This is a post by guest blogger, Lakshmi Kanchi (@LakshKanchi)
Like a shy maiden in a lush meadow, she greeted me. Bedazzled I followed her soft footprints on the golden sand. When I truly saw her, her rustic beauty, her charming demeanor and endearing mannerisms, I was intrigued and pulled into a world I couldn’t have imagined. I had waited all of five years to be there and even as the plane landed I knew that the wait had been worth it. This was a little piece of heaven and it was mine, even if it were just for a few days! And she was BALI…
We spent an idyllic seven days in Bali in November in the year 2012. I can literally transport myself through my recollection of the place and experience all of it, all over again. It couldn’t be more ingrained in my memory, the scent – that intoxicating mix of the sea and the sand, the food – the authentic Balinese cuisine rich in flavor and the culture – a touch more divine than anywhere else on Earth. We had just enough time to take in all that was on offer. Starting with a great stay at Seminyak close enough to all the buzz and ending on a high note, with an exclusive candlelight dinner somewhere along the beach at Sanur.
Culture is so very central to the Balinese way of life and it is evidenced in the thousands of small temples that dot the island. We visited every one of them walking in and out of the stone structures, intricate and grand all at the same time, bespeaking of ageless faith in goodness. While each was special, I especially loved the one called Uluwatu. Imagine a large rugged limestone cliff with a tiny temple perched on top of it – that is Uluwatu. The higher planes on all sides reward you with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and the dramatic grandeur of the cliffs against the waters. The splendid Kecak fire dance with the trance like movements and with the dancers dressed in the colorful Balinese costumes
against the backdrop of a sunset over the Indian Ocean was enrapturing. Then there was another one, Gunung Kawi, for which we scouted through the mountains and the maze of shrubbery, walked through knee deep waters and across terraced gardens of tea/coffee. This old Chinese temple, set like a pearl in the heart of the oyster, made me feel so special for having seen it. The Gunung Kawi Sebatu water temple was spectacular too and especially since we happened to walk into it not knowing. With the water dripping from faucets into pools and from the pools into still bigger pools, the sound of flowing water was constant and relaxing. The koi in the holy ponds added a splash of color to the hues of green everywhere.
We took in the arts and the dances of Bali. There were shows every day at one magnificent location or another. We would sit amazed with a crowd of tourists trying to figure out the movements, the expressions and the music. It always brought tears to my eyes, this stark raving beauty of the poetic collusion of the stars and the dance and the fact that I was destined to witness it.
Staying anywhere in Bali feels exotic and luxurious, however we trusted ‘TripAdvisor’ for advice on hotels and prices, and we didn’t live to regret it. Two wheelers and scooters are available on rent at most hotels for cheap. I can still feel the wind on my face when I imagine the days we spent zipping through the chaotic streets Bali on our little scooter. If I had to peg down the two main ingredients of romance in Bali, I would say the rain and the scooter. Just like the temperament of a child, the rains would mar the bright sunny days. We would then step into some random little inn along the road, sip on a hot cup of tea, order a plate of the in-house savories and catch up on our laughs! It was always that wonderful!
Never having seen a volcanic mountain, Bali gave me my first, with Mount Batur. Nothing can beat the wonderment I felt when the veil of the clouds parted to give us a glimpse of the mighty trough at the top of the mount. You can still see the dark lines where lava once flowed into the land and it reminded me of the power that this simple minion of nature yielded. On our way we had stopped and visited a coffee plantation. We had experienced Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee, in the company of the Luwak creature responsible for its creation. Yes! And it had all been in the spirit of our vacation!
Water sports didn’t figure big on our itinerary. We had had our fill of water sports at Malaysia. But for the first timers, it would be highly recommended. The beaches are clean and the waters are inviting. There is also no dearth of people who would appreciate your business.
I believe that every journey you take makes you better, wiser and more mature. Bali was my Eat, Pray, Love trip and it has added immensely to me. The people of Bali with their simple ways and simple lives have a way of making a permanent place in your heart. And you could be anywhere in the world, anywhere at all, yet you could be dreaming of the golden sands and warm waters of this awesome island.
“Sometimes we plan a trip to one place. But something takes us to another. – Rumi”
I just want to travel for the sake of traveling. I have not been everywhere yet, but its on the cards (most definitely! *nods vigorously*). I am decidedly not a blogger, but I thought writing about my experiences is another way of living them again…so here goes! 🙂
This post was written by a guest blogger. You can see their details above.
Do you have a similar experience? Let us know about your choice of place. If you would like to write a guest blog for my page, you may drop me a mail or tweet at @suyashchopra1. I would be glad to share your experience with my readers. Happy Traveling!!!
Read how climbing 165 steps gave us a memorable travel experience in Mexico.