Thursday, 25 June 2009

Bali Dreams I

The visit to Bali for a couple of birthdays turned out to be a trip with a difference. The long trek up to Tembok, on the northern coast of the island took more than five hours through scenic villages, terraced padi fields and local culture. The roads were surprisingly roadworthy and although narrow, traffic flowed smoothly enough. I compared this to our drive to Agra from Delhi in a jaunty white Ambassador four-seater, where being stuck behind a bullock cart pregnant with dried grass was a test of patience for the passengers more than the driver.
Tembok was like a diamond in the rough. The peaceful ambiance was a trademark of YLT resorts. Peaceful being the operative word - no children, no TV and no computers. An IPod docket is provided in the rooms for the trendy. Perfect for honeymooners, of which there several pairs from India, Europe and China, the new profile of today's travellers who seek a different experience. Beach-front cabana's draped in white linen would be the perfect setting for an intimate cuddle for lovers. The spiritual merges with the physical and then becomes one with nature on black sanded beaches - idyllic personified. Dusk brings on a different mood . . . the golden glow spreading from the skies on to the sand and pebbles in one fluid sweep, like an artist executing a water-colour wash. . . . one merging into the other. . . hand in glove. As if by magic the 'kechak' monkeys make their appearance, and beckon the spirits to be kind to lovers and protect them from ogres and demons.
While the night is still young, a gentle man, is already in slumber mode oblivious of cosy cabanas or starry skies. The return journey, through the central spine of the island, led us to an imposing view of an active volcano, Mount Batur.
Back to urban culture, the local flavour melts into international pop themes . . . But it is all good, and all things are relative - so it is said . . .

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