The Road to Bali
The country of Bali has always held a tremendous amount of mystique and tropical allure to me. Perhaps it began when I was a child and heard Bloody Mary sing about the forbidden island of Bali H’ai in the musical “South Pacific.” Images of a volcano surrounded by lush green palm trees and beautiful beaches were beckoning me to an island that is so far away from home one could only dream of ever going there. It wasn’t until later that I learned Bali H’ai was a Hollywood concoction and not the same as the island of Bali, Indonesia.
Nevertheless, the allure remained and when it came time to start planning our annual Christmas/New Year’s trip this past summer, Bali was one of the front runners on our short list. Using Delta Skymiles, we were able to find free Business Class seats for the 22 plus hour flight to Tokyo and connection to Singapore. From there, it is a short 2.5 hour flight to Bali.
A long time favorite of Australian vacationers due to it’s 3 hour flight from Sydney, Bali is located not far from the northwest coast of Australia. Visitors come from all parts of the world including India, Europe and, of course, Australia. Something I noticed right away was the distinct lack of Americans. I assume that is because Bali is quite literally on the other side of the world.
Opting to stay off the beaten path and away from the crowded beaches, our lovely hotel The Amala was located in Seminyak, a twenty-minute walk to the beach. Away from the Western style hotels that dot the coastline, most of the locally owned hotels are villa style. Our hotel had just 14 rooms, each with its own private jacuzzi or swimming pool. Our villa was stunning, taking full advantage of the climate with an open atrium over the plunge pool and tree growing in the middle of the room.
The bathtub, shower, mini-bar and coffee were also outdoors although under an overhung ceiling to keep you dry in the rain. The wall of glass doors opened completely to bring the outdoors into the bedroom. At night, the doors kept the air conditioning in and the friendly geccos out, except for the rather large one that climbed in one evening as I was closing the door on our way out to dinner.
The pace was so quiet and laid back that it took us 5 days to realize that we had not turned the television on since we arrived in Bali. WIFI is everywhere and kept us connected to reality, but only through the filter of the power switch on my iPad. Bali was, if nothing else, a total disconnect from our everyday world. At least for a few days.