It had all started out with wanting to attend the IIFA AWARDS which is held in some exciting international venue every year…this year it was in Kuala Lampur…July 2015. Yippee…never been there…must go!!!And then my daughter came up with a brainwave. ”Since you are almost halfway there anyway why don’t you just have an extended holiday to Bali like you’ve always wanted to”, she suggested.
My sleepy brain began ringing!! Brilliant…why not!!
So we got our visa, we packed for a week and off we went.
Needless to say IIFA was brilliant as usual and after doing the imperative visit to Petrona Towers etc in KL, we were off to Bali…excited as hell and dying to see those clear blue seas and pristine white beaches.
I had done a lot of reading up before I booked the hotels and had finally narrowed down to Jimbaran side of Bali not wanting to actually stay in the busier and bustling Ubud , Kuta or Seminyak . We wanted a leisurely nature driven holiday and wernt really intending to frequent night clubs or shopping centres more than just a drive thru to get a local feel. The property that really caught my eye was the Ayana Resort and Spa in Jimbaran Bay with its sister properties, the Rimba Jimbaran and the Ayana Villas spread over 99 acres of mountain land….with its mix of Balinese and Modern design and 11 pools!!!!!! Being a water freak the last point sealed the deal!!!
We were not disappointed…the drive from the International airport in Denpasar was barely 20 mins and offered lovely views on the way before we drove uphill into the entrance of this breathtaking resort.
Anticipation was rife in our eyes and the welcoming sight of the sunken sitting area , right in the middle of the first of the promised pools in the lobby itself, made us sigh in glee!!! We were here!
We simply couldn’t wait to check in and throw on our swimwear without wasting a minute…the people were friendly and forever smiling, eager to help and the rooms were zen like.
Needless to say, we did what every self respecting tourist would do…scoured the property end to end in their litte cubby cars, swam every inch of every pool they had to offer, tested the course sand and warm waters of their private Kubu beach, ate a meal in a different restaurant each time within the resort, cheered and raised a glass for each other every night in any one of their many night clubs , took every city tour on offer …visited the handicrafts village in Ubud, shopping centres in Kuta, took the submarine ride from Amuk Bay, drove up to the volcanoes ,visited every temple we could etc etc .
Expected to do ..so did !!! But I am saving the best for last.
For me , one of the highlights of my trip were the evening we spent at the hugely popular Rock Bar which has endless lines of people waiting to be ushered to a table after the little cable car ride down to its precarious location atop a protruding rock, offering the most amazing views of not only the sea and surrounding mountains, but the most spectacular sunsets every evening. The breeze, the ambience, the infinity pool, the music, the smiling happy faces, the sun putting up the most amazing show for us, great company and a glass of some exotically prepared chilled cocktail in my hand….what more can a girl ask for?
And then the day arrived!!!! The day I had been waiting for…the time to dive off into the depths of the ocean and partake of the views the reef around Indonesia had to offer…one one of the best in the world I was assured. The boat ride out of Nusa Dua was pretty exhilerating since we hit choppy waters half the way out…45 mins into the sea and our speedboat was rising and falling, tipping over with every swell and as we held on for dear life , saying a silent prayer, we also couldn’t help but squeal in delight at the adventure we were having at this stage of our lives!! I could actually reach out and touch the water which rose up menacingly to greet and to drench me in mockery…made me realize how small and vulnerable we really are..helpless non-entities at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Luckily, as we anchored at the first of the three islands we were to jump off from, Nusa Penida ,the waters were calmer and protected and all was forgotten as we slipped on our equipment and sank into the almost sickeningly crystal clear waters to have our ‘Zindagi na Milegi Dobara Moment’…translated into that inexplicable feeling of awe and thrill…when the deafening silence, the myriad of colors, sizes and shapes, the overwhelming beauty makes you shed tears of joy that mingle with the saltiness of the sea and leaves you utterly spellbound and speechless!!! I wished I could sprout gills and stay there forever!!! A numbing experience that we were unable to put into words but couldn’t wipe off the smile from our faces for days to come!
This was the culmination, the absolute ultimate experience and I must have thanked God a zillion times for it!! The rest of the trip was a mere passé after this but Bali nevertheless surpassed every expectation and more.