Virtual Vacation: Alone in Amed, Bali Day 11

I was restless last night. I couldn’t fall asleep and was up again at 5:00 AM. I went out to the beach to see the fishermen taking off in their boats, but the beach was silent and the jukung remained on the shore. It is not a good day for fishing apparently.

I went for a walk up the road. This town is so schizophrenic—lots of local life going on:

And then there are hundreds of signs like this:

I felt antsy and uncertain about the day. I met a couple of British tourists last night and they said they were going on a 45 K downhill bike ride with the East Bali Bike Company, and I decided to join them. But before I went to bed last night, I read the brochure more carefully and realized that I would be careening down very muddy (big lightening and thunder storm last night) hillsides on a mountain bike, and that is not me. I hate going downhill. I’ve never gone mountain biking or wanted to go mountain biking. Give me a flat road and a street bike, and yes, sure, sign me up. But this ride sounded like a lot more than I really was prepared for physically or mentally.

And then at breakfast, the young man from last night (let’s call him Ketut) came over to chat and asked if I wanted to attend a ceremony with him in his village this afternoon. If I wanted to go, he would pick me up at 2:30. How could an organized activity for tourists possibly compare to an opportunity to experience village life? The choice was a no-brainer.

While I was waiting for the bike guy to arrive so I could tell him I didn’t want to go after all (we couldn’t reach him by phone), I chatted with one of the staff members, Ketut Eka, at the front desk. Eka means “one” and she has that name because she has three brothers and she is the one girl in her family.

As we talked, Eka discarded the old petals from this offering bowl and carefully replaced them with fresh ones. She slid a couple of blossoms on the counter underneath the business cards. That is so Balinese—always creating beauty.

When Eka turned and faced me I realized she was pregnant. I asked her due date and found out she is due the same month as my daughter-in-law, Brinn—just two months from now. That gave us a lot to talk about.

Eka told me about all the ceremonies families have for babies: a ten-day ceremony, a one-month-and-7-days ceremony, a three-month ceremony, another at six months, one for cutting the hair, and so on. Babies’ feet are not allowed to touch the ground for three months. They are carried constantly. That’s what the three-month ceremony commemorates—when the baby’s foot is first allowed to touch the ground.

Eka’s whole family, her husband, four-year-old son and in-laws live in one compound. She, like everyone else I’ve met in the last 24 hours, can’t understand why I’m here alone. When I told her that my partner and older son are in California, that my daughter on her way to Morocco, and my son lives in Boston, she looked at me as if she really felt sorry for me. And I felt sorry for me at that moment too. “In my country, we live very spread apart. Families do not live all together.”

When I said I thought things were better in her country, with everyone under one roof, Eka laughed and said, ‘Yes, unless we are fighting.”

Eka told me that both she and her husband both commute to work in tourism. She is 33 years old and comes from Sebetan Village, famous for its salak (snakefruit) harvest. She could either farm snakefruit or work in tourism and tourism pays better

Eka’s in-laws care for her son while she and her husband work to support the whole family. Since her village is an hour away, sometimes when she works the evening shift, she sleeps over here and goes back home the next day.

During a Google search about Amed the other day, I read about Bangle Village nearby. In the village, there are five holy springs. The Bangle Holy Waters, also called Toya Masam (Acid Waters) include five springs, each with a different taste. They are believed to contain healing properties – curing cancer, diabetes, kidney stones, stomach and skin problems. The first spring is supposed to be sour (or acidic), the second, sour and astringent. The third one is supposedly sweet, the fourth neutral and the last, extremely bitter. The springs get their tastes from the mineral-rich, volcanic rocks of Mount Seraya.

I told Eka I wanted to go there. I asked if I could walk and she said I’d need to go on motorbike. Ketut was standing nearby and offered to take me. He said that he had been wanting to get some holy water himself. “When do you want to go?” he asked.

“Now?” I replied.

“Now is good,” he said. He told me it would cost $25,000 rupiah to pay a local guide (about $2.50) to lead us to the springs. I went to get the money, the poncho I bought yesterday (it was drizzling) and to exchange my flip-flops for my Keens.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I hopped on the back of his scooter. He bought a liter of gas, handed me a clean empty bottle to hold his holy water, and we took off into the rainy morning. We passed the tourist strip and Ketut turned up to a small road on the left. Suddenly we were on a very rough rutted curvy road. I leaned into him and into the curves and he leaned his elbows on my thigh. It felt like we were one body. As he drove through flooded roads and up windy, steep, pockmarked roads, he asked, “Are you scared?”

