The Balinese language, religion and rituals are unique and survive in a traditional setting of terraced rice fields, ancestral villages and local temples. Motorbikes swarm and pass us by like schools of fearless minnows, some of them carrying entire families, or balancing impossibly large sacks of produce.The road is narrow and is punctuated by Penjor, the decorated bamboo poles that mark the entrance to every family’s gate, guarded by mongrel dogs, all with the same triangle ears. There is smoke coming off of charcoal grills, a pharmacy and more motorbikes – everything flush against the curb, giving no clue that there are river gorges, rice fields and tangled rain forests hidden just out of sight.He is from the village of Bagawan, which is adjacent to the resort and so intertwined that it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
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(photo credit: JANE MEDVED) To make sure they stay that way, a flat screen is placed next to the exit doors: “Good Afternoon! ” From the options of ever-increasing smiley faces, I press the largest and happiest.
I am en route to Bali, and I have entered a pristine, orderly and apparently English-speaking Asia.
The airport (like the city) is easy to navigate, mildly exotic and very cosmopolitan.
Apparently, the addition of a world-class spa, two yoga pavilions, a Pilates studio, a tea room, tennis court, pool, aqua therapy, two restaurants and 30 guest suites has encouraged the good spirits to linger on.
Our driver’s name is Nyoman, the name given to all third-born boys.