June 26, 2015
Seririt, Bali. This, perhaps, was the best vacation I’ve ever had in my life.
I’m writing this blog post now in Bali. I’m standing at the computer, writing out whatever comes to mind, and looking over the pool in the backyard and the ocean waves two meters away from the pool. I don’t see anyone on the beach. I can’t hear any voices, any music. I hear the ocean and I hear the birds, and that’s it. Martina just handed me a fruit I’ve never heard of before. It looks like a potato on the outside, but it’s softer than an overripe banana, and splits apart in your hands. It tastes like caramel, with the flesh of a kiwi. My face is a bit sticky from eating it, so I’m gonna go wash it off by swimming a few laps in the pool. BRB. Here are some pics of the place while I go swimming.
We’re here for our 8 year wedding anniversary. We had saved up enough air miles to be able to fly here for free, so we bought tickets for the week of our special day. We found a lovely AirBNB that was far from the tourist areas. Yes, we use Airbnb’s just about everywhere we travel. You should too! Here’s $25 dollars for an Airbnb if you haven’t signed up yet. Moving on, we wanted to be remote and undisturbed, and to spend a week with little to no distractions from each other. There are a couple of other people here in the area, but we don’t notice them often. This place comes with a maid, whose name is Mercy. She’s also the cook, and her food is AMAZING. AMAZING! Guise, I can’t emphasize this enough. Every meal she’s made for us we’ve yelled about. To each other, then to her. She laughs at us like we’re weird, when we look her in her eyes, shake her hands violently, and thank her for making Balinese food. We were given a very comprehensive list of where to go and what to eat during our time in Bali, but as soon as we started eating her food we abandoned those plans. Mercy suggests a dish, we give her money for groceries, and she comes back with fresh produce and makes us food that makes us weep. Then we get back in the pool and swim off our tears of joy and watch the sun set into the waters.
Seriously, I wouldn’t even consider this place a villa with a maid. It’s more like a chef’s restaurant that you can live in, and every day the chef comes up with new creations as easily as you and I can take a picture on Instagram. Martina’s been taking pictures of some of the meals we’ve been eating, not just here, but also around Bali. Also, we had loads of fruit we’ve never seen before! Here’s a small gallery of those pictures, with a bit of description:
Otherwise, this place we’re staying in is gorgeous beyond words. It’s definitely the best house I’ve ever been in for the entirety of my life. Martina grew up with some rich friends so I’m not sure if it’s the same for her, but I’ve never been anywhere this beautiful. It’s big, empty, remote, and comes with a chef. It’s my dream house. If I could sell everything I own and live here forever you’d never hear from me again. It’s that good.
But, for real, it’s not like you wouldn’t hear from us. I’m writing this blog post in Bali right now, instead of swimming and napping. Napping! I forgot to mention napping! There are so many places for us to nap while we’re here! We’ve napped so much! I could be napping right now, but I’m inspired to write about this place, to take pictures and videos. People usually go on vacation to get away from work, and spend time on their hobbies. For us, writing, taking pictures, making videos: those are our hobbies. It’s so hard to step away from it, because all we see around us is a world of inspiration.
I want to share some pictures with you. Not pictures of dolphins, because we only got them on video, but the view while dolphin searching in Lovina is just…lovely
We’re in Seririt right now, and the closest touristy place is Lovina, which is famous for dolphin watching. Fortunately, Mercy’s husband, whose name is Made, runs a boat that goes out to watch the dolphins every morning. She told us to meet him at 5AM. We woke up at 4:30AM – and well rested at that! – and went off to see the dolphins. When we met him, the sun hadn’t risen yet. He pointed us to his boat, and we got on with two other French girls we had never met, Made started the motor, and we were off. Just like that. If this was Canada, we’d have to put on life-vests, sign waivers, be instructed about safety protocols, watch a 30 minutes instructional video, pass a test, and then wait for two weeks before our application would be accepted. Here in Bali, none of that bullshit mollycoddling. Get in the boat and let’s see some dolphins!
