I’ve been to Jimbaran many times over the past few months. I love the fish market and most Saturdays you can find me there bucket in hand, buying fish for the weekend or stocking up the freezer if we have guests staying. After I’ve had my fill of all the sights, sounds and smells, we sometimes head to the beach for a beer and some grilled prawns before heading back home. If we have friends staying, then we might spend an afternoon there just enjoying the sea and relaxing.
Jimbaran is my idea of heaven during the day. It’s almost empty save for the fishermen mending their nets in the shade, or a lone fisherman standing on the shoreline collecting cockles. The are a few tourists but not many and the long stretch of sand is relatively empty. As the shadows of the afternoon start to fall, fisherman start to descend upon the beach and suddenly it becomes alive as boat upon boat is hauled down the sand and launched onto the water after being blessed. It is at that point also, that the myriad restaurants start to drag chairs and tables out from inside and within the space of an hour, row upon row of tables are set for the hoards of tourists who will descend before sundown and then spend the evening there.
It was only recently that I stayed long enough to witness this spectacle and I’m glad that I did as it was fascinating to watch the place metamorphose into something quite different at the end of the day. There is a distinct change in the atmosphere once the sun starts to go down. It is no longer the beach of the locals, and the fisherman but a tourist hotspot. Aside from the hoards of tourists, it becomes a mecca for all the touts and hawkers who will sell you anything from sex drugs to the latest pirate dvd’s. As the light rapidly begins to fade, and a 1000 photographs of the sunset have been taken, the brassieres of the corn cob sellers spark along the beach and another day at Jimbaran has ended.