platform, which marks the border between Kuta and Legian.
Always these graceful gestures, this little ritual with the incense sticks and the flowers... I love it!
Chic evening in Seminyak
I end my beachy afternoon with the rich, a little further north, where the beach of Kuta becomes that of Legian, then Seminyak. And I offer myself a glass of chardonnay and exquisite sushi at European prices, at the very chic Ku De Ta.
It is a vast restaurant-bar-disco located in Seminyak, thus, in front of the beach, with beds of rest to wallow in front of the sunset between rich people at the hour of the aperitif. Evenings DJs the weekend. An army of waiters in big black aprons watch your every move, ready to satisfy your every desire.
Ambient musicThe restaurant has a great reputation as a chef, with refined service and decor. It's good to be rich. Except that... I may be a millionaire in rupees, but as I had planned to hang out at the beach all afternoon, I left my big wad and my credit card at the hotel. And I have just enough money to pay the bill of the Ku De Ta...
Argh. I almost went diving instead of watching the sunset!
No big deal. Before I leave Friday night, I'll be back here. With money this time. And treat myself to an orgy of sushi to console myself for having to take the plane back to France...