Friday, 20 September 2013
I spent the day climbing through concrete ruins in the mountainous jungle regions of Bali to get to locations like this. As a city-dweller who’s only ever travelled to other cities, I’ve never seen nature growing over human decay on this scale, with rickety, make-shift bridges and walkways no more than a foot wide to get over waterways like this.
One minute I’m climbing through trees and bamboo and making sure I don’t slip and fall into a river or over a cliff; the next I’m running through an immaculate rice field; or negotiating with the local villagers for passage through to a pristine lake to watch the local fishermen work… during which I’m learning about all the local customs, politics, foods, education, languages, history, social groups and rivalries, cultural and government issues… I’ve been up for more than 42 hours, so I’m not sure if it’s the fatigue or my sheer inexperience when I say it was like a game of Tomb Raider or Uncharted, but without the guns or the people trying to kill you.
Whatever it is, this will be my lasting impression of Bali.
PS: My guide for the day was Yande Ardana. I can’t recommend him highly enough.