A Coastal Pocket of Paradise

DSC02656Sadly, it’s a rare day that I emerge from a pool surrounded by beach chairs, solar panels and frangipani trees, to find a man with darkly burnished finely-tattooed skin whom I’ve never met before, waiting to rub oil into my backside. I mention sadly, because spending merely one hour captivated by the exquisitely powerful spell and limp beneath the ever-so-muscular palms of this Balinese massage maestro, is something that really ought to be experienced on a more regular basis. EvDSC02621en if I’m lying on my stomach butt-naked, with a sarong only barely covering parts of that which lies open to the sky. Here’s a guy who, by day, toils as the gardener of a nearby resort, and moonlights as the village healer.

Putu’s healing hands are reason enough for me to consider moving to PemDSC02603uteran.

My friend C and I have been invited up to the luxurious yet cozy enclave of Jeda Villa. We’re here for a couple of days, but there are a whole host of reasons to spend more than a weekend in this village on Bali’s north coast.

The pool is divine, long enough for laps. The views extend from sea up to mountainsides, close enough to hike. There’s a breeze, good food (c/o of the resort’s staff), a king-size bed (and bathroom to match), a library of books, a TV and DVD player, a yoga studio and lawn – with massive palm trees, Buddhas and lotus pond – that stretches much further than the eye can see.DSC02614

And then there’s Boris. Originally a Bali street dog, turned into a domesticated, somewhat indifferent but occasionally present pet. He will snub his snout at you. And he’ll stare you down, then gallop away to play with the other dogs. But once in awhile, he’ll curl up beside you, most certainly when you’re practicing yoga (what’s with these pooches that they’re so interested in asanas?). Then, when you’ve settled into savasana (corpse pose), hDSC02630e will find the perfect excuse to tiptoe towards your head and place his paw ever so stealthily and strategically… right on your chin.

But, the real treat was the soundscape that greeted us. At first there was silence; a perfect antidote to the ruckus that is Ubud. But soon after, the village sounds took over; and they were not what I expected at all – the tinkling of bamboo gamelan. No, hDSC02684ere’s where I was introduced to the phenomenon of Dangdut music, a mix of Indonesian traditional and folk music, popularized in Java (a short drive and ferry ride westwards). I was stopped in my pool-side tracks, caught off-guard by the unexpected sounds… I felt immediately transported into a Druze tent or Moroccan restaurant, so distinctly Arabic / Oriental were the rhythms and tones.

It was to the sounds of Dangdut, the chants and prayers of the Imam at the mosque a short drive away, and the sounds of roosters and dogs that I awoke those mornings. With great piles of newly-fallen frangipani buds scattered across the lawns, a heavy mist coating the mountain sides and a sunrise that glimmered on the water below, there was nowhere else in the world I would have rather been.

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18 Comments

    1. It is amazing place, but I couldn’t have afforded to pay for it. I was invited up for a treat by a friend who had a 2-night voucher. What a blessing it was/is!! Sure, coffee would be nice! Where are you staying, at Sherry’s?

  1. The place sounds divine and your descriptions are captivating. I felt as though I was there, even though I’m sitting in a stark office at work. Thank you for transporting me away for a while ❤

  2. This sounds like a little bit of heaven on earth. Awesome that you were able to experience it!
    I hope you don’t mind that I tagged you in a Share the Love Challenge on my post today. Mary 🙂

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