A Walk in the Woods: West Bali National Park

I love trees. Big ones. Lots of them. My love of the forest stems from the significance of trees and the calm mind that I experience when surrounded by stacked levels of ecosystems. So I like hiking in the woods.

Could I keep that feeling while hiking with my small children?

From the rather frigid Bedugal,  we made a beeline for the warmer shores of the northwest tip of Bali: West Bali National Park, making our hotel reservations on the way. There is only one hotel, Waka Shorea, that is inside the National Park. The resort is only accessible via boat. We took the short 20 minute boat trip on a traditional Balinese fishing boat. (No, my camera was NOT on an angle when I took the following photo).


We pulled up to the dock, in awe of all the reef fish swimming around the dock in turquoise waters.

THIS is what we have been seeking: beautifully clear waters in Bali. (By the way, this post is from our trip in March 2013)DSC02263

We settled quickly into our beautiful, spacious bungalow, jumped into the salt water pool and then relaxed on the deck designed by people with no children: 2 meters off the ground with no railings, making my heart skip a beat each time G or Miss I looked over the edge.FireMallows-7

We spent the first few days relaxing and snorkeling off the dock before actually heading into the woods for a hike. This hike was tame compared to hiking in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. Looking back at that post, I realize just how much my children have grown in just over a year.


But not so much that they don’t request to be carried…

FireMallows-22but enough to enjoy leaving their own footprints in the cushion-like dirt path.

FireMallows-9West Bali National Park has been coined by us as the “Butterfly Forest”. It felt like we were in a spring time snow-globe that when shaken, butterflies flutter all over. There were so many dancing back and forth, crossing our path and saying hello in a rather intimate way.



As we ventured deeper, the flowers became sparse, but the forest became more interesting.

You know that feeling when you know something is there, but you don’t see it, hear it or know where it is?

We had that feeling.

We stopped walking, became silent and searched for it.

We had some clues.




And then a tick of twig revealed our silent watcher…


who bounded out of site with the whoosh force of a jet plane.

It gave us plenty of energy to finish our hike. One and a half hours of walking with little ones is plenty. Requests for being carried are made.


Was the walk in the woods calming?

Ummmm….sort of. We should have turned around 15 minutes earlier, but the experience was awesome. It’s weaved into the tapestry of memories and for months afterward, Miss I would fall asleep to stories of the “Butterfly Forest” of West Bali National Park.

At the end of the day, it’s time for a lesson of how to roast the most perfect marshmallow while listening to the soothing sound of ocean waves. FireMallows-33

P.S. If you are wondering if it’s worth taking your kids (mine were 4 & 2 at this point)… it’s always worth it.





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