A Travellerspoint blog

Paradise in Bali

semi-overcast 30 °C

Two worlds live side by side on the tropical island of Bali and each is a considered a paradise by some. On the southern coast, high-octane nightclubs and all-inclusive resorts annually lure millions of tourists to a Disney version of South Pacific where the booze, the food and the women are inexpensive. And then there is our Bali – just eighty kilometres, and several centuries, north of the tourist Meccas of Kuta and Sanur.

Ours is a National Geographic world of coconut trees and banana palms, where the Balinese live in thatched huts, and oxen still plough the waterlogged rice paddies as they have done for millennia…
We are ‘farm-sitting’ for a couple of months for our friend Tony. His exotic hilltop perch, with its infinity pool, is surrounded by the sculpted hillside of his rice paddies. Here, the swimming pool and paddy meld seamlessly and make a verdant watercolour…
The gongs and cymbals of the gamelan orchestra, so discordant to Western ears, strike a distinctly Balinese tempo, but the metronome of life here beats to the rhythm of water. It is the rainy season. The heat of the day brings forth nightly cloudbursts and our aqueous world dances to the music of raindrops on giant lily pads,while rivulets of rainwater trickle melodiously from paddy to paddy on their way back to the sea. Water makes music all around us: from the gushing waterfalls to the steady ‘splosh’ of the oxen’s hoofs as they plough the paddies.
This fruitful Eden has more colours than a rainbow, more fragrances than Chanel, and more shades of green than an Irishman’s blarney. Freed from the shackles of winter, the lotus, hibiscus and bougainvillea blossom at will, while sweet frangipane and jasmine nightly scent the evening air…


Warm equatorial nights bring out the lovers and as the sun sets a raucous chorus of amorous frogs rend the air, while mating crickets add to the cacophony and fireflies flash silently at their suitors. Finally, the nightly storms put on a light show that brings thunderous applause and then this world sleeps. By cock’s crow the clouds have let in the stars and by dawn the sun makes a welcome return – Paradise found.

Now dear blog reader we know that you are busy preparing for the festive season so we will cease our literary ramblings for awhile. However, thanks to you we will be marking a milestone in the next day or so – our blog has been read 249,800 times and, with roughly 500 visitors per day, we will soon hit a quarter of a million page views - thank you for your interest. Come back in a couple of weeks for another look at Bali.

Posted by Hawkson 05:58 Archived in Indonesia

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Merry Christmas! I envy you your 'farm sitting'

by Abigail Gossage

Gorgeous! The colours are fantastic.
Off now to Ottawa where there isn't much in the way of colour and it's minus 6 right now.

by R and B

It must be nice to settle down for awhile, especially in such a beautiful place. Is the liquor plentiful and cheap there also?

by keithandhelen

Happy, happy rainbowed holidays to you two paradise dwellers! We leave for France on Saturday....
See you in 2013! hugs, Sharron and Harv

by Sharron

Ah to be in the loveliest spot in the Southern Hemisphere. The morning of the world indeed. Love the flower shots almost as much as the food ones. Lovely spot far away from the tourists centres that must by now have Gamelin versions of White Christmas in the hotel elevators.

Rainy season here too, but not nearly so poetic. Or enjoyable.

Merry Christmas to you two.


by Tom

Oh, perhaps G.F. Handel was at Tony's farm when he wrote the Water Music...how poetic, your writing..thanks G

by gottfried

What a lovely plan to rest your travelling bones for awhile. Merry Christmas to both of you and best wishes in paradise!!! We hope to find one too soon!
M & M

by Maxine Stewart

Wishing you both Happy Holidays. What a glorious place to rest and bring in the New Year! Think of you often.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Merry Xmas Sheila and Jim. We will be with Roger and Jenny over Xmas in Worthing and will think of our missing sibling as we pull our crackers.Your posting does credit to a most beautiful location; the flowers are fantastic - we can almost smell them.
Love Jean and David

by Jean and David Henderson

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