Our church had missionaries in Bali. They were about to begin construction of a church there, so our first stop in returning to the US was a stop in Bali for about a week.
We flew from Sydney to Bali on Garuda Indonesian airline. The airplane was an old Boeing 707, and the autopilot gyros weren’t in good operating order. For the whole trip the tail of the airplane kept moving around slowly, in a circle. The plane would be climbing a little, then banking to the right and settling, then descending slowly, then banking to the left and returning to the climb. This continued through the whole trip. I was glad when that was over.
The missionary had started a Christian village at a place called Blimbingsari, in central Bali. I took a seismograph along to do some foundation tests at their church site. It turned out that the site was directly on top of a fault scarp, a bad place to build a church and particularly so in earthquake-prone Indonesia. I told him so. I don’t know what he did about that; we were only there for about two days.
At Blimbingsari, nights were noisy. Dogs in Bali were nearly wild; they went around digging through the garbage, which seemed to be everywhere, and fought all night. Geckos in our sleeping room sang loudly. Every evening the Balinese played their traditional music until about two AM; they napped every afternoon, then worked until sundown and slept about four hours until sunrise.
Back in Denpasar we stayed at the Legian Beach Hotel, a quiet place away from the big international hotels surrounded by tourist traps. Bali is almost entirely Hindu, as opposed to the rest of Indonesia, which is Muslim. Every footpath at the Legian Beach Hotel was straight and only about a hundred feet long, with a Hindu idol at the end of it, ‘guarding’ it. Then you’d turn onto another footpath of about the same length, with another idol at the end. But the hotel was comfortable, and it faced onto a coastal beach.