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Garuda carved from stone. It rises above the prying human eyes and dominates the road that leads to the ocean. Neither a bird nor a man. In the Vedas it’s a symbol of courage, speed, strength. The Avatar Krishna flew on Garuda to defeat in battle the previous incarnation of Vishnu, Narakasura, the son of the earth goddess. Narakasura intoxicated by power became evil. The Buddhists see Garuda as a massive, intelligent predator, and sometimes as servant of Yama, the god of death. At the same time creator and destroyer, at the same time being of light and darkness. Indeed, it can’t be otherwise, not in this part of the world. He is worshiped throughout Indonesia, in the legends of this country he stalks people. They tremble before him, and even the dragons are afraid of that tremendous power.

I pass the statue without looking back. Here it’s just a decoration, next to which the tourists take pictures. Those who spend their holidays in newly built, absolutely concrete, overly expensive and soulless hotels. Its windows are small and they can’t be opened, in rooms the artificial air is breathed, in the environment palm trees do not grow. Who knows, maybe Garuda stole and devoured our souls long time ago without us being aware of it?

The road is broad, asphalt smoothened. On both sides of the road stretches green golf course. How do they maintain it in the heart of the dry season? It has not rained for months.

White hats, white gloves, white cars. A complete contrast to the green grass. They kick around the little white ball for miles. One of the best courses in Asia, so I was told. I’m not sure whether I sufficiently admired it.

The section turns toward the ocean, but it’s no longer my road. Through artificial meadows the path ends where it used to be the beach of everyone’s dreams. Then the people called it Dreamland. Huts made ​​of bamboo were removed from its soil, the inhabitants forcibly expelled. Snow-white sand was largely spent on the building of a mastodon, by dynamite smashed cliffs are its foundations. At the very top of the building has emerged a glass pyramid, attracting great attention by its appearance of height and length, disfiguring the beauty as calm and serene counts the cash while crying out a welcome to those tourists who refuse to think. The conspiracy of a secret society? Masons? The Illuminati? No. Only a parade of bad taste, greed and kitsch.

Another turn. At the end of the same road. Blocked by the heavy gates. I honk. The guard in an ironed shirt approaches me resolutely.

– I’m sorry, there’s no stopping and parking here. This is private property.

He used to tell me that before. So far we managed to settle every time.

– I do not plan to stay around. I just want to pass through to the beach.

My voice is kind, I play the game that is expected of me.

– Trespassing in any form is forbidden. No more unauthorized access. I ask you to turn around and leave.

Now we look at each other without blinking.

That perhaps shouldn’t be a problem. To turn around and leave, to forget this beach. There are still many on the island. Those are anyway just clusters of sand, palm trees and coral reefs, playground of the ocean and the waves. But this is the beach that gave me peace, in this place I have found happiness. I see it intact, modest, sickly beautiful.

– It’s not going to happen.

In rage, I lock the bike out of reach of the gate and its uniformed guard and take the surfboard. I have my secret passage to freedom.

I knock on the door of the house. All the walls are made of bamboo, dried straw is transformed into roof. No answer, just quiet dog whining. Maybe he has changed the habits, maybe he’s already there. It’s strange the dogs didn’t accompany him. By the house there is a narrow path, now the only one by which I can get to the long sandy beach where are situated both Buddhist and Hindu temples. Balangan is one of the last jewels of Bali, the place where still have not come human greed. Through the palm treetops appear the breaking waves, intersecting the entire bay. I’m drowning in it, forgetting without effort the heavy gates and ugly mastodon topped with a glass pyramid.

The sun touches the ocean’s surface, it will start now. The sound that accompanies a red-hot metal when immersed in cold water. I read somewhere a scientific explanation of this phenomenon, after that I spent a lot of effort to make me forget it. I prefer it this way. Without knowledge of the nature of illusion I can also feel a pungent smell of just cooled iron. Another moment and it will be over. The star dives, and I’m leaving its bath.

On the naked corals I’m carefully skipping urchins, I bend while dancing coral dance that I was made to do by a sharp carpet underneath. Golden dogs are running towards me. Jumping in the air, fighting for a touch of attention. Behind them my acquaintance walks.

– I knocked on your door.

I started conversation first.

– I heard, but I didn’t feel like having a company. Don’t be mad.

His eyes are fixed on the horizon.

– Why would I be mad. I used your pathway. These days it has become a serious problem to break through to the beach.

– Yeah, looks like it. I keep my peace trying not to be bothered by such things. I hope it will be possible at least for some time.

He holds out of the flows of people and spends his time mainly in the company of waves. But that too he does in his own, distinctive way. Sleeping during the day, and surfing at nights. He says he doesn’t like crowds, and only at night, while riding the waves with no sharpness of vision, he can experience true unity with the ocean. We meet always at sunset, when all the surfers come out of the ocean, and he enters its shelter.

– Have a good surf. The wind stopped, waves still hold.

I inform him about what he certainly knows. From the top of the bungalow the view spreads across the bay.

– It’s a full moon. It can’t be bad.

It comes to my mind how the life of our planet depends entirely on the sun and its glare, but this loner is more concerned about the milky lunar lamp. For him that’s a signpost and a lighthouse. Like sailors long ago he too owes ​​his life and happiness to the dim light of the night sky.


I can only see a contour swimming in the dusk of the open sea progressing slowly along the lines of the foaming waves. Delusions frame this world. I consciously accept them. From the ocean a giant bird leaps out quietly waiting for a human shadow to climb on his back. Every night together they go on some distant, to others unknown place.