Bliss in Bali

Bali travel

The boarding gate’s waiting area is slowly filling up with seasoned travellers. Parents calm their young ones and urge them to rest on the benches, while couples share a set of headphones, and a Bohemian type sits peacefully next to a large tiled flowerbox and reads Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. The one thing I notice about all of these people waiting to board their flight to Bali is that they all have the same sense of excitement and anticipation to reach the island paradise that they have clearly given a piece of their heart to.

Flying over Borneo from Hong Kong, the anticipation builds as I stare out of the window looking for local fishing boats going about their daily business 38 000 feet below me. My heart skips a beat and my breath is taken away as we reach the Balinese coastline. Tropical reef and breaking waves frame sandy beaches while tropical foliage and tall palm trees reaching high into the sky. An urge to explore takes hold and I imagine what it must have been like for the Dutch colonists who first arrived in Bali in 1597. But that is another story all together. Just to say that today Bali finds itself struggling to keep up in a commercial, globalised world while still maintaining its rich and beautiful cultural heritage.

Getting around

The airport sliding doors open, and we are released into the smothering, humid heat of Bali. The organised chaos of the traffic is mesmerising and at times a little shocking to someone who has never experienced it before. Thousands of people on scooters dart through the traffic, some wearing helmets, others not. A family of three zips past us on their two wheeled trusty steed with its 30cm wheels, the youngest standing on the base of the scooter, dad driving, and mom siting on the back, everyone looking quite content and at ease in the maelstrom of whizzing cars and scooters. A scooter is the best way to get around the island. We hired one for two of us, and it really provided the freedom we were looking for. Needless to say, the traffic took a bit of getting used to, but the key is to not hesitate and just go with the flow. Getting around this way means you can explore to your heart’s content. The Rice Paddies become volcanoes, the beaches become villages