Bali lies between the islands of Java and Lombok and is one of the 17,000 islands that makes up the Indonesian Archipelago. Stretching approximately 140 km from east to west and 80 km from north to south. Slightly off centre, and running east to west, are a string of volcanic mountains. The tallest is Gunung Agung, which last erupted in 1963, and is 3,142 m at its highest point.
Bali is a land that seems to have a magnet at its very heart. It is a feeling that is difficult to understand unless experienced but once visited you are surely compelled to come back and you may even want to stay forever, such is its pull. Maybe it’s Bali’s beauty, maybe the friendly people, or maybe even the influence from spirits that certainly abide in place.
Bali goes under many names. Some call it the ‘island of the gods’, while others call it Shangri-La which means the ‘last paradise’. The ‘dawning of the world’ and the ‘centre of the universe’ are yet more names for this truly beautiful tropical island inhabited by a remarkably artistic people who have created a dynamic society with unique arts and ceremonies.
Daily life in Bali is culturally linked to satisfying and appeasing the gods, spirits and demons in the midst of breathtaking panoramas of cultivated rice terraces, impressive volcanoes and pristine beaches. Bali’s main volcano, Gunung Agung, is still active and sometimes explosive and is considered sacred among local people as it is believed to be the centre of the universe.