A 432 word essay and many thousands of miles later, the Bali Dream Holiday Contest winner has arrived in Bali. As the winner of balidiscovery.com's 4-month-long contest, Marsha Browne, from Massachusetts in the U.S.A., was flown with her husband by Singapore Airlines to Bali from New York. Also included in her prize package, 7-nights in a 3-bedroom luxurious home in the Four Seasons Private Estate at Jimbaran Bay; cooking lessons from Heinz von Holzen at Bumbu Bali; a private helicopter tour of the island provided by Air Bali; spa treatments from Mandara Spa; bicycle tours and white water rafting expeditions from Sobek; and a complete tour and transportation program from Bali Discovery Tours.
As you might expect, our prize-winning essayist, Marsha, has been recording her first few days in Bali in her journal. She's kindly agreed to share her entry for June 29th with balidiscovery.com.
Marsha's Bali Journal
29 June '02.
We went out last night after spending a whole day enjoying the villa and the hospitality of our hosts at Four Seasons. Here are some ways to enjoy time on Bali I never suspected:
Sit in the garden, listening to the birds call and sing, while the fountains in the pool burble and cascade.
Drink coffee in the sunken sitting area as the journal writes itself. Watch the dragonflies flit above the gleaming green lotus pond, and observe the frangipani and hibiscus blossoms float from the trees to the garden below, a gentle bed of flowers.
Watch the sunrise as Jimbaran Bay catches first pink, then red, and finally golden light. Count the blue-sailed prahu's as they set out to sea for the morning catch.
Have an hour long soak in the porcelain bathtub, deep and wide, settled up to the neck in more than five hundred floating frangipani flowers: while soaking meditate and read in peace. Leave the flowers in the bath as they release fragrance all day.
Apply crystal tattoos that look like diamonds and sapphires to the body in interesting and unexpected places, a treat for others to discover.
Listen to music on the stereo while wading in the pool up to the knees.
Walk down to the beach toward the village with the sand between your toes and a salty sea breeze ruffling your hair.
Practice rusty Bahasa Indonesian on the clever boy who serves icy Bintang Beer at one of the many beachfront cafes. Feel the words rise from memory, like clouds lifting on a sparkling ocean bay.
Tour the grounds in a golf cart with Sumardika, the Private Estate's manager. Visit the Spa, the gymnasium, the tennis court, the cooking school, the restaurant, and the shops. Stand under the center of the Meditation bale overlooking the beach, and wait patiently as great waves of crystal clear positive energy flows in and through me, and back again in the waiting world.
Stroll the beach after sunset, when everything slows down. Greet passersby with a smile a murmured "Selamat Malam" and dance in and out of the sea foam lapping the shore, a skipping lighthearted step choreographed by the Gods and the nearly full moon.
Feel the warmth of the candles when you enter the villa, the sight and smell inviting you to rest.
Fall asleep to the sound of the ocean and a young man strumming his guitar across the way, on the beach. Let his song soothe you like a lullaby.
And that's the way you can amuse yourself during a day in this remarkable spot on Bali.
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