Bali safety was not an issue for Marsden family
By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.com.au
ROLLING surf, palm trees and the friendly smile of the Balinese people narrowly missed becoming the backdrop of terror to The Observer photographer Tim Marsden's surfing holiday.
Tim chose to make his first trip out of Australia to Bali on September 11.
Despite travel warnings, Tim and his family planned the holiday of all holidays, and when there, said the thought of their safety never crossed their minds.
Only a few days after their return and Tim's holiday photos hold more significance, the smiles of unsuspecting faces.
Packed restaurants and beaches at the fishing village of Jimbaran where the family visited, Tim could picture the chaos that would have occurred when the bomb exploded in Kuta, followed by the two bombs that exploded in the restaurants on Saturday night.
'There's just thousands of people there,' Tim said.
'There's so many restaurants like it.
"To think some(one) set off a bomb there ... It'd be bedlam.
'There's no lights, just candles on the tables. Just imagine.
'Kuta itself ? there's so many people and narrow streets.
'A 16-year-old kid died. My son is only 16.'
What Tim remembered most from his holiday wasn't the 10 foot surf, the beaches or even the sunsets, it was the people.
'I really feel sad for them, for the Balinese people,' Tim said.
'They're such easy, carefree, nice people.'
Tim and wife Lyn especially remembered Rico ? their driver. They remember his smile, how he went out of his way to help them and show them around Bali.
And they wondered whether he was okay and if he was, what the bombings would mean for him.
'They hate those terrorists,' Tim said.
'Their livelihood relies on tourism. Our driver (Rico) is buying a new van.
'He was a hard-working, happy bloke. He's got a wife and a couple of young kids.'
Rico couldn't be reached yesterday but the Marsdens hoped he would survive the bombings, in the long term as well.
'You'd like to see these people still support Bali''' Tim said.
For Tim, the wide smile and open hearts of the Balinese people like Rico, and the beauty of the country would always be the memories that overruled anything else.