A Sunset to Savor
The Jakarta Post | Tue, 07/29/2008 4:14 PM |
There are still refuges from Bali’s madding and maddening crowds. Kathy Petite finds some calm on paradise island.
Brown, beautiful and bouncy, I couldn’t stop looking at her being patted, pulled and ridden by my constantly smiling boyfriend just right next to me. The ride started slow and gentle, then they both paced up to a quicker rhythm.
They were both obviously having so much fun. Her name was Lady. And she was a horse he was riding along Yeh Gangga Beach, Bali.
That afternoon, it was quite a struggle to penetrate the thick traffic in vibrant Seminyak, but 45 minutes later we finally entered Sudimara village in Tabanan, northern Bali. It was almost half past five when we arrived at the wonderful Waka Gangga resort. I looked around and smiled. Cool, I thought. I’ve just found a new place to escape all those mad, frantic deadlines.
Quiet and peaceful, it is a world away from Bali’s notoriously commercialized, ultra-touristy beach areas that have become flooded with souvenir-hawkers and vendors selling everything under the sun. No, that hectic madness doesn’t exist here. I stood for a moment, breathing in the stillness of the surroundings, as my eyes admired the beautiful, gently sloping rice terraces that come right down to the back of the beach.
After a short stroll past some nicely tanned “holiday bodies” chilling out under the sun by the villa’s pool, we came to the spot where our horses, Lady and Susan, were waiting. Starting slowly, we began to ride along the sweeping, dark sand of the beach. The sun was ready to disappear below the horizon, leaving streaks of bright red and orange in the sky. It was not easy to stop gazing at such beauty.
Like many beaches on the southwest coast, Yeh Gangga isn’t really suitable for swimming due to the currents and lack of emergency services. On our journey, we met a handful of other visitors as well as locals who smiled welcomingly at us. During the trail ride, we were spoiled by the gorgeous sparkling beach, wonderful tropical coastline and rural panorama.
Looking into the distance, volcanoes and the famous Tanah Lot Temple could be seen.
The section of beach where the waves lapped to and fro was my favorite part to ride the horse, as I galloped against the seawater, with the splashing sound underneath and the singing of waves under the warm Bali sunset.
How could we leave all this magic? Unfortunately, we had to. The soft blowing breeze cuddled our skins as we headed back to the resort, leaving the splendor of the setting sun.
On the way back, we couldn’t help peeking into the lanais and villas. We were impressed by the way the bungalows scattered down a slope to the sea, providing an idyllic, tranquil view of the secluded beach. The rooms breathed warmth and a back-to-nature feel from the wood interiors and open-air style bathrooms, a true tropical garden-fantasy.
A romantic horse ride on the beach is not the only fun leisure activity found here. There is also cycling, a rice paddy tour, trekking and visits to Tabanan City and Tanah Lot, which is only 15 minutes away. As for me, it’s that mystical, magnificent sunset that I will remember.