Saturday, February 24, 2018

Snoozing in Sanur

Once again it was time to move.

Away from the comfort of Ubud and the Aya Putri Cottages on Bisma Road — to something new. The beach called to me. Scenes in the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love?”  Or just the need to get away from the crowds and traffic, do nothing and write? I am a Florida girl, after all.

The main reason I picked Sanur, and not the popular if frenetic surfing and party beach Kuta, was that I had met a lovely Dutch woman in Kathmandu. We had hit it off over breakfast, bonding as adventurous retirees do. She mentioned that her long-term partner had a daughter in Bali and that they were going to Sanur for three weeks while I was also there. “Come visit us!”

I had high hopes that they would guide me towards wonderful sights, tours, etc … and that I would find friendship. 

His daughter did pick the Gardenia Guesthouse for me — a great choice— but after an initial drink on the beach with the couple, they were off on their motorcycle to enjoy his family. I was a little sad not to spend much time with them but had only my assumptions and loneliness to blame. I even went back to the Gardenia and indulged in self-pity, hugging a pillow for comfort— so tired of being alone, of being cheerful in messages back home, of recovering from illness …

And then I noticed the inscription on the pillow —“Strength does not come from your physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”  

Someone had placed placards and pillows around the cottages:
“Be patient. Things will change for the better.”  
“Life is what you make it.” 
“Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.” 

OK, Kathy, get a grip!!!

It turned out that Sanur was perfect. 

The Lonely Planet Guidebook refers to it as “Snore.” I was cared for by the staff, given a lovely cottage and pool and full breakfast for $31 per day. The beach was a three minute walk. With little distraction, I could settle into a nice routine. Not exactly the “Kathy normal”, but I could get used to it!

Each morning:

Wake up to the sound of roosters and the scritch scritch of brooms on the lawn. The Balinese are the cleanest people I know! (Other than plastic trash.) The main litter is flowers— in the pool, on the roof, on the grass.  Removed every morning. Enjoy this veritable watercolor!

Once removed they are arranged, offerings and beauty everywhere!

Then an hour walk south on the beach boardwalk and back. Lovely to see the boats in the early morning light.

Enjoying a little girl twirling and singing  “Let it Go!” from the Disney movie Frozen. Notice the size of her brother’s shoes!

 Respecting the owners of little stalls making their offerings before cooking sate on the grill. 

One path led to a mangrove swamp— with a its own temple. An old man and woman statues guarded it — not to be messed with!

And then on the canal a man swept up the sand from the night’s overflow, a never-ending daily job.

And another removed plastic before it washed out to sea.

Everyday cleaning up, everyday making offerings, even if the trees drop more flowers and the beach sand encroaches on the concrete. 

At one community gathering I was almost enlisted to help in clean up!

On Sunday, Bali families turn out in force on the beach. 

It’s their one day off and they buzz in with motorcycles and run into the ocean fully clothed, even those with head scarves. At day’s end they buzz back, wearing the soaked clothing. Happy people and simple pleasures!

After the walk, thoroughly soaked with sweat — a good swim in the pool, bathed in the falling flowers.

Ahhh… time for a read, writing,… Maybe a good haircut, shopping for a summer shirt at Hardy’s where you don’t have to haggle over prices, or lunch at a new place. 

Other options in this “Snore” (boring?) place:

 Finding a thousand year old pillar and the offerings that are left there.

Learning to make palm leaf decorations at the Mercure Hotel.

But mostly just hanging out.

And at 5 PM Yoga at the Power of Now Oasis, two minutes away.

In the evening? 

Well, there was the Frog Dance at the Prama Hotel.

A $7 fresh fried red snapper dinner, here, with my feet in the sand.

Or a $7 hour long foot massage.

And then, time to snooze.

Sounds boring? Well, I could take it for a week. And I had to. Because my passport for the extended visa was still in Immigration!

And the truth was, I needed the protein, fruit, rest and exercise in order to recover from Nepal. 

Thank you, Sanur and my Dutch friend!

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