A Cliff, a Club, an amazing Design

A formula for success in the club-making business is:
— find a magnificent cliff that’s not too far away from the crowds
— spend ridiculous amounts of money and time creating an impossible perch for the bar
— don’t cut corners on great sound and lighting systems
— add some chill-out spots
— add a swanky swimming pool
— and then top it all off with awesome food and drink options

The “bar” is set very high in Bali for beach clubs, but bars situated on cliffs are a breed unto themselves.

The newest and perhaps the most outrageous is OMNIA Dayclub Bali.

Here a few photos that I took on my birthday there in April with my wife Shelly:


Pescado Arrives

During one of the numerous meetings with our architects it was casually mentioned that they’re designing a restaurant in Pererenan, not far from where our retreat will be. I found it back in May:

I immediately liked the look, and I was also told it will be serving Spanish food. I thought oh tapas that will be great!

In June I finally met Jose, the Brazilian entrepreneur behind Pescado:

The rumors were true about Spanish food, but it wasn’t going to be a tapas place. Jose was bringing a chef from Spain, who will train local chefs for at least two months in the intricacies of Spanish cooking. Wow!

The results, on display at the soft opening on Sunday, July 22 was over-the-top delicious!

Getting ready for the crowds.

Jose and his business partner’s niece.

And the happy crowd.

Please visit Pescado when you’re in the Canggu area. It will be worth your while, especially if you like fish.


Joyful Bali Breezes

The windy season starts in July and continues until September / October here in Bali. Especially along the beaches, and primarily in the afternoon, the breezes are gifts that keep on giving.

If you’re Balinese, it certainly doesn’t mean chilling out at a sandy, overpriced bar. If you have the time, it means grabbing your friends and setting a kite skywards.

On this particular day, a kite festival was taking place at Munggu Beach, just west of Pererenan Beach.

We hit the tail-end of the festival, just as a team was leaving the scene:

They were kind enough to let us take a team photo.

I love the community spirit involved in getting kits afloat: coordination, artistic skill, strength, and best of all, the shared poetry of flight.

Here is a list of kite festivals, as well as more details about kite creation and the traditions of kite flying in Bali.

As I previously wrote, the

Balinese are an island culture, but one of their many unique qualities is that spiritually they look to volcanos (skyward), instead of the sea. It’s not that they don’t like the sea. It’s just that the volcanos represent spiritual elevation and a home for their gods and ancestors.

From this point of view, flying kites is an ideal activity for the people of Bali.

And as a tourist, its an easier way to interact with Balinese culture than attending religious or dance ceremonies. I highly recommend it.


Is Bali like a year-round Mardi Gras Festival?

There are two major trends at work behind this idea: the first is that the Balinese have many, many ceremonies — and parading and wearing special clothing is part of their rituals.

Secondly, both the Balinese and a large number of visitors get married in Bali. And while we know what Western bridal clothing looks like, the Balinese kind-a own the wedding look:

I mean, wow! Between the ceremonies and weddings you may start to think that perhaps Bali truly has non-stop, year-round pageantry.


The Balinese & their Kites

The Balinese are an island culture, but one of their many unique qualities is that spiritually they look to volcanos (skyward), instead of the sea. It’s not that they don’t like the sea. It’s just that the volcanos represent spiritual elevation and a home for their gods and ancestors.

It would be interesting to determine how many island cultures take to the sky spiritually, versus the sea. My theory is that the creation of terraced rice fields enabled the Balinese to cultivate their rice at higher altitudes than other island-based, rice-oriented cultures.

Had they cultivated rice only at the lower altitudes they’d be closer to the sea and might have included aspects of the sea into their spiritually. But that’s not the case. They remain an animistic and Hindu culture and Mount Agung and the other volcanos remain critically important to the world view of the Balinese people.

Kites represent a very real mode of play with the sky and the wind and the spirits above.