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The original world nomad "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." - Confucius.


INDONESIA | Thursday, 4 January 2007 | Views [2353]

The cool afternoon breeze floats across the rice paddies, the sounds of ducks, frogs and crickets drifting into our room with it. The atmosphere is tranquil and exquisite. Perched on the far corner of a back lane-way a short distance from Ubud, the Gangga Room at the Alam Shanti feels like another time and place. No telephones, no internet and no television - just the sounds and senses of the island of the Gods.

The boys tore out of the taxi after a longish 5 hour journey from Pemuteran and as usual sped off to explore the extensive gardens and ponds leaving us to clear the bags. Squeals of excitement only increased as we wandered down a path, past mangos and frangipani, sculptures and lilly ponds to our place in the corner.

The suite of rooms are covered by a vast thatched roof with carved and gilded timber beams, ornate stone decoration carved around every door and window and a huge day-bed littered with cushions adorns the large verandah simply inviting you to lie, listen, relax and find yourself once more.

What a great way to start the new year? This is why we come to Bali.

On the long journey here, as we descended the mountains into the rich plains, we were lucky enough to encounter a huge procession of women carrying offerings on their heads to the local temple, which was ablaze with gold orange and purple sashes, ribbons, umbrellas and flowers. We have seen these before but not one quite so large nor so decorated. There must have been 150+ women, each balancing their offerings elegantly on their heads, gracefully walking down the street as though this was the most natural and easy task in the world. I wonder if anyone has ever stumbled and fallen?

The Gods must indeed have been hungry.

Tags: bali, children, culture, decoration, family, festival, people, places to stay, temple

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