“No,” I said. “I love it.”

Very quickly, we were in rural Bali and there was no sign of development or tourists or anything but the local people living their lives much the same way they have for centuries. Whole families were working in the communal rice fields (which Ketut told me also grow peanuts and corn, depending on the season). Little children were planting and carrying plants. Men were plowing with huge yoked oxen and wooden plows. Everyone was working together to create their sustenance:

We pulled over onto the side of the road once we reached Bangle Village. Ketut quickly found a teenage boy who agreed to lead us to the spring for a small fee.

And we followed him up a rocky path that overlooked the rice fields:

The path meandered for a long time:

But then it grew rocky and more challenging. The pathway was muddy and slippery and wet. I was grateful that I was wearing Keens rather than sneakers or flip-flops (like Ketut and our guide were). But still I had to clamber up and down the path using my hands to steady me on rocks, tree trunks, anything I could grab that was stable. This was more of a hike and quite a bit more rigorous than I’d expected.

“Like a trek?” Ketut asked.

“Yes,” I replied, smiling. I was loving it. This was way better than a bike ride down a mountain. And I was definitely getting my exercise for the day. We even had to forge a stream crossing:

Finally, we reached the first spring. I don’t know I expected—a neat little row of spigots coming out of the ground?  We had to hike to each of five separate springs, up and down muddy slopes, rocky outcroppings, and a wide variety of terrain.

There was a shrine at the first spring. And I paid a donation of $10000 rupiah ($1.00) and signed a guest book. And then I tasted the water.

And we climbed to the second spring and the third. The fourth and the fifth. I tasted them all. I couldn’t tell that much difference between them, though the water definitely tasted different. Ketut said they were diluted from the rain and all of the run-off.

The whole time, with each sip, I was definitely thinking giardia, parasites, (and worse), but I went ahead and tasted them. I figured that the Gods were either protecting me or laughing at me.

I prayed for healing, even though I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to heal from.

Each time we came to the next spring, Ketut prayed and sprinkled the holy water on his head, and then on mine, and added a little to the bottle I had carried for him.

After we drank from the fifth stream, we had a long hike back down to the village road, and we had to cross the stream again. Partway down, Ketut’s foot got stuck in the mud and when he slurped it up out of the mud, his flip-flop was broken.

He left them by the side of the trail and clmbed the rest of the way down barefoot. The views from the bike on the way down were exquisite. It was the old, real untouched Bali and I was so grateful to see it. When we got back to the hotel, I had Ketut go to the warung across the street and I bought him gas for the bike and a new pair of flip-flops. And then I went back to my room to rest.

This was my six-dollar lunch: a huge piece of fresh grilled tuna, rice piled in a cone with a banana leaf, Balinese vegetables, and fresh sambal. To quote my friend Allison, “yum!” The food is excellent here. No reason to eat anywhere else during my stay.

Now I’m resting and reading until its time to go to the ritual. It is quite a rainy day, but it’s a warm rain. It doesn’t look like its going to let up, but here in Bali, you never know.

Later….I napped and got dressed and packed my sarong and temple scarf in my backpack, threw a poncho over it all. I went out front to wait for Ketut to pick me up for the ritual. It was pouring and he didn’t come. Fifteen minutes later, he called the office to say he couldn’t come because it was raining too hard in his village. I was disappointed, but happy he had made the effort to get a message to me. I feel connected to him. I will never forget him. I hope I get to see him again before I leave Amed tomorrow.

Now I am alone, the only guest in this whole hotel, on a very rainy day with the rest of the afternoon stretching out before me. My immediate impulse is to want to DO something, but maybe it is okay to just rest. To read. To head out of here early tomorrow morning for Candidasa and the Lotus Bungalows, the first place I landed in Bali last year.

It’s interesting for me to note that even here in Bali, I want to be doing something, that the idea of the rest of the day with nothing but dinner in front of me—dinner alone—is a challenge. It’s hard for me to sit with just feeling lonely, but I think that’s exactly what I need to do.

Later still…I went out for another walk in the rain and just took pictures of some of things that caught my eye. On my way back from the hotel, I was practicing my greetings in Indonesian with everyone I passed (more on this another day). I was using the proper greeting for afternoon, Selamat Sore to a man and his wife sitting on a wooden deck outside their shack, right on the road. The man returned my greeting and said to me in English, “Come to my house.”

