In Bali recently, we went for a walk through the rice fields outside of Ubud. I first visited Ubud about twenty five years ago. In those days it was a quiet sleepy village surrounded by rice paddies and most of the tourists were day trippers from the beach resorts. Over the years is has grown and changed. I think the largest growth spurt was after the release of the book, ‘Eat Pray Love’; people went to ‘find’ themselves.
It’s still a special place, although for me some of the magic has gone. The walks closer to the burgeoning town are no longer through peaceful rice fields on narrow paths that crisscross and meander through vibrant seas of green, passing no one but the occasional farm worker. Instead the concrete paths, where you dodge the ever present mopeds, lead to dotted cafes, guest houses, massage cabanas and random upmarket hotels jutting out from the green landscape … and some strange chaotic piles of rubbish!