TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VI: THE FLIGHT TO INDONESIA
From Kuala Lumpur we travelled on to Bali in Indonesia, via a Malaysian Airline flight. The journey to the airport seemed to take an eternity but eventually we all arrived in two minibuses, unloaded, checked in and waited for our flight.
Bali is an interesting place from both historical and zoogeographic standpoints. A Hindu island in an Islamic nation, it was originally the centre of a large Hindu civilisation which was subsequently conquered by neighboring kingdoms. It has retained a unique Balinese identity and has now become probably the most popular cultural and leisure island in Indonesia. To biologists it holds even more importance as it is the last island on the Oriental side of the famous but invisible Wallace's Line, named for the Father of Biogeography Alfred Russel Wallace, who spent six years in the Dutch East Indies and also nudged Charles Darwin into publishing his On the Origin of Species by independently arriving at similar conclusions to his older mentor. This line divides the Asian and Australopapuan faunal realms. Lombok, 20kms to the east, is on the other side of Wallace's Line, with noticeable differences in its fauna.
The flight to Denpasar, Bali took 3.5 hours, the journey to our hotel, the Best Western Kuta Beach, seemed to take almost as long due to the incredible congestion of Bali's narrow streets.
We ate in the roof-top restaurant, where a very good group from Manila were entertaining, then headed for our rooms, another action packed cultural and biological day beckoning tomorrow.