A weekend in Padang Bai
My time at Kailash home stay comes to an end for now (but i might well go back) and I decide it’s time to move on from my peaceful enclave and explore. I summons my wild maiden self to point her arrow to the wild places and off we go.
Padang bai, in the area of Karangasem is on the south east of Bali, facing out towards the Nusa Islands. It’s a small harbour town with quite sizeable boats leaving to the islands and beaches going by the name of white sands, and blue lagoon, i’m feeling good about where my arrow is landing. Across at Nusa Penida divers go deep to swim with Manta Ray which frequent these waters.
I arrive at my hotel Beji Bay which is bang on the harbor, and cheap and cheerful with cabins and a beautiful pool. My suitcase handles break and considering this is my second suitcase of the trip i conclude i brought too much stuff. The suitcase i brought from home broke its zip and this replacement i picked up in Ubud is a bit too cheap and cheerful for use. I came to the sea with the intention of letting go of old emotional baggage, so it’s an interesting reflection. I consider off loading some of my kit but i’m resistant and wonder if this is the same about other things in my life? Well i’m hoping the sea is going to work its magic and help with that.
I leave my bags in the room and head straight off to the blue lagoon, ten minutes walk up and over the hill. It doesn’t disappoint. The colour of water like this is just so transformative to an English person, we just don’t see colour like this very often and it blows open my third eye chakra. I swim out into it and then i just feel it again – what the bleep am i actually doing? I’m just here in Bali on my own lapping it up. I just start laughing out loud, it’s the fact that i gave myself permission to come, its such a contradiction to my mindset – to be so self-allowing and put me right in the middle of my picture. Yes i know heaps of people spend winter in the northern hemisphere in gorgeous tropical places, and big up to them for sorting their life out in that way, but hey not me, until now.
The sea just has this way of holding me whilst i unwind, reminding me that its cool to do nothing. Nada. So i just float. It’s the sound and the light and the movement that rock the inner self into giving it all up and over. In my case this is all about giving it up and over to my higher power to take care of. This is not by the way complacency or laziness, its more like recognising the little mind will only go round and round in circles over it all. I’m addicted to worrying, it’s always there, this kind of hyper alert state, checking for what will go wrong, fixing things before they even do. Micro managing the universe, edging a step ahead at all times.
Whilst i’m swimming (well floating) I’ve packed my phone into it’s waterproof bag to go round my neck, for safe keeping. As I float, do breast-stroke, dive under the calm water surface, and bliss out, my phone is really clever and takes loads of burst shots on its own, it even does a Samsung update (without my permission) as I clearly haven’t locked it down. So there we are you see evidence it isn’t all down to me. Clever phone.
The next day i come to Bias Tubal beach (white sands) and it’s stunning. The sea always makes me feel creative and my pastel chalks and sketch pad are out as soon as I hit the beach. You can walk over via a wooded path from Pagang Bai but i take a lift on a scooter because i don’t know about this, and from the drop off it’s a short walk down stone steps and through a wooded grove and YES the sand is white powdered shells with crystal clear sea. You can hire a sunbed and umbrella and set at the back of the beach are several laid back Balinese run warungs (cafes) for fresh coconuts and snacks. I make camp. I came to Bali because i’m at a point of change in my life. I’m shedding the old skins and emerging as a new part of me. Today I feel part human part mermaid.
There has been a deep unrest in me over the last couple of years, i’ve been a real moan-bag and i’ve just felt so stormy and dissatisfied with everything. Peri-menopause is the place of last fertility where the walk begins over the bridge into the next cycle. My sister’s tell me that life beyond the monthly cycle is a territory of rediscovery of self and experiencing a storm of change is part of the rite of passage. I’m ready to re-align with a new sense of truth and renewed service to god/goddess as it expresses itself in the world and re-define a fresh sense of purpose. I have loved bringing my kids up, and being a mother has given me so many gifts. Like holding space for growth and grounding, manifesting safety, love and caring in the world. I give thanks for my beloved family.
However as I visit the sea today I know I am deep diving for the hidden pearls, to unfold the next part of my life. It’s a mix of the queen archetype who knows her power, her ability to lead and is out on a quest on her white horse discovering new parts of her inner and outer terrain, and the maiden archetype who draws back her bow in the light of the moon to hunt and quest for things undiscovered in wild terrain.
This quest, this trip to Bali is about sovereignty, doing it for myself, on my terms. This is empowering, because it contradicts what it is sewn into the fabric of women, that is to exist for everyone else. A beautiful reflective quality indeed, the ability to be there for others but this nurturing can get out of control and eclipse the inner masculine side that must be its own solar power. My highest goal is to experience inner wholeness, inner balance, male and female energy in equality within. This is my privilege as a western woman in 2019, to wake up and claim my wholeness, however there are many women around the world who don’t have this liberty today, and i spend time thinking about that.
The beach is just too good and over a couple of sweet days i drink fresh coconut juice, swim in the sea, snorkel off a little boat, play in the sand with a mum, dad and their baby from Jakarta, bury myself in sand, sleep on my sun lounger, eat vegetable rice noodles at the beach warung, meditate in the shade, pray in the water, and immerse myself in surrender.
I love that there are Hindu shrines everywhere in Padang Bai, and little flower offerings and incense out at all the beach warungs, guest houses, lookout points, just everywhere. I love eating dinner at the wonderful funky Topi Inn on the harbor, which served me delicious fresh Asian fusion food including spicy coconut soup with rice noodles and fresh vegetable.
I’m so proud that i did my weekend solo beach holiday and really enjoyed my own company so much. I’ve noticed, when travelling alone, that it’s all the small connections with people throughout the day that count, the thank-yous with lady who makes everything for you at the beach warung, the play with the family from Jakarta on the beach, the chat with the festival organiser from California, the dive pro’s top tips on snorkelling at Tupi Inn,
I’m set to leave in the morning for the location of Sideman, which is inland and due north from here, to visit temples and pay homage to Mount Agung.
May all the beings in all the worlds have time to surrender and play.