Riding in a Northerly direction into clear open air can be a delightful and refreshing escape from what is becoming an increasingly densely cramped Southerly environment.
Even the once slow paced quintessential and serenely iconic Ubud has become a heaving mass and mess of humans and stuff. Yet thankfully fifteen minutes from the central mayhem travelling in a Northerly direction life begins to reflect some of the images of a bygone era, for now.
There are a number of major arteries leading to the Islands beating volcanic heart. Travelling upward, passing through village after village, coolness and spaciousness merge and movement slows. It’s where old time expats still go to get their high, to breathe, re-energize and reminisce on how things once where. Where adventurous modern day tourists go to see old Bali and take selfies with Gunung Batur and Gunung Agung.
There are at least a hundred ways to get purposefully lost in this region.
This is Kintamani country, home to the impressive Kintamani Dog. The long haired, protected, promoted, preserved and somewhat sought after highland canine. It’s also liberally peppered with the more common Lokal Bali Dog.
Away from the urban squeeze in a Northerly direction is where healthy dog and human relationships live on. Not only is the environment cleaner, development is slower, the pace is kinder and space isn’t sparse. In this healthy environment annoyances between dogs and humans are mitigated. The simple provision of more open space means you don’t often see dogs with knife or burn wounds, indicators of canine-human conflict. The cooler air is kinder to canine skin, so there is less scabies and mange on view and thicker coats are the norm.
Certainly some dogs are a little thin, but if you look carefully the physical condition of humans and canines reflect each other. This is agricultural land where the residents are lean and hard working. Farmers toil and old Ibu’s stroll along streets carrying unbelievably large bundles on their heads.
Alongside them their Bali dogs lope, close enough to receive the Balinese caress, a light tap to the head, or a dropped morsel of food, but far enough away to shape shift out of sight when needed.