I did a double take to be sure and he was gesturing me over and he repeated his words. He spread a red blanket down on the wooden deck and gestured for me to sit, and asked if I wanted a cup of Balinese coffee. I hate the stuff, but of course, I nodded yes and his wife, who spoke no English, went to make it.

The man’s name introduced himself as Ketut Sadra. Like many of the people I’ve met in Amed, he was eager to practice his English since English-speakers are more likely to capture tourist business and tourist dollars.

I sat down cross-legged in front of him, being careful not to point my feet at him (an insult to the Balinese), as I tried to remember all the etiquette I learned from Judy and Surya last year.

Ketut told me he was 33 years old. I asked if he were a fisherman. He said he used to be, but then he showed me the large hump on his back and said he was injured and he had to sell his boat to go to the doctor. Now he was trying to work on the beach with the tourists to take them snorkeling and fishing.

Ketut Sadra and his wife have two children. Their Wayan, their oldest, is 11, and the youngest, 7. Two boys. Inside the house, I could hear the voice of his mother, an older voice, and see her hand gesture through the doorway.

I asked about the childrens’ schooling. Ketut Sadra said sometimes they got to go to school; other times they can’t. It costs 5000 rupiah, or 50 cents, every day for transportation to school, and if there are no tourists buying his services, his sons can’t go to school. “The fifty cents,” he told me, doesn’t include their books or their shoes.”

As I drank my overly sweet, thin Balinese coffee, and ate a proffered bright yellow pastry with a bright red sweet center (the Balinese equivalent of a Twinkie), Ketut Sadra asked, as everyone does, “Where is your husband?” I answered as I’ve learned to do, “meeting me in Candidasa,” because to say I have a wife, and not a husband, is just too hard for these struggling conversations.

Ketut Sadra told me there were cockfights 3 kilometers away and made it clear that people were gambling. He asked if I wanted to go and I said no. I’m all for taking part in this culture, but watching roosters peck each other to death in an illegal cockfight was definitely not something I was up for. He also tried to convince me that his cousin could drive me to Candidasa. I told him, sorry, that I had already arranged a ride.

As we talked over the next half hour, I taught Ketut some new English words and he taught me some new Indonesian ones:

What’s your name?  Siapa namamu?

Where are you going?  Di mana anda akan pergi?

Outside: di luar

In front: di depan

Behind:  di belakang

Beside: di samping

He also taught me that the local fishermen only fish for mackerel. Mahi mahi ad tuna, which I’ve been eating on a daily basis are harvested further away.

Toward the end of my visit, Ketut’s oldest son, Wayan, came home and shyly greeted me. Then he sat next to his mother, who immediately took out a lice comb and started working through his hair.

Before I left and said my selamat singal, I asked if I could take Ketut’s picture. He said yes and wanted to pose with one of the wooded boat models he sells to tourists. Then he wrote down his email address for me in my little notebook in the hopes I could send some tourist business his way. I really wish I could. There is such poverty here.

Back at my hotel, I decided I wanted a massage. When I asked if they could set one up for me, they asked if I wanted a local massage or a professional massage. The local massage costs $8.00 an hour and is done by one of the local (uncertified, untrained) woman. A professional massage is done at one of the spas and costs twice as much. I opted for the spa massage and paid 200,000 rupiah or $20 dollars. It was a so-so massage, but it was heaven to lie naked on a table listening to roosters and the wind and the evening call to prayer, to feel a warm breeze on my body and listen to the rain stop and then start again in a downpour.

I was well aware of the fact that I was spending half of a tourist worker’s monthly salary on what I considered a bargain massage.

Now I am warm and clean and relaxed and it’s almost time for dinner. I think I’ll have the mahi mahi again tonight. With a salad. And another piece of that divine lemon cheesecake. You usually don’t get western desserts in Bali. The ones at this place are definitely a treat.

I think I’ll go to bed early tonight, read until I fall asleep. I’ve booked a car for $25.00 to take me to Candidasa tomorrow morning. That’s where I’ll be welcoming Karyn and our group a few days from now. It’s time for me to get ready to be the teacher again.

I only hope I get to see “my” Ketut tomorrow morning before I take off. I’d like to give him a generous tip for being my tour guide and for trusting me with his story.

