Having travelled the globe, experienced almost every temptation known to man (from sex and drugs to religion) and faced his own mortality, the story of John Moon is inextricably linked to that of Bambuddha.
Born during World War II to a Liverpool-Irish mother and Greek Cypriot father, John’s global travels began when he emigrated to South Africa in 1964. He journeyed through the entire continent, then blighted by Apartheid, before venturing on to explore the charms of India, Japan, Australia and Goa followed by the US coast to coast road trip along Route 66.
After 20 years on the Hippy Trail, John found himself torn. He wanted to continue to live free from state or social control in an inhibition-less playground full of new horizons, but realised he had to put down roots for the sake of his young son.
So it was that John decided to settle in Ibiza. Here he went into business with ex-wife Annbritt and her boyfriend running a small restaurant on the San Juan road called Buddha’s Bar. Although the venture was not a success, it was to sow the seeds for what would eventually become Bambuddha.
To realise his dream of creating a unique personal manifestation of his incredible life, John sold all his worldly goods, borrowed capital and imported from Bali a complete ‘Banjak’ (meeting place) along with two Balinese workers to assemble the buildings and floors. Twenty-seven species of bamboo from around the planet were also utilised, while eight huge phallic stone totem poles from Flores were erected to form the entrance.
Little wonder therefore that when Bambuddha Grove finally opened its doors in 1999, John’s detractors were immediately silenced.
16 years later and Bambuddha has become as iconic as the man who inspired it.
Despite Jonjon now assuming overall control of Bambuddha, John remains present as ‘Chief’, ‘Spiritual Guide’ and ‘Elder of the Black Sheep Tribe’, trusting his son to consult with him whenever the need may arise.