365 Places: Bali

Day 43: Bali, Indonesia

Bali, the popular tourist island in Indonesia is a place that is very special to me, as well as a place that I have returned to many times over many years.

My first trip there was in 1981, with my Mum, when we were living in Darwin. I was 15 years old and had saved all my money from my after school job at K-Mart. There are many things that stick in my memory about that journey, things that had changed rapidly in the years that followed. For example, no shops in Kuta that had tiled floors and to get to the stalls in Jalan Legian, you had to walk over timber planks as the deep exposed drains from the Dutch era were still in use.

Then I returned there as a 19-year-old with a girlfriend in 1985, to a much different place, Kuta was teeming with young tourists and it had become much more commercialised.

I didn’t return to Bali until 1990/91, stopping in Bali for a couple of days either side of a study trip to Salatiga, in East Java. Kuta had become even more busy, noisy and lively, so much so that after spending time in rural Java, I decided not to return to Bali as it had changed too much.

And I didn’t go back, not for many years. Then in 2010, my husband Marty gave me a trip to Bali for a birthday gift. It was extravagant I know, but this time around we stayed in Sanur and it was total bliss. We also travelled to Nusa Lembongan for 3 days which was a lovely respite to the hustle of South Bali.

In 2012, we returned for our honeymoon, again having a magic time, travelling to North Bali as well as staying at our favourite spot in Sanur – Paneeda View.

As I write this post I am looking ahead a couple of weeks, as we will be heading back to Bali to escape the Canberra cold for a short time. I hope you enjoy these lovely images by Martin Drury and Garry Benson of this magical place.