We had had a tough year and needed to take a break from, well let’s say everything! I can’t think of a better place to go to than Bali when you need to get away, can you?
Deciding better to avoid beaches full of surfers and pizza restaurants, we settled on Manggis which is a very (and when I say very, I mean very) quite beach. Well technically we cannot really call it a beach as unfortunately locals have been using coral reefs for years and years to construct and now that the corals are gone. The ocean ate away what was once a sandy beach. Or so we are told. We actually got to swim once in the ocean just in front of our hotel but only because we were really ambitious about that and we woke up very early in the morning before the high tide hits the shore. Otherwise it was basically sleeping by the pool with the rest of the hotel guests with kindles in hands.
Our resort was neighboring a little village called Candi Dasa where we ended up going often for a lunch or a dinner. We had amazingly good fish just by the fishermen boats and once even had a fancy dinner at a French restaurant where the waiters were actually serving food with white gloves on- which i have to admit we found a little out of space for Bali-. If we wanted french food served with gloves on, we’d have stayed in Paris after all.
Talking about the fishing boats which have a distinct shape and build, we got to take one of those and go for a tour just by ourselves plus the fisherman of course. Which was very pleasant indeed – minus the notorious sun burn (which is totally our fault, we shouldn’t have let the wind fool us).
After a week down by the sea, we decided to discover higher grounds and took a hotel room in Ubud. Ubud is a mountain top where several hotels are perched right in the jungle with a small town full of art and artists. Beaches of Bali may belong to surfers but Ubud definitely belongs to artists and yoga lovers.
Did i mention you’d be right in the jungle? You can actually have wild monkeys visiting you, while you’re relaxing on your terrace, go for a hike in the middle of rice paddies or try early bird watching (try not to fall into the paddies while trying to spot a kingfisher as someone happened to do so – let’s not name names- or else bird watching may not be as fun when you’re covered with mud up to your neck)
Apart from getting to know nature’s wonders, we were told that there was a very famous healing guru living close by and that people from all over the world were actually traveling to Ubud to see him. So we decided to go see him in action for the fun of it, and on a rainy day prepared our offerings and drove to his dwellings.
We ended up finding him surrounded by a group of Australians in his garden, meanwhile 2 German guys and a Japanese woman -whom we later learnt to be medical doctors- were taking notes frantically. Our healing guru who happened to be sickly slim had no teeth in his mouth and was coughing violently. You guessed, we started having our first doubts saying “if he was to heal whom-so-ever he’d have healed himself first”. But our healing guru had a few surprises up his sleeves for us.
After offering solutions to health concerns of Australian fellows, her turned his attention to us. I was to go first. He held my head, murmured something to himself, asked me to lay down on the bamboo mat and although i was wrapped in several layers of clothes, he pointed directly at my scars from a recent operation and starting telling me about my medical history. Needless to say that he was right to the last bit of it. Unbelievable right? Had someone else told me this story, no way in the world I’d have believed them. But it happened to me and I was awestruck. After silencing my doubts, he did the same thing with my dear husband and told him that he had a genetic eye condition (deformation of cornea to be exact) and that there was nothing to be done about that. Following our return from Bali, my husband indeed saw an ophthalmologist and was told the exact same thing.
For a couple who had been kicked out of several yoga classes -because apparently we were giggling too loudly!-, that was an enlightenment on such a new level. We got our lesson on not to look down on ancient practices.
It wasn’t so much for our healing guru, but at the end of our Bali vacation we actually did come back to Paris lighter and happier and relaxed. (That lasted of course until the following monday morning rush hour traffic in famous periph’ of Paris)