The wonders of paradise…

Nothing better than a beautiful calf to spot on a walk in the area.

“Sightings on the Beach In Bali”

When we first glanced at these peculiar marking in the sand, for a moment we were baffled, only to realize these are “crab markings” made when tiny crabs go in and out of their specific holes. The patterns are each unique and interesting. As we stood quietly, we could see the tiny crabs. More of these to share at a later time.

It’s Sunday today. The staff is off for the day both at this villa and the villa next door, both owned by Egon.  We’re totally on our own.

Tom made coffee, one cup at a time in the small French press as we lounged in the still cool bedroom, each of us savoring two mugs topped with fine imported  Australian heavy whipping cream. 

Tom set up an outdoor work station for me, that’s ergonomically suitable making posting easy and comfortable. Why stay indoors when the outdoors is heavenly? Sitting in the otherwise comfortable chaise lounges with my feet up causes an undue stress on my spine. 

I can only sit on a chaise for about 20 minutes at a time, which I do when sunning while I read aloud to Tom. The 20 minutes flies by quickly. The remainder of the day, I walk around the house and grounds every 30 minutes for at least 250 steps each time. 

A sharp seashell edge mortared into on a stone wall to keep intruders out.  In Kenya, they used broken glass.

This “house, walking” adds up quickly when yesterday I managed over 7500 steps on the Fitbit including two other walks, one early in the morning in the neighborhood and again around 4:00 pm on the soft sand of the beach. We’ve adopted these habits to not only improve my condition, but also for good health in general. The goal is 10,000 steps a day. I’m confident I’ll be able to achieve it.

Sitting all day is easy to do with all the household help, but we must stay active. In no time at all we’ll be on a 33-night cruise with many ports of call to tour requiring lots of walking. Being prepared is vital to making the experience all the more meaningful.

The four to five hour harrowing drive set me back after sitting for such an extended period. Yesterday, I paid the price, forcing myself to walk as much as possible. This morning I awoke feeling much better, more hopeful, after the exercise and another good night’s sleep. 

There’s something magical about the sound of the surf, the familiar sounds of the motors of the fishing boats across the bay near Java and the roosters crowing beginning at 3:00 am. 

Motorbikes, the most common form of transportation in Bali is found everywhere. So are curious chickens, roosters and baby chicks.

We easily recall how we had trouble sleeping when the roosters began to crow. That was a long time ago. Now, they don’t awaken us. During daylight hours it makes us smile. In one way or another we get our “nature fix” especially here in Bali.

Coffee consumed, showered and then dressed in our swimsuits we headed out the door for the morning walk after dabbing on DEET in a few choice spots. The mozzies are fierce in Bali so a few times a day I use a roll-on DEET stick, the only product that seems to work. It’s not worth getting the bite, which results in three or four days of itching along with the risk of a variety of mosquito borne illnesses.

This morning’s walk was glorious with chickens and roosters dashing across the newly paved-with-pavers, road Gede had overseen shortly before we left over two months ago. Each six inch square was perfectly laid by hand without a single raised edge tripping hazard to be found. 

The locals living in the houses along the road wave to us.  Few speak English, but everyone says “hallo” in Bali. From the woman weaving prayer baskets while seated on a raised platform in her front yard, to the children playing with rocks in the road, perhaps their only toys, to the Hindu shrines adorning each simple house, to the cows and calves staring at us as we walk by …it all feels familiar and significant.

Landscaping in the yard of a house that was being built last time we were here which appears to be completed.

So far, we have 100’s of new photos. I’d forgotten how easy it is to find photos ops in Bali. They’ve all been taken in the past almost three days since we arrived in Kuta and then made our way to Sumbersari the next day.
In essence, it’s why we travel; the warm smiles; the genuine bow of the head with the clasped hands; the warm hugs offered in greeting and departing; and the simple surroundings; the sights and sounds of nature; people living their lives. 

Perhaps it’s all of these simple aspects of life in Bali that makes us so happy to be back as opposed to the isolation we felt in Phuket, spending days and nights in the bedroom with the air-con running when the immediate area didn’t quite offer what we find here; the ocean…right there, access to the people…right there and of course, an endless stream of “Sightings on the Beach in Bali.”

Roof ornament on another newer house in the neighborhood.

The future looks bright. We’re excited about our upcoming travels awaiting us; the long cruise, three months in Tasmania, 40 nights in Sydney, more cruises and our eventual visit to family and friends in the US, a mere eight months away.

For now Bali is our “home” and as they say “home is where the heart is.” At this moment in time, our hearts are right here together in this island paradise.

Photo from one year ago today, September 4, 2015:

An overgrown sheep found by the RSPCA outside of Canberra on September 2 2015
This is a photo (not ours) of previously long lost sheep, now named Chris, who was lost for years to be found in this dreadful condition.  With the help of professional shearers, Chris has been relieved of his mass of wool and is doing well.  Stories such as this are news,-worthy in Australia. For more details, please click here.

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