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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

1 February 2011

Meditasi

28th January 2011

This is a lovely place. It’s my favourite bit of Bali so far, both the area and the place we’ve stopped to stay.

From Padangbai this morning we drove east as far as it’s possible to go without plopping into the deep indigo Indian Ocean. Padangbai is an amiable spot, with a bunch of places to stay and a village all sharing a pleasant cove, but there wasn’t really anything to detain us. Our first stop was Amlapura where we admired the local palace, apparently a good example of Balinese architecture and inspiration for some of the finest tropical resorts here and around the world. After charging ourselves with a lunch of nasi campur at a local roadside warung we set off on the little-used and winding road which hugs the south-east coast, clambering its way around steep hills that drop down into the sea. We took a couple of wrong turns, and at one point got the car stuck in a rut where rain had washed the tarmac away. Plenty of locals to help push it out, though.

Finally we found ourselves winding down to a series of beautiful black-sand coves known as the Amed coast. To one side the hills rise, verdant green with rainforest. To the other side the Indian Ocean stretched deep indigo blue to the horizon. Above is a sky washed with palest blue and scudding clouds. In between the shoreline has hundreds of multicoloured trimaran fishing boats pulled up on the pebbles, with the red tiles roofs of village houses poking up among the bananas and palms further back.

We had come along the back route, and so the first place to stay that we found would be the last place to find for most visitors. It is called Meditasi and has only four bungalows on high stilts. The big sliding door onto the balcony shows no signs of ever being closed, and we can sit out there and watch fishermen working on their boats right below us. With the other door open the sea breeze keeps the interior cool without fan or air-con.

It’s rustic, no doubt. The bathroom is outside, with just a spout of cold water for a shower. But who needs hot? And of course we’re sharing it with bugs and geckos; there’s a huge spotty one hiding behind the mirror even now. We borrowed snorkel and fins earlier and walked straight onto the beach, between the boats and into the sea. The coral starts about five metres off the shore, and there are myriad fish. They cooked up a lovely grilled fish for dinner, and with no-one else about and the sound of the surf through our open door at night it feels like we own the place.

I’m as relaxed and smiley as I’ve been in six months.


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