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Archive for December, 2010

Bali. The destination seems to evoke the traveler’s image of a paradise. Yes, and with good reason. On the island where author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) found her love, there is certainly much to love; the landscapes, the culture, the jungle, the beaches, and yes the sunsets.

On the west coast of Bali, where the sea surrounds the Tanah Lot Hindu temple (at high tide) people gather to watch something special, something spiritual.  Many walk along the rocky coastline and the black sand beaches while others stay perched upon the cliff at local Pan Pacific Resort (formerly the Le Meriden Hotel). But whatever people decide, all prepare with the same anticipation for the sunset behind the Hindu Temple on the Indian Ocean.

With two nights, I did both. The image below, my first night (perched on a cliff) was an afternoon spent sipping a cocktail and savoring the special moment. Enjoying some of the true beauty of Bali – its Sunsets. Happy Sunset Sunday.

the sun sets on the Indian Ocean behind the Hindu Temple
stay adventurous, Craig
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The first scheduled stop on my day’s tour, Punta Laguna, did not excite me. I’ll admit it. My initial thought – skip it. I looked ahead. I thought, let’s head straight to the ancient ruins of Coba and spend more time understanding the mystique and magic of the Mayans. Or perhaps add a second cenote to the itinerary. Ever since my discovery of these sacred, swimmable sinkholes I can’t seem to see enough. But Punta Laguna was on the way, so we stopped. And actually, I am glad we did.

A monkey spotted in the sun, I took a picture.

When we arrived, I grabbed my camera and we hired a guide to help us search for the local Spider Monkeys. Not five minutes and one hundred meters into the jungle our guide already heard them in the distance. We changed course and started tracking the troop.  We listened and watched in silence as they moved swiftly from tree to tree searching for food. The monkeys never seemed to mind our presence.

I certainly tried to capture a few photos, but just like when on African safari searching for the Big 5, I didn’t have a telephoto lens and actually, the monkeys blended with the shade. But also, just like on safari, sometimes I didn’t raise my camera and click. Nope. I just appreciated being so close. I enjoyed a glimpse of life in their world, a chance to just feel the jungle from under its canopy.

Then as the monkeys wandered further into the jungle, our guide turned us around and we headed down the main trail to the lagoon. Originally, I thought we might paddle out on the water, but when I arrived to see the lagoon it was not the heat that kept me ashore. The crystal clear water and its stunning reflection almost seemed ask to not be disturbed. So calming. I just decided to savor a moment. This moment.

sometimes its just about the view....

Yes, the rest of the day lived up to its expectations. The Mayan Ruins at Coba and the breathtaking beauty of Cenote Multun-ha were definitely highlights of my entire two weeks in the Riviera Maya. But the silence and stillness of the lagoon made the highlights too. The beauty of the moment taught me a valuable lesson. A lesson to not overlook any stop on a journey as beauty exists in all destinations. And my few minutes on the water’s edge of Punta Laguna reminded me of that very fact. Thank you.

Stay adventurous, Craig

Also, a special thanks to Riviera Maya for being an excellent guide and host.

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