Bali Day 8 part 3
Bali Indonesia Day 8
We also took a 2-day trip to Amed; this is an area on the eastern coast of Bali. Very beautiful and remote - it doesn't attract many tourists, probably because the beaches are mainly rock and filled with the small wood floater boats used by the local fisherman.
All of the reasons that I love it. I have also been visiting here since my first trip to Indonesia and have always stayed at the Meditasi bungalows, owned by a man named LaGoza, who is quite a character - somewhat of a Rastafarian Balinese, though without the dreads and reggae. Needless to say, the place is very laid back and is run by a number of boys and young men (my first trip felt a little bit like I was in the setting for Lord of the Flies) - the main one being Mario, who I always really look forward to seeing, very sweet and a jokester.
The bungalows are heavenly - two stories with a stone bathroom area on the ground floor and stone steps that lead up to the sleeping chamber and a deck with a couple of chairs and a "day" bed that looks out onto the ocean, which is about 60 feet away. The day bed is actually the day and night bed since it's so incredible to go to sleep under the stars and watching & listening to the ocean tides. Corey and I took very long day hike for several hours along the road that follows the coastline and winds through several villages. More things that I've learned over the years here: not to where shorts, not to bare shoulders, and not to show too much physical affection with your sweetie. While Balinese (and Indonesians in general) are used to this from tourists - and Balinese will where shorts and bare shoulders (both men and women), it's looked at as being disrespectful from tourists; and I've definitely noticed a difference in the way in which I'm treated when covered up a bit more. On the Muslim islands (the majority of the country), this is a definite must.
We took our walk early in the morning - starting at about 8:00, so most of the villagers were in the midst of counting the large baskets of fish that had been caught. We also saw many goats, cows, pigs, and chickens, all housed under their own thatched roof structures.
Then there were lots of kids and they loved to run out and say "hello" with big smiles and wanting their pictures taken. I had a flashback to when I was a little kid and we had movie stars staying a few houses down on our street. "The Missouri Breaks" was filmed outside of Billings Montana (my hometown) and rather than staying in a hotel; the stars - Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando wanted to stay amongst the "locals." They were there all summer and we kids would constantly ride our bikes by and ogle. My mother and her friends would wait for our reports on what they were doing. One afternoon when Angelica Houston was visiting (she and Nicholson were a couple at the time), the whole crew of them started running through the sprinklers and my brothers and I and our friends stopped on our bikes and just watched (normally we'd just keep riding back and forth, like a hundred times). Pretty soon Jack Nicholson invited us to come over and join them - we really didn't know how to respond - we just continued to stand there with our bikes. So he went inside and got his camera and came out and started taking pictures of us! We totally giggled and it lightened us up, so we joined in the fun - and then they invited us to come into the house, which was a bit of a mess with lots of alcohol bottles etc. Marlon Brando was inside sitting on the couch watching TV. They were all very friendly and very inquisitive about our lives. A very memorable summer to say the least - and reminder that some experiences really are relatively universal.
Later in the day the monsoon rains hit again; so we spent the rest of the day/evening reading and talking to a woman named Jackie from Connecticut who has been coming to Bali and staying at Meditasi several times a year for the past 9 years. She's a pilot (non-commercial) and has been publishing an aviation magazine. Last fall she sold everything and in January she moved to Bali and into Meditasi temporarily while she builds a house (next to the Meditasi property). We got to see the plans and a book of Bali homes with examples of elements she'll include and it looks like it's going to be quite beautiful - a total of 1,800 square feet, including upstairs and downstairs. We learned that in order to own property on Bali one either has to have a Balinese partner or one pays an ongoing mortgage annually. And in all reality - the government actually owns all of the property. So buyer be aware!
Our final morning we got up at 5:00 and went out on a fishing boat - I've done this twice before and it's always a treat for me because I don't know how to swim, so I haven’t spent much time in/on water - and especially not so close in the middle of the ocean. I LOVE it! We watch the sun come up and the fisherman does his line fishing - catching mackerel. Corey ended up being his assistant as he reeled in fish after fish after fish - he probably caught at least 100. We were out on the water for about 3 hours and this was the first time that the trip back in was smooth and without huge waves of water pouring up and over into the boat - a terrifying experience for me.
Our driver picked us up at noon and we headed back to Ubud, saying goodbye for another year to friends there. And next time we visit - Jackie's house will be done!