I risked a 2 hr shuttle ride yesterday morning from Ubud to Candidasa, a village on the east coast of Bali. It’s quiet and unspoiled, unlike some of the southern beaches of Bali that appeal to the youth. We dropped six passengers at the ferry to Gili Island. Looking at the group waiting to board, backpacks weighing them down in the heat of the day, I was happy not to be In their thongs. There is a time and place…..
The driver offered the wildest ride I’ve yet to have on Bali, along with an offer to provide me with a Balinese “boyfriend” which I politely declined. Clearly he has a side business.
This is a splurge adventure for me. I have an amazing two room (plus kitchen) second floor suite fronted by a 20′ balcony about 15′ from the ocean. Aquaria is a small boutique hotel with limited rooms so it offers the quiet I crave at the price I can afford. It is Bali, after all. When Doglia opened the door on my unit, all I saw was sea and blue skies. I was jaw-dropping engaged even before seeing the interior space which dropped my jaw further. Mine, all mine? After six weeks in one small room? Whoee!!!!
I may not stray from this balcony for the next three days although, with a wall of glass doors, I can appreciate the sights, sounds and smells from inside also. I even have a box of Kleenex and an extra roll of toilet paper. Clearly, this is an upscale operation!
It’s now sunset. Red and gold are reflected off the water as the sun falls behind the mountain. The tide has gone out exposing the coral reefs where people dive and snorkel in the day.
A sarong-wrapped staff person came to pull down two coconuts for dinner guests this afternoon. Another soon followed to pluck (with a long bamboo hook) frangipani from a high tree to decorate the pool, pillows and tables. Still others sift the ocean-front sand to ensure soft-footed comfort for guests. Later, while resting on my balcony, I heard thunderous roars and ventured to the edge with curiosity and then climbed onto the ledge. Ohhhhhh, it is the palm trimmer (clearly my title). He’s shimmying up the tree to frightening, swaying heights.
His task: to remove baby coconut bunches that crash onto rooftops and to trim dead palm branches that fall accidentally on the unsuspecting. Being on the second floor, I have a ringside view. I think, perhaps, he knew I was photographing him for he cut quite the figure.
I woke for sunrise, breakfasted on the balcony, then ventured by foot to the village of Candidasa at, as often happens, high noon. It’s a sweet, laid-back town. Being off season, everyone wants my business; taxis, mopeds, spas, restaurants, shops. The offer I genuinely wanted to accept was the ride in a fishing boat…nothing like our boats in the U.S. There is still time for I’ve extended my visit as the breeze courted me to stay.
When the heat finally stopped me, I had an iced coffee by the ocean which I savored while writing my daily notes.This was deeply true, at least, until two tour buses arrived, dumping their bundles of chatter into the restaurant. I am so happy to be traveling solo…..
Every day I am filled with gratitude and wonder.
Thank you for following.
Sampai Jumpa (good bye/see you)