Alassari Plantation and the Dance of the Jalan Jalan

Jalan jalan means ‘to just walk, with no particular place in mind’

As I have written before, there are many stories in Bali. It is stories that make up our lives - some good, some bad, some happy some sad. And those stories are always attached to a feeling, not a number.

At first glance this photo may seem to focus on our plantation sign, Alassari. But to my eye there are four stories in this picture.

Of course there is the amazing story of how Alassari Plantation grew into being. How did an Australian couple arrive in a remote Balinese mountain village, 750 metres up Mt. Batukaru? What made them, who had retired to quiet country life, decide to build a hotel? 

The second story would be why build a fence of bamboo and heliconia, where everybody else builds a fence of brick.

The third story would be the road itself, where only a rough track existed before. But to me the story that leaps out is the man on the scooter. The main reason we are here is because of the Balinese people; their way of life, their generosity and their happiness. 

Valarie and I first decided that Biyahan would be the village to settle in, after we had been invited to a local wedding. Everyone was there. Dressed in colourful sarong and kebaya. They shook our hands, fed us and made us feel so welcome they quite captured our hearts. A month later we had bought a piece of land and shifted from Australia to a new life, a new way of being.

However, what makes me smile about that man on the scooter is not the man himself, although his name is Agus and he is an interesting character. No, it is what he is carrying.

When we were first driving around the island we would see people carrying similar loads. What on Earth could it be? It turns out the answer is simple. It is feed for their cows and pigs. In Australia cattle would be allowed to graze. That does not happen so much in Bali. Here the farmer would go out along the road, and with a scythe cut feed for the day. This would then be transported to the livestock on the back of their motorbike.

It was so obvious, yet so against what we experienced in our homeland, that we didn’t see it. We still laugh about it. There was much so that was obvious back in Australia, but we didn’t see it until we came to Bali.

The ability to listen, the ability to paint the person you are communicating with as able, your partner will really miss that when it is gone, patience, living in the moment.

All these and more, are mirrored to you when living in Bali. 

We look forward to sharing our beautiful way of Bali life here at Alassari Plantation…

Your hosts,

Craig and Valerie