P.S. To those of you taking this virtual vacation with me, I just want you to know how very much your comments mean to me. It takes me so long to write each post that I don’t also have time to respond to you individually, but I want you to know that from across the world, I savor every comment you make, so please keep them coming. I LOVE hearing from you! In particular, if you have any stories or advice about traveling alone, I’d  love to hear them!

Comments

  1. Charlene Robinson says

    Another awesome post! I wonder if Amanda visited any of the places you are visiting. I know she loved the trip!

  2. Annette Naber says

    Oh Laura, I am so happy for you that you are able to connect with real people and have real conversations. It is so much easier to make this happen outside of a group. I had similar deep conversations with Balinese in Munduk, during my alone time after the group left.
    It is very pleasant to see the smiling faces of the hotel workers but so much more rewarding to hear the true concerns and challenges that people are having beyond their tourist masks. So happy for you that you are having these authentic interchanges….
    Maybe you can build in some alone time for your group members where they actually go to a place by themselves with the intention to connect with someone local, then write about it?

  3. Veronica says

    I’m here, Laura! And I’m reading along with delight. As everyone’s said, your descriptions are delicious and I feel like I’m there with you.

    I have traveled alone extensively and find that it’s always uncomfortable at first. Being alone with one’s thoughts is not always as pleasant as you’d think. But I find that after a while, I relax deeply and come to a greater understanding of myself. Then I have a hard time readjusting to talking to others!

    Enjoy the rest of your time. I know I will!

  4. Karen Tracy says

    Your amazing footwear: I know the name Keene.

    I always have such footwear issues. I conclude I’m not really from here. The planet I come from, we all go barefoot. That not being practical, especially when traveling foreign territory, shoes of some kind are requisite.

    So maybe a photo of your Keene’s, since they get such generous mention.

  5. Kat says

    Laura, I am so moved by the way you open yourself to the world, and also to us. This seems to me so truly courageous, so exposed. THANK YOU for setting the bar so high. This is the best kind of writing, the best kind of teaching.
    And no need for a response; any response would be redundant.
    Love,
    Kat

  6. maureen says

    Love how you are telling both your own story and a universal story we can all find our own place in. Blessings on your continued journey.

  7. Sunday Marie says

    As a woman who lives alone in a foreign country – I found you by taking one of your classes at the conference in san Miguel – I am familiar with the slight longing that can accompany most of your activities while traveling alone. For me it’s a mix of feeling brave and feeling scared and feeling a little alone in the world. I don’t mind it because I’ve chosen it in order to feel that particular discomfort because I think being slightly out of comfortable builds me in ways I need right now.
    The feeling that I also get – one that is less welcome – is guilt for having more money (which often reads as more options and more freedom) than people local to the area (a generality, to be sure. But sufficient for this conversation). While I was reading your story about the second Kahat, I wondered if you felt that he wanted to be compensated for his time with you? It may be my own insecurity in these kinds of interactions, but I sometimes find myself in these quasi-social experiences, struggling with what is he really asking for? What is expected? What is needed? Children are easy – love and smiles and broken Spanish. The two beautiful, old and grizzled women on my street: easy – they are asking for money and 10 pesos every few days and a Buenas Dias Señora everyday meets their needs. But this kind of interaction, with his clearly wanting and needing more work would have made me uncomfortable because I wouldn’t know what he really wanted. Did you experience that at all?

  8. felicia park-rogers says

    laura–i haven’t been able to read every post, but each one i read makes me teary and makes my chest ache. i long to be there with you. and i have to laugh too, because i can’t imagine anything i want more than an afternoon all to myself with no one i know anywhere nearby and nothing i have to do, clean, or prepare. i am longing for loneliness…so there you have it–the grass is always greener…one more day of work for me, one more night of feverish and nervous packing and preparing, and my portion of your adventure begins. i can’t wait to see you in person, and i am loving reading your blog and seeing your sumptuous photos. Thank you!
    excitedly yours,
    Felicia

    • says

      And I look forward to welcoming you. just make sure you have a poncho tucked in your bags.a light one if possible. I bought one here for five bucks…probably could have gotten the price down.

      I don’t think you’ll have much loneliness on a group tour…but you can snatch moments alone and time for a solo adventure or two.

      see you soon!

