The Island of the Gods
We had finally reached the waterfalls. The amount of steam in the air was so intense I had to wipe my camera lense every two seconds to be able to take a picture. The waterfalls felt never ending as I kept on looking upwards and couldn’t find their beginning.
Indonesia is a country with over 1,000 islands and among them is Bali. It is the only predominantly Hindu location in Indonesia and thousands of Hindu temples are found across its grounds. Almost everywhere you go you will find small box-shaped palm tree leaves containing colorful flora, which are spiritual offerings made by the locals for the Gods. The smell of incense and morning and evening prayers will be part of your daily experience in Bali. The nature in Bali has been by far the most breathtaking I have ever seen and it truly convinced me that nothing man-made will ever compete with what Mama Earth has blessed us with.
This small island started gaining popularity among westerners during the 1970’s, when surfers found out some of the best waves and remote beaches here. Today, Bali is one of the top 3 most visited destinations in Asia next to Agra, India and Bangkok, Thailand. In my opinion, what makes Bali so great at the moment is the combination of being able to visit breathtaking nature locations, but at the same time be able to enjoy top notch restaurants, nightlife, and resorts. Bali also has good quality supermarkets, modern pharmacies, and great boutiques for shopping. It is the perfect mix of getting westernized services but still be in an exotic island rich in culture and nature. The young community of digital nomads, surfers, and artists visiting and moving to Bali is also very appealing.
Some of the things that I enjoyed during our two weeks in Bali were renting and riding a motorbike, staying in the towns of Canguu and Ubud, exploring waterfalls and beaches, surfing, and eating at the local cafes and restaurants. Riding motorbikes in Bali is standard, most people are riding them instead of cars because they are way cheaper and more convenient to get around.
My favorite waterfall visited was the Sekumpul Waterfall near Ubud. The walk there is slippery and during our way there it started pouring but our guide just kept on walking in the rain so we did as well. After crossing a little river, I tried to clean off some smalls leaves on my legs and when they wouldn’t come off, I realized they were small leeches sucking on my blood. My guide took them off casually. We had finally reached the waterfalls. The amount of steam in the air was so intense I had to wipe my camera lense every two seconds to be able to take a picture. The waterfalls felt never ending as I kept on looking upwards and couldn’t find their beginning. We also climbed some rocks to go inside the water and we put our hands below the waterfall and felt the intensity of the water falling.
I also loved visiting the Monkey Forest in Ubud. The forest itself is really beautiful and the monkeys will most likely jump on you. A monkey jumped on my shoulder while walking through a small bridge and started searching inside my pockets and camera bag for some snacks. We were told that as long as you stay calm, don’t pet them, or make eye contact with them it will be just fine. They were truly adorable.
Our trip was extended by a couple of days since Mount Agung (Bali’s active volcano) erupted when we were there. The volcano can be seen from most spots of the island and seeing the volcanic ash clouds was mesmerizing but a bit scary. We were definitely a bit scared but thankfully the eruption was not serious and no one was hurt. One of the locals told us not to worry since locals had brought lambs and ducks close to the crater of the volcano as offerings for the Gods. Bali taught me how powerful nature can be and made me fall in love with our planet. I have the feeling, I will go back to Bali at some point for a 6 month stay or maybe longer.