The seafront town of Candidasa, East Bali, lapped by the warm waters of the Lombok Strait. It is a relatively sleepy little town, with only a handful of restaurants and one wine bar. Tourists come for the laid back vibe, the ashram and yoga retreats, and the nearby scuba diving and snorkelling.
For Balinese people, Candidasa is a much more spiritual place. The visual and community focus for the locals is a divine triumvirate. Precariously perched on higher ground, a temple with a fertility goddess statue that people from all over Bali make pilgrimages to, for her favour and blessing in conception. The temple looks out over a huge freshwater lagoon at the foot of the hillside. Full of water lilies and lotus flowers, commonly associated with purity and spiritual awakening, locals can be seen waist deep in water, picking a stem or two for offerings to the gods. Then finally at the edge of the lagoon, the tiny strip of sandy beach. Every morning people go to make offerings and pray to the gods, once the fishermen have safely returned from their night’s work and unloaded the fresh catches from their boats.
The lagoon and beach are in such close proximity that when the fisherman bank their boats on the tiny area of raised ground between the two, it looks as is the boats may slip into the lagoon at any minute.
I never tire of watching Balinese offerings being made. It is such a profoundly beautiful thing to experience. The delicate grace of the movements and poses, the person’s total absorption in the undertaking, the serenity it conveys. I’m always mindful that this is a deeply private and personal act, so I don’t normally take photographs, preferring to just enjoy the privilege of observing instead. But this one, down by the water’s edge, was unobtrusive enough to feel acceptable.
And of course all that fresh water is an open invitation to hundreds of beautiful dragonflies which lay their larvae in the protective lagoon. In the early mornings you’d find them resting on the stones at the edge of the water. They really looked like they were contemplating life as they gazed out over the water, but perhaps they were enjoying the warmth of the sun’s rays on their backs?
Those are my Balinese ‘edges’ for this week’s travel theme. There are lots of others to be found on wheresmybackpack.com.