Where Rice Paddies Meet the Jungle - Bali Eco Stay - The Wise Traveller

From the twinkle of flitting fireflies, bubbling water flowing over centuries old sleeping smooth rocks in a meandering river, the staccato serenade of crickets and singing frogs, jungle open-air bungalows and a sky full of stars, sleeping at Bali Eco Stay is for a lucky few.

Perched amidst heritage rice terraces glistening in the sun, what began from a serendipity chance meeting with another couple, Australians Johnny and Cath Blundstone decided to create a slice of Bali heaven for those that are over the hoi-polloi of the crowded beach scene and saying "tidak terima kasih" (no thank you) to the swarm of beach vendors.  Bali Eco Stay was aimed at a niche market on purpose, but this business decision soon became an all-consuming passion, where now it is one of the "greenest" resorts on Bali.  From the food on your plate to what soap is used in the showers, the ethos is all about being green.  Admitting to "hippy" inclinations in his youth, Johnny said that it was an easy progression to build a retreat enthusing his beliefs of looking after the ground he walks on. 

Where Rice Paddies Meet the Jungle - Bali Eco Stay - The Wise Traveller

If you are chasing glitz and glamor with a pumping nightlife or can't cope with the thought of a bug encounter, then this is not for you.  If you wish to experience the Bali of old, where simplicity is in a welcoming smile, the thoughtful and sublime touches in the bungalows and the staff who ensure that you are well-taken care of, then Bali Eco Stay is where you should head to.   

Sitting in the mountains, it is a 2-hour drive from Denpasar Airport.  You can detour along the way and visit the cultural icon of the 16th Century Tanah Lot Temple - the one that sits on a rock in the ocean wrapped up in the legend of Nirartha.  Make sure your driver stops en-route at Bali Buda for one of the best espressos you will have on the island and a shop full of natural and organic goodies from home-baked bickies to die for (think peanut butter cookies) to luscious hand crafted soaps.

You will arrive after negotiating some bumpy slithers of road and dodging cows and dogs to a green oasis of towering palm trees, food forests and the constant babbling of water where only 8 bungalows with quirky names such as Buddha Bungalow, Spring Water and Little Padi nestle into the lush surrounds.  Mosquito nets drape beds, muddy boots are cleaned for you and privacy is assured.  Perfect for solo flyers who wish to escape the maddening crowds, romantic interludes or family frolics, this unique retreat also hosts artists and writers retreats, weddings or any gathering of any type when the extraordinary is on the wish list and not an oval-sized decadent swimming pool or gilt-edged bath tubs.  This is nature's playground where sweet rock pools beckon you to take a cooling dip and Apsaras (nymphs) dance in sky-reaching green canopies.

Where Rice Paddies Meet the Jungle - Bali Eco Stay - The Wise Traveller

You can stay cocooned in its magical world of nirvana soaking up the sun on a rock in the middle of the river, meander rice paddy tracks, hang out under the gushing waterfall followed by a sinful spread of picnic food on your own personal table as the light skitters off the water spray.  You will be surrounded by lipstick red heliconia and canary yellow "candle" flowers, whilst orchards delicately hang, bamboo rustles and tree ferns whisper.  Indulge yourself with a traditional Balinese massage, bend the body doing some yoga, give the brain a clean out with some meditation or simply curl up with a good book and let the world pass you by for a time whilst you blissfully contemplate your navel.

If that sounds too low-key, jump on a bike and explore the local rustic villages and vast untouched landscapes, trek or run a jungle trail or even climb Mount Batukaru, if you really want to punish yourself. You can take off on a motorbike and check out the secrets of the West Bali region or grab a car and driver to take you on a magical mystery tour, if you don't wish to map out your own.  If your hands are twitchy, then take a traditional craft lesson and create your own artistic masterpiece.

Wise Traveller ApprovedThe boutique Bali Eco Stay is remote, untouched and off the beaten track awash in local customs with unspoiled water, food and air, untainted by the horde mentality of tourism.  It is a working model of sustainable tourism giving back to the locals, the land and the intrepid wanderers who get to gorge on traditional Balinese pancakes (think French crepes) or fried bananas drizzled with palm sugar syrup or aromatic Kari Ayam (chicken and vegetable curry).  You don't have to worry about whether you are a devourer of vegan, raw, gluten/sugar/dairy free sustenance, as you will be catered for. 

All the nitty gritty details can be found on the Bali Eco Stay website.

"Bali Eco Stay is a safe distance from Mount Agung volcano.
In the rare event of the airport being closed, we will extend your stay free of charge.
Don’t worry, we always look after you in Bali."

........... Bali Eco Stay

NB  The Balinese Tourism Body guarantee:  

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography and her Shutterstock profile.