Last Sunset in Paradise

At last, we have come to the end of the year 2014. In the spirit of ending the year, I present you the last post regarding this year’s summer in Bali.

On my previous trip to Bali, I spent the last day there hanging on a beach that few have heard of all day, waiting for a good sunset. It would simply be the right thing to end this trip in a similar fashion.

This time, we chose Balangan Beach as the place to be. And let me tell you something about this particular beach: it makes you believe that the phrase “long road to paradise” is true.

Located near Uluwatu, you have to go through a lot of long, winding roads to get to the beach. The roads slope downhill and are lined with locals’ plantations and houses. There are literally no signs showing the way, no way to tell where to go except if you have some directions from the locals. Once you find the parking lot towards the beach, you would perhaps think that a short stroll on some well-paved road would get you straight to the beach.

You have no idea how wrong you are if you think that way.

After getting to the parking lot, you still have to walk on 50 meters of unpaved, rough gravel, down two sets of staircase, through some slippery reef formations that might be covered in sea water during high tide to get to the beach.

Another way to walk to the beach from the parking lot is to pass through a construction site, cross two quite wide ditches on wooden planks, past a plain of unkempt grass, follow a path sloping downwards and descend a rather steep staircase. This was the road we took to exit the beach.

So ladies, if you choose to wear espadrilles or wedges, you’re in for a hard time.

But this long journey is one worth taking because this is what you get as a reward.

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There’s nothing on the right side of the beach except reef formations.

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And these are the reef formations you have to walk through to get to the beach

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The beach – like most beaches in Uluwatu – is surrounded by cliffs and is a surfing beach, which means you can’t swim here. The sand is incredibly soft with little shell and reef fragments in it.

As for facilities, there are chaises with umbrellas which you can rent and there are some women selling sarong. There’s a restaurant and bar located near the staircases and there’s a beach cafe on the beach itself. I’m not quite sure if the food is nice, though. Unfortunately, this beach has no washroom.

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Balangan Beach is perhaps one of my favorite places in the world. What winds me over is the peace I get here. There are only a few people on the beach and only a few vendors walking around. You can just lean back on that chaise and relax or you can – like me – sit on the sand and just feast your senses. Look at the rays of sunlight glistening the surface of the sea. Listen to the sound of the waves crashing by the shore. Feel the gentle breeze caress your hands. Smell the ocean. Taste some coconut water. And fall in love, leave a little piece of your heart here.

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As the day drew further into a close, I began experimenting with my sunglasses and the light

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But to be honest, you don’t need any props to capture the sunset. That day, the sunset was brilliant.

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Even now, five months after the trip, I still look at these photos with amazement. These photos still make me smile so much because, I kid you not, that sunset was the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen.

We ended our trip in Bali with this family photo.

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I love how this beach is not corrupted by anything: trash, pollution, annoying people and I truly wish it could stay that way. So if any of you reading this post and decide to visit this beach, please don’t taint its beauty.

In regard to the topic of endings and new beginnings, I purposefully write this post at the end of the year to encourage you to put one item in your new year’s resolutions: travel more. They say that this world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page. So go out and see what a beautiful world we live in. Gain new perspective on life. Open your mind. And realize how small we actually are in this world.

So pack your bags, plan your next trip, make a passport and explore different places around the world. Again I say, we live in a beautiful world. Go out and see it.

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