Its 6 am.  Have just woken up from a very long sleep.  Our day trip to Seminyak was a bit of a mixed bag.  Combination of heavy rains, debris of rubbish on the beach, traffic jams, and unexpectedly expensive lunch, led to some upside down smiles and snappy comments, amongst a group of people who wanted to escape Ubud for a day and chill out by the sea.  Verdict – not the top day out, BUT having said that, we all pulled it together and made the most of it.  Got our hour in the sea, had a drink or two and enjoyed ourselves.   I think it’s all part of the process.  Hiding under insufficient shelters as we get battered by a tropical downpour, sighing as we realise that the long-sought for beach, is next to the biggest construction site we’ve seen in Bali.  Feeling the rush of water through the floor of the car as floods surge through the streets.

All of that is fine.  Not ideal, but you find humour in it don’t you.  The part of the day that I found difficult to stomach was the rubbish on the beach.  It wasn’t just the remnants from a big party, or a small spillage after a big storm.  Plastics, Styrofoam and other garish unbreakable materials, wrestled with each other along the whole length of volcanic sands.   We all fell silent as we tip-toed through, disempowered by the sheer volume to make any difference by clearing it up.  There’s nowhere to put it!  Nobody seems too fazed by the whole thing, it must be normal, what everyone has come to expect from living by a beach resort.  Is this the direct result of tourism?  Are there any policies, initiatives in place to address the issue?  It strikes me as odd that in a country where life and natural beauty is revered as so sacred, there is such an apparent disregard for the environment.  I feel guilty for being a part of that.  The lazy days that I forget to refill my water bottle from the cafe and invest in a new one.  For all those years that I didn’t recycle, for not encouraging others to.  For the flight over here, and flight back.

Are we any better in the UK, or is it just because we can’t see it that we feel greener?  Am sure it wouldn’t take too many days of emptying our rubbish bins into the back garden to get a true picture of how much unnecessary waste we produce.

It was humbling – standing on that beach.  An important reminder of what we must protect.

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