There is an incense like smell of wood and lemongrass all over the island. I could sense it the moment I came out of the terminal building and It is around me now. Bali has a mystic quality about it that I remember from 14 years ago when I was last here. It appears that it still has the magic of the ancients all around it.
Yesterday, as my driver drove through the countryside on the way to “Ubud” a peculiar sight could be witnessed along the road. Men in uniform holding machine guns. There was security everywhere and it almost seemed that every 50 yards there was someone with a gun or a police badge. I did not think to enquire why, as I am now in Indonesia, and considered that security is heightened due to terrorist threats.
Suddenly along one particular road a policeman stopped us and signalled for us to move. Flashing lights appeared in the distance and police vehicles whizzed by along with armed men on motorbikes. Then three large black SUV’s bolted past me. followed by a medical vehicle. My driver smiled and asked “did you wave to our president?”
“Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono the preseident of all Indonesia is in Bali for a few days and heading to the airport”. Very cool I thought … sharing the road with a president at close quarters.
I am writing this from the Tenah Merah resort in Ubud. I have been given an upgrade to a private pool villa with sweeping views of a lush tropical valley. The room is normally $600 US a night but because of a bit of banter with the owner and a few smiles I have been given this place for the princely sum of $200 US. I can have it for 2 nights and then will move into a studio apartment in the same resort. Now I can safely say that I feel like the president of this country. there is absolute solitude and privacy. Butler at the ready should I need anything and a nice little infinity pool all to myself.
The weather was a bit overcast yesterday but the temperature warm. Today the sun was out and cast a glorious light on my private grounds. I decided to enjoy my villa and meditate as well as reflect on all the good things life can offer when you smile and stay positive. A tiny snake was hangining in a nearby tree and sped away when I moved to take a picture. There were dragonflies and butterflies everywhere and at one point a beautiful silver scaled lizzard appeared and gave me what seemed like a “hello”. The owner’s dog (a Rottweiler) came along in the afternoon and sat by my lounger for about a half hour while I pet him and patted him on the back. He was incredibly friendly to me when I arrived yesterday and seemed to think I was family. It was a nice moment, having a massive valley before me with an infinity pool in at my feet, a cold glass of white wine and a beautiful dog lying next to me. I could almost say that this was a perfect day. the day is not over so I will whisper that to myself before I sleep.
The Villa in Bali