      Laura

  9. Tracy Thomas says

    Every day I look forward to reading more of your adventure. I love, love, love that you are spending time connecting to the local people and getting the opportunity to see and experience all of the off the beaten tourist path sites. So fabulous! Journey on my friend! xoxo

  10. Nancy says

    Just to let you know how much I appreciate your postings, when the email comes in from you, I stop everything to read them. A pleasure to travel virtually along with you. Your willingness to risk and grow is inspiring.
    n.

  11. Eileene Tejada says

    Laura,
    I am inspired by your openness to what and who the Universe brings in your travels. I find your willingness to visit with a complete stranger so brave. I am shy and so paranoid about safety. I also chuckled at your thoughts before sipping the water. I don’t know that I would have taken the chance to drink from the springs.

    I hope to practice this kind of trust and openness when I travel later this summer.

    Keep the posts coming. They are wonderful.
    Sending love-
    Eileene

  12. Jennifer Astone says

    Hi Laura,
    Traveling alone in a developing country is a sweet and salty solace. The feeling of being with oneself and being fully aware of one’s culture and privilege can delight and disturb. Sometimes one is bored, sometimes learning, sometimes feeling guilty and sometimes in love with a gorgeous meal that fills one well. Your stories remind me of so many adventures I have had and of those moments of discovery and confusion.

    I love your story of hiking up the path to find the springs, deciding to drink, and wondering whether the water is contaminated with Giardia or not… the perfect ambiguity of it all, how special it is to explore and how simple life’s pleasures can be.

    Keep enjoying. The writing is great, I love the photos.
    Hugs from Jen
    PS Keep that Cipro handy in case your stomach gets rocky!

  13. Naomi White says

    Hi Laura,

    I want you to know that I’m alert to the buzz on my phone that means an email has arrived. I drop my packing and check to see if it’s from you. If it is, I leave whatever box I’m working on and sit down to travel with you.

    So much of my traveling has been alone, and so I find myself with you, with those feelings of wanting to DO something, feeling anxious, panicky, wishing I were somewhere else, forcing myself to be present, feeling guilty about spending money on something that would be so expensive for a local person, wondering if I’m being safe or foolhardy or adventurous and brave, hoping I’m not catching a tropical bug by eating street food or drinking from unknown and holy streams…it’s such a RELIEF to know all those feelings are shared.

    And I also know the magic of what happens when I can muddle through my own inner scramble-y feelings and slip into a moment of grace and really be present to whomever is there, with a story, needing love and someone to witness their struggle. That was really beautiful, by the way.

    Thank you for spending the time to write for us each day. I’m loving it and can’t wait to have my own stories to tell.

    See you soon :)

    • says

      Naomi, can’t wait for you to arrive. I’m so very glad that we squeezed you in and made this trip work for you. I know you’ll be a simpatico traveler.

  14. Vanya Erickson says

    Your description of traveling alone for the first time was perfect, Laura. It brought me back a few years. My first time solo was when I flew across the country to my daughter’s graduation from college. I had recently left my husband, so I was pretty raw. I swear I rode every emotion possible in the course of those 4 days. But I clearly remember the gnawing worry that I wasn’t good enough company for myself. I needed a diversion from looking at me. At some point while waiting for the delayed flight to Boston to start boarding, I looked up from my book and another traveler smiled and started a conversation. That’s when the world opened up. It was like a curtain was pulled and now I could see the view. This connecting happened again and again on that trip, and I marveled at the newness of it, and how it made me come alive.

    • says

      Vanya, thanks for sharing this story with me. It makes me feel connected in a way that is just what I needed at this very moment. I’ll see you very soon. How cool is that? I love what you said, “I remember the gnawing worry that I wasn’t good enough company for myself.” yep, that’s it in a nutshell. so is your realization that connection is always available.

  15. Julia says

    Oh Laura…your posts are so dear and exactly what I was hoping for in the upcoming trip there. Hummm….To travel alone…one must do it for awhile before it becomes comfortable but then a whole new world opens up, like a vail lifts and you see the possiblilites of connection that are not possible when we are longing. Some of my best memories traveling have been when I was open to possibilities (just like you did…when going to the springs)…that was awesome and I was so jealous…sometimes it takes a month of travel before I finally can just relax and stop the American way of having to fill my time…always. It has been only then that I hear the quiet voice of a culture and my own heart speak to me with open and tender regard.
    Can hardly wait to see you! Just a couple more days!
    XXOO
    Julia

  16. mary kennedy says

    Hi Laura,
    It is a delight to “be” with you on your journey – both of them – the one to Bali and the inner journey you exquisitely share. Like others, I, too, disregard the incoming bills online and notes from friends that load up my inbox. Instead, I jump head first into your Bali.

