Despite their living on such an idyllic-appearing island, the Balinese people have not known much of uninterrupted paradise. Most of the people still live very labor- intensive lives in subsistence agriculture and there are two active volcanoes (Agung and Batur) bubbling below the surface, and ready for their turn at devastation. Now these peaceful people must also wait and wonder about the next terrorist attacks on their busy tourist industry. The echoes of the past are not necessarily sounds that the Balinese people want to hear; they prefer to look forward to a happier, safer, most prosperous future. But who can say whether or not they will achieve that dream? T HE “T OURIST ’ S D REAM ” It really is true that for visitors Bali is beautiful, friendly, tropical in its flowers and temperatures, relaxing in its approach to life, fascinating, comfortable & luxurious in its accommodations, delicious in cuisine, and satisfying to visit. We found all these things to be true during our week plus on the island. Our trip through the first four countries we visited had been so full of strange and marvelous experiences and unusual sights with echoes of dramatic pasts and intimations of better (or not) futures that we all wondered if Bali would be a let-down. But it was most decidedly NOT! It was quite different from those other countries and that made it all the better. A great note to end on for our colorful adventure. S CENERY Bali is mountainous and the clouded peaks with their green-leaved shoulders provided a dramatic backdrop to the shiny yellow-green of the terraced rice paddies and the gently waving palm fronds. The skies were clear and deep blue with puffy white clouds always skittering across the lapis lazuli upside down bowl of the heavens. The ubiquitous Hindu shrines spaced among the paddy fields added the right exotic contrast to nature’s loveliness. The ocean beaches were either glittering golden grains meeting the white foam fringed waves of turquoise waters or black volcanic sands that contrasted vividly with the pounding surfs that exploded like the lava eruptions that had formed the beach. Bali is among those blessed island Edens in the South Pacific and shares all the vaunted beauties of these gracious places on theearth.
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