Travel Tales: Marg Barry

Name: Margaret Barry

Age: 62

Occupation: Director of Magg Bali (Fashion), Founder and CEO Bali Children Foundation (educating poor children in remote Bali)

Favourite travel destination?: Northern and Western Bali. As quiet and remote as possible. The mountains overlooking the Java sea (North of Lovina) are a spectacular spot to stop. Travel through them, over the top of Bali, running beside the National Forest. Scary, high, twisty sharp beds and remote! After the road runs inside a huge Banyan tree and comes out the other side, we are nearly in West Bali and can start to breathe again.

Best meal you’ve ever had while travelling?: A long spectacular seafood tapas lunch in Barcelona, hosted by a cute banker – conversation in halting French – our only shared language.   

Best kiss? The banker? Not saying!

Best/scariest/funniest drive?: Leaving North Bali to travel south on the Sererit Road towards Bedugal and eventually Seminyak. A high fast climb into the mountains – total cloud cover and fog adding to the risk. Coming through, very slowly, we break cloud cover above Lake Tamblingan. High from the road we look down on a large lake deep in the volcano’s crater.  Bright blue water, deeply timbered Caldera edges, the sun clears the cloud in a light burst like in the holy pictures from our child hood. God is at hand and seeing all this we believe.

Where is the best place you’ve ever stayed?: My colleague’s gorgeous apartment just off the Grand Canal in Venice made special as my arrival coincided with my niece’s first day at Ca Foscari University, Venezia.

What has been the big  ‘wow’ moment of your travelling life?: Paris for the first time. After several years enjoying the grandeur of India, my first trip to Europe started in England in the depressed early 80’s. Leaving London and arriving in Paris was sublime. This is what the old world was meant to look like.  Thirty years later it is even better.

What is your number one travel tip?: Travel with a purpose beyond tourism. Nowadays it’s business or philanthropy. Music, art or studying work well too. I like to have a reason to get ‘inside’ the places I go to.

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