    As for the discomfort of traveling alone, I think of what you teach us, the hard stuff often makes for the loveliest writing. Thank you for bringing that to your daily blogs. Looking forward to more…
    peace…mary

  17. Sharon says

    Laura, I too enjoy your posts so much. And I can relate to the idea of the discomfort and dichotomy of ceasing to be a human doing and becoming a human being. I’ve traveled alone and yes, it can be difficult, but also eye opening and wonderful.

  18. Myra Goodman says

    I’ve been enjoying your posts every day and feel very drawn in to your stories – I’m definitely on a virtual vacation. It’s also been great to get to know you more through these posts, and I particularly love all the photographs and details about what you’re eating and drinking.

  19. Hazel says

    All I can say is “Thank you for the trip.” I picture myself with you in every situation and experience. This is great. My prayer for your protection as you travel alone is always with you.

    I am so looking forward to meeting you in person at Commonweal!

  20. Dolores Hagen says

    Love your photos and sense of exploring the unusual and the heart of the people where you travel. Thanks for sharing your adventures and thoughts.

  21. Carolina Evans-Roman says

    Laura, I’m afraid I cannot say much to ease your feelings of loneliness. I, too, feel the most lonely when I am away from home without friends or family. In fact, I never plan outings without someone to share it with. Maybe, that is it. The need to share what I am experiencing with someone who I care about. Even going to dinner is not as enjoyable if I have to eat by myself. I admit, as you were describing your experience in a country on the other side of the world immersed in a culture and language with which you do not have much familiarity, I am feeling fearful for you. I can see that I am not such a trusting person as you are. But I fully understand your need to connect with the real people and culture of Bali. The sad thing is that you will always be an outsider looking in and you will always be viewed as an outsider. You were very fortunate to meet native people who were open and willing to share a little bit of themselves and their life with you. I am seeing a different part of Laura that is emerging right in front of our eyes. One that is hungry to experience the realness of life. Someone who is not afraid to take risks and go outside of her comfort zone to connect, really connect with life. You are truly a model for me to come out of my safe environment and conquer my fears in order to live my life at its fullest. Thank you for sharing with us, not only what you are seeing but what you are feeling. Be safe and keep searching for that true meaning of why you are where you are. It has been truly inspiring.

  22. Terry Gibson says

    Laura, I am so happy you went to Amed. I’m impressed with what you’ve been doing and even how you’re doing it. You’re very gentle, kind, caring and generous with people, and I see that there too. When I travelled alone, at 22 and 23, my heart and mind were open which was to my detriment. I’m happy you handled the situation with all the people around you by returning to the hotel. I worried about the boat, even though it all turned out okay. You know they’re safe with you and, even though those people were Australian, unfortunately, you couldn’t really know if you were safe with them. I’m glad you were safe. That’s the only warning I’d give to you. Just wanted to mention it. I hope you don’t mind. You and your family want you home safe, as well as your friends, colleagues, and students. Besides, if you don’t, they’re all gonna kill you! The situation while back at the Lotus Bungalows, made me sad. It reminded me that I don’t want to inadvertently reinforce or get intimidated by people’s differences. Nor do I want anyone to be wary or intimidated by me-. I embrace the uniqueness of all of us and work hard against my struggles in that way. The last thing I want is to put you or anyone else in a lone category, strangled into silence, tangled by invisible lines, and behind an impenetrable wall; I despise being on the side of that wall. I’m sure you get what I’m saying. Anyway, my green skin has returned to deathly pale. Yay! And I’m just happy I now have tartan to replace a sarong this summer. Though I’d still appreciate a guitar more than bagpipes… Love to you and all upon arrival. Safe travels to everyone going! Enjoy! Can hardly wait for August! :)

  23. Judy says

    Larua–thank you so much for sharing this exciting journey. What trust and love you offer to all those you’ve met in Bali and through these posts. Holding you in my mind and prayers–you are greatly admired.

  24. Bobbie Anne says

    Laura, I think you are brave to travel alone. I admire your courage. I am too timid right now to travel by myself, but I’d like to in the future. I don’t know if I would have drunk the water from the streams as you did. The water might not be healthy. Your lunch looked good though.

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