Leaving Bali

Robbie came round to my home this morning and brought me a potted elderflower tree (sambuccas). We saw many of these in our travels around Bali. Robbie remembered that I admired them and so she’s given me one from her own garden. I’m so delighted to have the plant and it will be a reminder of Robbie, Michele and our Bali Retreat. The most powerful wand in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a wand made of sambucus known as the “Elder Wand”. Apparently herbal tea made from elder leaves has the possibility to poison as it contains cyanide.

Pavilion overlooking Wos River
These are the final days at Michi Retreat in Ubud before we make our way back to Legian and then the flight back to Perth. We didn’t go into the Sacred Monkey Forest as I have an aversion to monkeys having been bitten by one when I was a child. In fact, whatever the word for monkey phobia is, I’ve got it!
So, on the morning of 18 June, we departed Ubud for Legian and the last night in Bali. Once again Gede drove us. The driving code in Bali is complex and I have a feeling a lot of it is not written down! Travelling behind a Bali truck overloaded with volcanic rock and barely contained by a piece of canvas is fairly nerve-wracking. However, Gede is a competent driver, courteous and, even if he had been watching football all night, alert. I certainly felt safe enough with him behind the wheel. 
The hotel Vilarisi where we began our trip was also the last place on the itinerary. We decided to have one last shopping spree and meal in Legian. Once again I was totally disoriented the moment I walked out the door! Just as well Michele knew exactly where we were and took us down the gangs, this way and that way to find the warung where we had eaten at the beginning of the holiday. 
For our farewell dinner Michele had organised for us to go to Balangan Beach. The road wound through the countryside; I’m sure following the paths that the elephants used to tread. Once we left the city, past the university and another new but empty hotel, it seemed we were travelling in another world. There was very little, if any, traffic and only occasional roadside stalls. Finally, we arrived at Balangan Beach in good time to watch the sun setting over the ocean. 
The beach is lined with warungs and we chose to stop at Froggy’s. Lots of Reggae here! We sat and watched the sun setting, the few people on the beach and plenty of dogs playing in the sand. One last Bintang and then walk back along the beach to where Gede was waiting to take us back to Legian.
Michele & Robbie at Froggy’s Warung
Sunset at Balangan Beach

So, apart from the early morning anxiety about being in time for my flight, that was the finale to a wonderful Yoga Retreat. It was the beginning of a great friendship between Robbie and me and a consolidation of my friendship with Michele. 
The theme of the Retreat: Reflections on the Inner Self, served me well. I guess you could put this in the nutshell:
“The unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates) 
Leaving Bali