Hi everyone, last time I wrote Nige and I were about to embark on our trip to Bali. It was the first time there for both of us, and we certainly encountered a lot of firsts while there! I am struggling to know where to even begin, we learnt and experienced so much. It almost feels rude putting it down on “paper” as a lot of what we lived through can never be expressed completely. As it is said, you kind of had to be there. But this is part of our current journey, and so it is both my privilege and my duty to try. As each day was so full, I have decided to split my Bali blogs into more edible portions, so be warned there may be a few! I always strive to be honest, so expect to hear about the bad times as well as the good. It wasn’t all relaxation and fun. But I wouldn’t change a thing.
I don’t know how many of you have been to Bali (show of hands please), and of those how many have stayed in Ubud (keep your hands raised). But I would really like to know if it changed your lives as it has changed ours.
As soon as we arrived in Ubud and began speeding through the crazy streets, both Nige and I felt the incredible energy. All around us was activity; the people, huge statues, shops, and carvings all giving us a sense of the depth of this culture. On the way to the resort our shuttle driver sneakily tried to take us to see his “mates” and sell us silver, sensing our newness and exhaustion – we were easy prey. Yes it annoyed us, but it’s all part of the crazy scene in Bali, where everyone is scrambling to make a living. It’s the same everywhere isn’t it? Just different packaging. As we left the airport at Denpasar and began winding up into the hills of Ubud, the landscape became more rural and the roads narrowed. For me it was like finally living in one of my beloved Indiana Jones movies. Adventure! I loved the jungle interspersed with concrete statues and temples, intricately carved and brimming with what we learnt was the standard offering in Bali, a small woven leaf basket containing mostly flowers, leaves and strangely, crackers! The ever present scent of incense is what provides most of Bali’s odour, which may be a good thing considering the sewerage system. The sidewalks are either undulating or non-existent. It is a constant battle: Gaping and ogling at the amazing surroundings, whilst insuring you keep your footing on the consistently uneven footpath. Holes would open up randomly, giving you views of water-filled drains enticing you to drop in for a visit.
When we reached our resort just north of the Ubud town centre, I felt the most amazing sense of peace. Our resort – Wapa Di Ume – was a combination of the fascinating statues, temples and vistas we had encountered on the way, and so felt very authentic. This was enhanced by the casual views over nearby rice paddies, complete with workers in conical hats, and we were told, fire-flies once darkness fell. The air was humid, the temperature comfortable, like slipping into a warm pool.
A girl from the resort welcomed us and gave us a quick tour of the resort on the way to our room (we were offered a ride in the golf buggy but decided to walk!) Her presence was addictive and contagious. We were impressed that she could be so relaxed and friendly, cool, calm, natural, and comfortable in her own skin at such a young age.
Our room was amazing, with a huge bed complete with canopy, massive bathroom, day bed, outside seating area, and its own pool! The resort had even made a petal heart on the bed and later on they brought us a “Happy Honeymoon” cake. Very OTT but very sweet.
Later we went up to one of the resort’s restaurants for dinner. This one overlooked the rice paddies, where we watched White Herons, other unrecognizable birds, and finally as dusk fell, bats, swooping around. The menu was incredible, especially for those on a strict healthy diet. It was so nice to open it up and see dozens of things we could eat, rather than just one or two. I got most excited when I saw the drinks menu, which included concoctions such as Turmeric, lime, and coconut water or carrot, orange and ginger. After all the juicing we have done over the past few months it was so luxurious to pick and choose and have someone else make one for you. Unfortunately Nige was not feeling well by this stage, and couldn’t really enjoy his meal – a reminder that this would be a honeymoon with a difference. We had been worried that this might happen before we even arrived, as Nige often suffers from nausea and a lack of appetite whilst away from his normal medications and routine. Vomiting and weight loss usually ensues.
Nige managed to get some fruit down and we walked back to our room, sharing the path with tiny frogs, to find the petal heart removed, the bed turned down and a bath strewn with Frangipani and rose petals drawn. Did we really have to go home in a week’s time?
The next day we had a session booked with a Shaman healer called Tino, which we were both very excited and nervous about. We had arrived for our Honeymoon on a new moon – was this trip about to bring about new beginnings?
Bali was about to unleash her healing powers upon us, but of this we were unaware as we slept soundly through our first night.