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Last week, we told you about a special place to stay in Bali’s central highlands, a village suspended in the island’s quieter days before the tourism boom. The Village Above the Clouds is one of the most peaceful places we’ve ever stayed. As we said in our last post, it’s a place where you feel like you’re a guest of the village not just the hotel, and that point was made clear when a group of sisters invited us into her home.
They wanted to show us their cobra!
Ayu, a 15-year old girl with great English who we’d met at the Freedom School, was keen to gift us a flower. She showed her skills climbing a frangipani tree.
Then the whole family got to work,
…showing us some floral tricks.
Volia! So beautiful.
One of the highlights was meeting the girls’ grandmother who radiated warmth with every gesture.
We’re told she is 97.
At the back of the house, the family have a large garden. Ayu told us how she works there every day, helping grow the family’s produce.
They kindly gave us some greens, adding to our natural costume.
It’s customary in Bali for men and boys to raise cockerels. They care for them lovingly, and it can be shocking to realise that the cockerels’ fate is to fight in a local match, razor blades tied to its feet. That’s one tradition we will definitely be passing on!
Our afternoon at the Freedom School and with Ayu’s family was a delightful insight into local Balinese life.
Munduk Andong Kelod is a village of only around 200 people. It welcomed us like family, and was the perfect base for our road trip around the surrounding area. If you get the chance, be sure to visit Village Above the Clouds – it’s really one of a kind.
Other posts on Bali
We spent six months living in Ubud and really loved our time there. Ubud is a magnet for everything that can be described as new age, and I threw myself into sampling all the different therapies to see what they were all about. Some were truly awful, but some made sense. You can read all about what I called the ‘Don’t Knock it Til You’ve Tried It‘ experiment here. We’ve also written about our digital nomad life in Ubud, a beach weekend in Bali’s south, and our time in the Gilis.