"Hello, good morning... we have a reservation in your hotel" - I say twice before the man wakes up from his sleep. It was two a.m and we arrived in Bali after a five hour flight from Hong Kong. We whiz past the immigration and are on our comfortable bed in a nearby hotel in record time of twenty minutes from landing.
After a good night's sleep and a simple but tasty breakfast, we wait for our day trip taxi. Its really the best way to travel around in Bali. After a long but fulfilling trip around central Bali, we check in to our Pan Pacific Nirwana. "Hurry Up - we are just about on time !" - I urge Neha to make it quick so that we don't miss the sunset. And what a sunset it was.
The colors explode as we step onto the lush green lawns and walk up to the edge of the cliff.
Overcast next morning as I stand on a putting green of the golf course looking at the Indian Ocean.
Very keen to explore the landscapes around the hotel, we decide to walk around. To our delight, we discover a narrow hidden path way to go down the cliffs right on the edge of one of the golf greens!
A beautiful cascade next to the restaurant. But what lurks beneath these waters? We are stunned to see a humongous reptile crawl through and climb up the rocks and swim away quickly before we think of grabbing our camera. We are reminded, we are in the land of the Komodo Dragon! Several questions left for us to ponder, where did it come from, the sea or does it live in these waters? if it came from the sea, it meant that it would be crawling over the lush green golf course we were walking on just a few minutes back. Was it a monitor lizard or a small Komodo Dragon ?!
Its time to head down the slopes of the golf course to the small rocky beach of our beautiful hotel. As we walk with our heavy tripod and camera gear, we notice it again! Another monitor lizard, crawling away quickly on these rocks looking for some shelter on this hot and bright morning. I wonder how fast they can run. Faster than us perhaps?
Overlooking the stunning Anantara Uluwatu further south west. Two infinity pools leading to the breathtaking view of the blue green sea below a hundred meters cliff.
They call it the "Impossible Beach". The access to this beach is through an elevator which takes you down. The catch is that you need to return back up before six in the evening else you may be left all by yourself in water as high tide covers the entire beach.
I don't know what he is doing but my guess is harvesting sea weed. The Solitary Reaper...
Aha - what have we here ! A nice little cave tucked into the cliff on Impossible Beach.
Walk along Dreamland Beach and experimentation with ND filters for some long exposure photography.
Stunning landscape at Uluvatu sea temple. The water below was clean and blue, we could see the rocks tens of meters deep
Another beautiful day in Bali and time to sleep early as we planned to get up early and go on another day trip in Bali the next day. Ten PM and we get into bed and turn the lights off. As I was just about dozing off in pitch darkness, I am startled when my bed suddenly starts to rock. Adrenalin spikes in my body. Who is it? It lasts for about five seconds and then I realize its not "who" but its more like "what". An earthquake. I go to sleep again remembering my earthquake experience in Taiwan...The next morning, I wake up and check my cell phone for recent earthquakes, and there it was, a 4.1 tremor the previous night in Bali!
One of the numerous volcanic mountains that make up Bali and Indonesia.
Violent waters of Soka Beach. Long exposure shot balancing on a few rocks as the sea rocked and crashed into them.
Soka is one the few black sand beaches in Bali. Lucky to have shot a moment frozen in time as the kid is pulled into the sea by strong receding water and almost trips as the father tries to grab his hand. But it was too late and the kid fell smack on his back on the black sand. All safe though and it ended more in a laugh than a cry..
Dark clouds and an impending thunder storm approaches as we have lunch at Soka beach
Beautiful view from Pan Pacific Nirvana as Balinese musicians entertain us while we see the beautiful golf course and the Tana Lot sea temple far away
Geger beach on the calm east coast of Bali , is one of those clean and pristine beaches of Bali
More to come on Bali....Stay tuned for two more episodes where we discover why Bali is known as the Land of Gods as we explore the culture of Bali and another on two of Bali's exquisite hotels where we stayed...and why they are definitely worth staying...