It turned out that the little winding lane my hotel was on is very loud. Roosters, dogs, children, and an unbelievable amount of traffic. Needless to say I was up early. I was already sticky at eight AM so I was looking forward to my shower - even if it was only cold... but no luck, the water is "finnished". I hung out on my porch and enjoyed the garden for a long while then went to buy my ticket for 10:30 shuttle - only to find it was sold out! It was starting to look like I was stuck here until mid-afternoon, but then the third place I tried also sold tickets for the luxury A/C shuttle bus which ran at 11:30. I was able to get on this one, though it cost me 500 rupiah extra (nearly seven cents). Dawn and Jodie caught a bus to Lombok (well, a bus / ferry combo) and I'm back on my own.
While wandering around trying to find a ride to Kuta I ended up doing some shopping. The small boutiques while appearing much nicer than the market stalls are also a lot cheaper - and more pleasant, and more willing to bargain. I ended up buying a couple small things and also don't feel quite so bitter about Ubud. The shuttle ride was far from full (only three others - and room for twenty-five), and was mercifully short - about an hour. In Kuta we were dropped off "nearby" the hotel I wanted - almost an hour later I found it. Kuta's beach is beautiful and there's a little bit of a swell. Found the hotel that Jodie had recommended. It's far from the Rini, but nice enough - and it does have a beautiful pool.
Checked in, then lounged around the pool for a needed dose of sunlight. Went out exploring. I'm not all that thrilled with Kuta. There is an artisans market and they're willing to bargain, and there are tons of surf shops (both rip off and legit), plus all the fast food you can imagine. But it's also a city that seems solely populated by tourists, drug dealers, and pimps. I almost went ballistic the third or fourth time someone offered me a "little girl" - the descriptions got worse from there. Kuta's redeeming factor is supposed to be the sunsets, but I got lost and with the severely flooded streets I got to the beach in time to catch the fading pink of what looked like and amazing sunset.
I locked myself my room for a couple hours then ventured out for diner and maybe a movie. I walked to a pub I'd seen earlier that shows movies. Caught the end of Matrix, had decent Chinese food then saw A Perfect Murder. On my way back to the hotel I stopped in a bar that had a live band. The band was doing cheesy covers and the bar was packed with Australians requesting Cold Chisel songs. It was actually really amusing for awhile, but after a beer I was over it.