We were lucky to be with Made. He has been doing this for many years now, and he understands the patterns of the dolphins. Made could guess their patterns, and we were closer to them than any of the other 100 boats out there. 100 boats, at least, for maybe 20 dolphins. It was a very bizarre experience. The dolphins would emerge and start jumping out of the water, and all of the boats would converge around the dolphins until the dolphins had no more room to jump, and so they didn’t. We came up with a plan with Made, and we all shouted “look! Dolphins! Over there!” and pointed to where dolphins weren’t in hopes of getting the other boats to chase them, but that didn’t work. Instead, we just drove away from the rabble for a bit and stared at the sun as it rose and warmed the waters.
We asked Made about the overcrowding of boats around the dolphins, and fortunately he made us feel less shitty about it. The dolphins eat there every morning, but they hang around to play well after they’re stuffed. They like the attention, and – interestingly – don’t come around when there aren’t that many tourists around. Oh, dolphins: you’re better with tourists than we are. If it was up to me, it’d just be you, me, Martina, and Made. The French girls could be there, too, I guess. They weren’t annoying.
Anyhow, if you plan on going to see the dolphins, and I would recommend you do so, because it was really gorgeous, go through Made. Call him at 087 762 225 913. Or email him here. He does other stuff as well, like snorkelling and fishing trips. We didn’t go for anything else, though we wougld if we had the urge. Instead, we’re back here swimming and eating and moaning at how good this all is.
I also want to emphasize that we’re not paid by either Mercy or Made for talking about them here. They don’t even know about our blog. We told them that we want to share their info with our audience, and they agreed. We just honestly had a fantastic time with both of them. They definitely made our vacation significantly better.
We also went to a waterfall. I’ve never been to a waterfall like this before. I’ve been to Niagara Falls, but that doesn’t count. It’s gigantic and impossible for you to perceive in one spot. This waterfall, though, was hidden away in the forest. We parked on the street close to the entrance, and walked down a path paved with vendors selling their spices and saris, and found the waterfall at the end of 15 minutes. It was stunning. A small cliff with a rush of water pouring down, some of it smashing on the rocks, some of it not making it down the drop, and spreading into mist that coated your face and camera lenses, and the whole thing surrounded by an uncontrolled growth of jungle. It was gorgeous.
Here’s our last pic dump, just of other fun and interesting things we saw and did:
Finally, we had way too much footage to put in one video for one week, so we separated a bunch of it and put it into some extra scenes right here. Check it out if you want more Bali!
I don’t know what it is, but I think that Balinese people are the happiest people I’ve ever met. Everyone I’ve seen smiles so sincerely, laughs so much. I know that Bali doesn’t have the strongest economy in the world, but it doesn’t show on anyone’s faces. Mercy, Made, our driver Putu, every owner of every restaurant we went to, all had smiles in their eyes. The few people that we did see occasionally around our beach were fishermen, and all walked into the water singing songs before swinging their rods. Though I’m sure everyone has their own struggles, I wonder if living on a paradise makes the burdens more easy to handle.
Or even stars. Stars. I saw more stars in Bali than I have in my life. Putu told us about catching shooting stars as a kid; when he saw one falling through the sky he’d reach up to pinch it before it left forever. We told him how, as kids, we’re told to wish upon a shooting star, to which Putu said if he made a wish every time he saw a shooting star he’d be a millionaire by now. The point is, the two of us, Martina and I, gawk at the smears of stars at night, and I wonder if you get used to it after a while. If you’ve grown up around waterfalls, sunrises and dolphins, warm waters and sunsets and countless stars, do you still feel the awe? Does that ever fade? I don’t know. I’ve been living in a megalopolis for the closer end of a decade now, and seeing all of this nature makes me ache.
I’d love to live in Bali. Maybe one day I will. For now, though, I’ve told Mercy that we plan on kidnapping her, and that she should prepare her husband for her imminent departure and living with us forever. She refused our offer to be our moms. I see no other choice. What’s the penalty for kidnapping here in Bali? I don’t know. I just hope it doesn’t blacklist me from entering again, because I most definitely will at any chance I can get.