I am up early to visit Pasar Pagi, the morning market where the locals shop. I park my sepeda with all the scooters under direction of the Parkir man with his stern whistle. The market is nice, clean and friendly but the few people I ask if I can take their photo decline. At the moment I am the only bule here, although I am sure the expats and some tourists shop here. I guess the local food sellers may have had enough of being the subject of tourists happy snapping. So I take a couple of discrete snaps and then just wander around absorbing the sights and colours and sounds of a busy Indonesian market. Heading back out I get some snacks – Ikan Pepes and Sate Babi, and sit with the lady in the smoke.
I ride through some back roads to the beach and coffee. I am surprised by how busy it is. It is before 8am and what was a deserted strip of beach is heaving. I realise quicky that it is the locals, all out on a Sunday morning having a swim and enjoying the beach before the wind picks up.
There are young families, kids squealing with delight in the water, on their blow up toys to rent. Gangs of young teenagers, looking trendy and ordering BBQ corn. Young couples. Old couples. Many people are performing excercise of one form or another, jogging, power walking, stretching. Groups of children look like they are either learning to surf, or doing a slightly unusual yoga session.
Some acrobatic, strong young fellows displaying their strength and strutting their stuff to the young girls strolling past. Mobile food vendors selling sate, corn, tofu and other unknown fried things. Picnickers sitting drinking from flasks or a purchased strong black Balinese coffee in a flimsy looking plastic cup.
Everything feels very familiar to a beach back home. What actually feels strange is the still empty and deserted loungers outside the fancy resorts. The locals are having way to much fun on their reclaimed beach. I ride for about 2 hours, right to the very end of the bike track, the opposite way I went yesterday to the theme park.
By the time I return my bike, head back to the hotel to check out and then return to the beach for lunch, it is deserted again. It is still quite early but all the locals have headed off, the sea is rougher and the tourists have risen, completely unaware of all the excitement and enjoyment over the last few hours just up the beach from their pristine paradises.