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The Contest is Over But Here's Another Excellent Entry From the U.S.A. in the Bali Dream Holiday Contest.

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Diana Lilly from San Diego, California, U.S.A., dianamalia6, sent this entry in our recent Bali Dream Holiday Contest. While we were unable to include during the course of the regular contest, we'd still like to share it with you in this edition of Bali Update.

A Bali Dream

Once I dreamed. I was walking on sugar-white beaches, the sun caressing my skin, sparkling crystal water tickling my toes. I spotted a tiny blossom filled banana leaf boat bobbing in the warm surf. Lured upland, I pushed through the flowering jungle into a workshop filled with intricate wooden carvings. I shyly returned the murmured greetings of the skilled craftswomen deftly sanding and painting the figures a brilliant kaleidoscope of colors.

Delighted, I followed a strutting, multihued rooster outside into the verdant countryside. A distant volcano stood guard over emerald squares of rice ponds terracing the hillsides. Batik-clad women strolled along the water channels lining the road, effortlessly balancing towering goods on their heads.

The forest around me teemed with life. I marveled at flying foxes soaring between the nutmeg trees, and delighted at monkeys plucking peanuts from my hands with a practiced air of entitlement.

Suddenly, I faced a breathtakingly beautiful temple surrounded by a moat and adorned with elaborate stone carvings. Within the temple walls, dusky tendrils of smoke from burning incense drifted lazily around rows of young girls wearing peacock crown shaped headgear and executing precisely coordinated hand, shoulder and ye movements. A small ensemble of musicians armed with gongs, bronze kettles, and bamboo xylophones filled the air with animated music as the sun sank behind the silhouetted temple spires.

As night fell, I followed a torch-lit path through a courtyard outlined in coconut palms, past lotus ponds and swimming pools, into a bedroom suite richly decorated in teak and thatch. Drowsily nestling into a four-poster bed surrounded by drifts of gauzy netting, I glimpsed a basket bursting with aromatic golden star-shaped fruit, presented for my morning repast.

Alas, I awoke, the vision gone. Ever since, I've yearned for the Bali of my dreams.

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