I’ve run down how we got to this villa and to Bali altogether, so here is the posh, high society bit. The villa we stayed in for a week (of our 15 days) was pretty fantastic. It’s in a quaint village that hasn’t quite been discovered by tourists yet. Six years ago, a Seattle furniture store owner decided to cash it in and build a villa in Bali. He stays in it about a month a year and donates it to auctions a week at a time for the rest of the year. And he takes reservations in case you’re interested. So when you book the place, you get the whole place: four villas that sleep two people each, the whole grounds, pool, Indian Ocean view, and dedicated staff of about six people to cook, drive and keep the grounds. And a couple ladies came up from the village to do massages. It was by far the most exotic, ritzy encounter my family has had, so I spent the last couple days putting together this video so you can see what it was like.
Things I didn’t capture (in rambling-remember-style):
-The roofs! I didn’t get any of the awesome grass thatched roofs in this video. The undersides were beautiful! Yet when I looked at all my video pieces, I seemed to be staring at the ground most of the time. Then I remembered, the sky was bright white and killed the exposure on my video every time I pointed it up at all, so imagine each of the buildings with an intricate circular thatch roof and radial bamboo supports on the underside. So pretty!
-The animals: We had bats with about a foot-long wingspan that visited us each evening and stayed through dawn. They were fruit bats, so no darting over heads, they mostly acted like birds. The liked to hang from the undersides of aforementioned thatch roof supports, though, which was often right over our entry door. We often found remnants of their dinner, and guano, in a pile just outside our doors when we woke up. Bali has bigger bats – the flying foxes live there and they have a 4.5 foot wingspan (yeah, really) – and I wanted to see them. They were on the far side of the island, so sadly, no flying foxes viewed, just the smaller guys.
-Other animals: Toads and frogs sang in a chorus of different rhythms which changed from day to night. Crickets! Dang, I miss my Midwest crickets and they have some doozies in Bali. And giant cicadas in the daytime. They sounded like chainsaws, some of them. I found one in the botanical garden we visited and he was about three inches long. (Really big cockroaches, too.) Geckos, rainbow lizards, butterflies, birds and even a civet cat, I think (could have just been a regular cat, it was night). Oh, and that snake. We had a small snake on the kids’ patio one night. Of course the kids wanted to hold it (score one for Mom!) and of course I didn’t let them anywhere near it since I don’t know my Indonesian snakes, but I do know that there are five poisonous varieties in Bali. We encouraged him off the steps with a snorkeling fin and he dropped into a pond where he probably had fish for dinner.
-Sounds: I stood on our patio one morning just to record audio of the sun rising. I captured the sounds of birds coming awake, frogs of all types, bats chirping and wind in the palms. And way in the distance, before it got loud, there were ocean waves crashing. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’ll figure out what to do with it when I do.
-Hot and Sticky: The only hints of the temp are the few foggy-lens shots I included of the pool. That was because the air-conditioned room cooled my lens overnight which then met 87 and 100% humidity first thing in the morning. It was really much warmer than it looks here. You can hear me struggling up the steps in the heat a couple to times though. Funny, living in the Seattle area, you can acclimate to Mt Everest Base Camp, but you can’t acclimate to Bali heat. Minnesota would do better for that. It was just like Minnesota (or New Orleans) in late July, but without so many bugs. Bigger bats instead. And snakes. You might have heard about the python that strangled a security guard in Bali recently. It happened while we were there, a few days after we left our first hotel which was about five blocks from where that happened.
Ok, without further ado: