After 11 thousand kilometers of flights, 3 hours of driving, and arriving at the hotel late at night, it turned out that that all the “vicious” insects on Bali are in their peak period. For this reason, nothing could make me happier than a wonderful, relaxed day in Amed. That was what happened in fact.
We woke up just before 6 am. The pleasant whiff of the wind and the endless verdure in the garden were the beginning of a chain of wonderful days in Bali. We rushed through the waking garden and after a few steps and photos, we were at the beach from where we observed the sunrise. The black silhouettes of far-away yukung boats were passing through the bright, enormous, yellow-reddish sun, which was slowly appearing on the horizon. It was not hot yet, which helped us contemplate the sunrise peacefully and enjoy our first breakfast in Amed. Of course, we were the first guests in the restaurant – what other crazy person would wake up at 6 am on Bali? We kick-started the day with a fruit salad, juice, and pancakes, ordered in a very amusing way to the sleepy waiter (their business hours had not started yet), joyfully watching the sea.
Good morning, Bali!
It was the abundant amount of hotel personnel that struck us… for every activity, however negligible and rarely taken care of, there was a different person. For instance, there was a man who was cleaning the pool with a rake; another one was collecting the dry grass; a third person was removing the broken branches of the palms; and a fourth was watering the plants. Only this… several times a day. It was fun to have people wander around you all the time, and salute you whenever your eyes met. Friendly and smiling.
We quickly heard of the opportunity to hire a bike and explore Amed’s ambiance. In no time, we were given a scooter, hopped on it, and drove off the narrow, winding roads. We had the incredible luck to go through intact villages, where people lived a normal life, having no idea what tourism is. The children were playing, household activities were carried out while there were some that were lying under the thick shade of leaf rooftops.
The standard way to transport a thing from one place to another on the island is carrying it on your head. Mainly the women were carrying big bowls, cardboard boxes, and buckets full of different kinds of stuff. Among those women, there were some that were so adept at this activity that they did not need their hands to balance the weight. Or, probably, the load was lighter. It may look unhealthy, but these women were upright – a fact half of the world’s dancers and models can only envy.
In one of the villages, we even “spoke” with the eldest of a bunch of kids. He asked us where we came from and smiled incomprehensibly. Meanwhile, more and more children, together with a mother and her baby, gathered around us… we turned into the local attraction. It was obvious that they were living a poor life, but everybody was smiling and happy to see us. Wherever we passed, each and every one was greeting us and waving warmly at us. With this kind of local people’s reaction, you cannot help but feel amazing.
When you find yourself in Bali, you cannot miss the rice fields. To feel their magic, only seeing them is not enough. You also need to smell them. They recharged us with a whiff of fresh air after the several hours spent on the scooter after which certain parts of our bodies were numb. Rice in Bali is a staple food and taking care of the rice fields is hard work. Every single strip, sown with rice, looks beautiful.
At around 6 pm, the sun started to set. At the Equator, the sun rises at 6 am and sets at 6 pm. We were seething with emotions from the first 12 hours on the island. Hence, we decided to give our bodies and perceptions some rest by feasting on a traditional dinner in Amed.
We fell asleep some minutes after 8 pm (really!) exhausted by our first day in Bali. Later, we woke up and looked if anything was “alive and moving”. Since almost everything was closed or asleep (excluding the outside bathroom), we continued our relaxed sleep until the end of the night. Indeed, Bistra better speaks for herself since Nace is not capable of sleeping dozens of hours like her, so at night he usually has a beer or uploads some photos in our online albums…
Good night, Bali!