Bali Ode by Thomas Ling
Bali is no new holiday destination, especially for surfers. Morning of the Earth opened the worlds eyes to the small Indonesian island. Most surfers have, or should have at least, repeatedly watched the footage of Gerry Lopez Uluwatu in the mid 70’s. Many people have written about it, including William Finnegan’s ode to a surfing life Barbarian Days. It is confusing to compare this iconic imagery with what Bali has become. Tourism continues to grow, as does the repercussions of the ever increasing cohort of Bintang sucking Aussie plebs. That’s a generalisation of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s not partly true.
You could say that the benefits of an augmenting tourism industry have been greatly beneficial for the social and economic development of the island. That also, would not be incorrect. However poor waste and recycling, struggling roads, and overcrowding still overshadow the more populated areas that struggle to keep up with the expansion. It is ironic though, that I won’t complain about always being able to get a good coffee, or the ridiculous amount of incredible cafe’s and restaurants with almost sinful prices. The following photo’s were taken on a recent perennial jaunt to Bali. They are not an attempt to argue either side of the line. Rather, they aim to challenge the benefits of economic progression in comparison with traditional values