Amed, the exact opposite of Kuta. There couldn’t be a bigger compliment. I look around and all I see is beautiful black sand beach, stretching the coast for 10km. There are no shirtless, gym junkies with tribal tramp stamps fist pumping up and down the street. No flashing laser lights and smoke machines pouring into the sidewalks as you walk to dinner. This is relaxation.
I finally arrived in the Bali I wanted to see. For my first adventure, I rented a motorbike! I know, it doesn’t sound that adventurous, but it was my first time! It was exhilarating! For my first ride I couldn’t have been on a more scenic road. I was surrounded by pure beauty. Wind blown emerald seas on the hills, surrounded by palm trees and paddy shacks. The emerald green rice fields weren’t the only thing dancing in the wind, my new beard pressed against my cheeks like never before, swaying with every turn. Amazing. Why didn’t I grow one of these earlier?
The sun kissed my skin as I wound around the coastline, black sand and crystal blue water contrasted beautifully on one side, while the vibrant greens of the tropics took over the other. I cruised through villages, slapping hands with fishermen as I sped by.
My friends and I stopped at the Tirta Gangga palace, which literally translates to Water From the Ganges. It was built in the 1940’s by Gusti Gede Djelantik, the former heir to the Kingdom of Karangasem. The palace is gorgeous. Full of stepping stones in carp filled water, looking like a cross between Jumanji and MXC. Hindu influenced statues lined the landscape, good and evil spirits everywhere.
We kept on cruising, and no matter where we went, we were surrounded by water. Flooded rice fields replaced crashing ocean waves from time to time. Whether ocean or temple, flooded paddy or palace, the free flow of life entrenched us. Like the philosopher Thales said, “Water is Life.” Amed is water. So… Amed… is life?? I think Socrates would agree!