Saturday the 11th of April
We have come to the final day of our adventures.
The Nusa Dua Club Med resort with its four star comfort has delivered, for the past week, a luxurious representation of Bali with a humble family vibe. A lasting impression was established as of our arrival. “We would like to extend our warm welcome to Club Med Bali. Everything in this exceptionally beautiful spot has been prepared for your complete happiness, relaxation and entertainment. In this well known family oriented village you can enjoy a wide range of sporting and leisure activities.” The all-inclusive package maintained an impressive standard from the delicious food and cocktails to the various activities that run from sunrise to late into the night. You could choose to start the morning with hot power yoga or aqua gym. Trapeze lessons and canoeing equipment could be taken at leisure, but if you preferred to simply sit in the sun, there was never a shortage of gazebos and deck chairs scattered from the beach to the pool. An itinerary was made available at reception daily announcing the evening show and evening after show which was often also followed by a beach party that continued late into the night. A kids club accommodates the youths; an adult pool with beds immersed in the warm water provides an escape from the busy deck area. These activities added to the ambience of ClubMed – I was impressed by every aspect of the service.
One last time we sat around the high table and piled up a plate from the buffet. Throughout our entire stay at Club Med I have enjoyed the fun of trying a bit of everything and then going back for seconds and dessert. No morning has gone without a chocolate croissant (or two); lunch and dinner options changed daily within the permanent categories of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian or International cuisine. There were plenty of options to satisfy any craving with food of divine quality. At home we don’t often stock such delicacies in our pantry so of course we took full advantage of the buffet. Mum ate more dessert than she did dinner and dad finished every meal with a generous helping of cheese. I personally loved the fresh pineapple the most!
We were required to vacate the room by 11:00 so we each packed a day bag and left our suitcases outside the rooms as instructed. I was thrilled to have another full day at the resort in which to soak in the sunshine for the final time in a long while. The airport shuttle was due to pick us up at 9:00 pm so we opened a locker and resumed our place by the pool with cocktail in hand. The scintillating sun. The welcoming waters. The serene landscape. The kind people. The rich culture. The tranquil atmosphere. In this moment I could collect the unique characteristics that made this island so very wholesome and truly appreciate my experience. I was relaxed, having found balance between my mind and soul and no longer troubled by the tribulations that had relentlessly degraded my mentality for the preceding months.
The final activity for our stay in Bali was a boat tour. For forty-five minutes we motored around the bay in the same boat used for the snorkelling trip. We were still in sight of the shore as we sped across the still waters, past strips of a dozen or so resorts and finally circling by the sacred guardian statue. All shades of blue coloured the sky and ocean as the sun disappeared behind the clouds and beyond the horizon. A sense of tranquility was installed as we bobbed in the water, just as though we were being rocked in the arms of our mother earth. This was the essence of Bali.
The streets of Bali seem different at night. People remain active until late, the absence of the glaring sun making conditions for work more tolerable. This is not rush hour traffic, but it is still busy and a different experience altogether. Evenings at the resort consisted of upbeat music, featured shows and disco lights catering for all ages – this showed an ever greater contrast between our two worlds. We conducted our airport necessities and made our way through ‘dufry’ shopping to find a spot to sit in the House of Beans; an espresso for dad, soy decaf cappuccino for mum and skim latte for myself. We had made it to the home stretch. Our trip was near complete.
We boarded the plane and within a short amount of time I was asleep across my parents’ laps. My short nap may have only lasted a few minutes, but it left me with new energy for when the meal cart rolled around. A bite of ravioli and a burnt mouth later, I began watching Paddington Bear. When I awoke again a short time later I had the imprint of my phone stamped into my face and skin so dry you wouldn’t believe! Night time flights weren’t my fancy. Having only just made the halfway mark of the six hour flight, I reminded myself of the soft bed and plentiful moisturiser that awaited me in my humble home.
I did not sleep more than twenty minutes throughout the entire flight so arrived in Sydney buzzing from the adrenalin of an all nighter. I fell asleep in the cab home. It felt surreal being back in Sydney to the point that the urbanised streets and the stern faces stood out as if unfamiliar. Even my room seemed solitary and quiet. Maybe it was because of the striking cold – having walked outside into a climate less than half the ambient temperature of Bali, we felt the chill as though it were personal. The post-vacation funk was bound to blow over in a few days but it certainly confirmed that this was one of the best holidays I had ever been on. I had set out to find closure on my journey but was spoilt to find that the island facilitated so much more. Intrinsic to the culture is a concentration on wholesomeness that accounts for inner peace. This lifestyle seeks an essential balance of elements that shape everyday life and harmony of the spirit and is called as Bali Living. I have brought this home with me in more ways than one: the physical embodiment of this is a totem placed at my door to ward away unwelcome spirits and a mental investment in customary ideals of thanksgiving, harmony and balance has left my head feeing clear. I am happy. I will do my best to stay so by channelling positivity as practiced in Bali Living. My experience of the island has been cathartic and rewarding – I have learnt much of myself and of the tropical paradise that is Bali.
I hope to be back soon.