Our last day in Bali

8 March 2014

The clear morning was perfect to take a quick walk around the gardens and enjoy this picturesque mountain area.  With the clarity we could again see Mt. Agung as well as much of the island including the sea in some places.

But since it was our last day on the island, we had plans to take in a few sites as we made our way from Bedugul to a hotel close to the airport (for our 6:00am flight the next day), so we didn’t linger around for too long.

Our first stop of the day, after a very windy trek on very narrow roads was the Jatiluwih Rice Fields.  As we gained our first glimpse of these fields it simply took your breath away as there were rice fields and terraces that seemed like they went on forever. Once to a spot where we could park, we jumped out of the car and took off on a hike through the rice fields.  It truly was an impressive site as the immensity of the rice fields seemed to grow the deeper you got into them.  We hiked for about 90 minutes trying to take in as many vantage points as possible and after thoroughly exhausting ourselves in the midday heat (and getting a super sweet farmers tan) we headed back to our car and onto the next destination the Bali Butterfly Park.DSC_4322DSC_4325DSC_4344DSC_4362DSC_4368DSC_4379

As we walked thru the butterfly park, we came across the area where the cocoons were stored and one employee who was eager to share the lifecycle of the butterflies. During our lesson for the day we learned that these butterflies live for two months in the cocoon, two weeks as a butterfly and for the bigger ones only 5 days. And of course he wanted to make sure I had an up close experience so he gently placed one of the larger ones on my hand for a Kodak moment. While taking a photo I think the butterfly realized I was kinda freaked out by it walking up my hand, so it decided to give me a real reason to be freaked out and pooped on my hand. He then gave us a quick tour of the park including the various other bugs on display and gave us butterfly sex-ed course when showing us where they usually find the cocoons in the park.DSC_4400DSC_4401DSC_4398DSC_4405

The sex lives of butterflies

The sex lives of butterflies

 

DSC_4407DSC_4409DSC_4430DSC_4432In the last few days as we drove thru various towns and especially today I noticed that in the middle of many temples there were huge, creepy looking statues being created that looked like something from nightmares or Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.  Turns out these statues were being created for New Year’s day celebrations.  On New Year’s the town’s young people will carry the newly created statue thru town then it is burned it is burned at the end of the celebration.  And as the guy at the post office told us, our driver told us again that the next day the 29th it is silent, no cars, nothing is open and people stay at home to celebrate the new year.

Another thing that stood out on today’s drive was all of the kids out and about all dress in what is usually worn for temple celebrations. Our ever informative driver told us that today’s big temple celebration was for education, hence why all the kids in every town we drove thru were dressed in their traditional attire and not school uniforms. Plus it was a day off of school which is why they seemed to be everywhere even taking in many of the tourist sites.

After driving thru many small towns we could tell we were getting closer to the populated regions on the island as we made our way thru Tabanan, where for the first time on the island we saw a car dealership and were back once again in good old traffic. It wasn’t much longer before we were turning off the main road to Tanah Lot one of the 7 Sea temples in Bali and probably the most famous, especially for sunset pictures. And just like all the guide book says it is a must visit with beautiful waves crashing along the rugged coastline and the temples standing out on the rocks.  It was also the first time I was asked to take a picture with a family. I tried not to laugh too hard when asked and happily smiled along as it was first just two family members than slowly it was the whole damn family in the picture with me and the temple in the background. Too bad Adam was off in the distance taking pictures and I didn’t want to be rude and yell out his name across the crowd to also capture the taking a picture with the tall white girl moment. I just hope I make it on to the families New Year’s card.DSC_4444DSC_4453DSC_4461DSC_4474DSC_4481DSC_4484

I have to say Bali was everything I could have imagined and much, much more. From the lovely people to the beautiful sites, tasty food, the rich cultural heritage and easy relaxation, there is something for every mood and whim. It has definitely made the list of places to revisit on our second retirement!

Today’s Travel: We left the northern end of the island and headed down towards the western coastline

Accommodations: Aston Inn Tuban. An average hotel that could use some love, but the room was big and clean and for a 6am flight it was great to be 2.5km away from the airport.

Playing catch up

7 March 2014

With so many fun adventures in the last few weeks and making a point of being completely and totally lazy, as this is our vacation within our traveling, I have been slacking with writing.  So today I finally was able to play catch up and with this time we also sorted thru photos and thanks to the occasionally working internet we were able to upload all of our pictures for posting thru today.

But never fear there was still plenty of time to watch a movie, it is so luxurious to have a TV in our room, linger over a tasty breakfast on our patio and lunch in the restaurant.  And even a walk across the street to a fruit/snack vendor to pick up more mangosteens and this artichoke like fruit the locals call silik, and thanks to my google search I found they are called custard apple. DSC_4305DSC_4307

Also we had our laundry dropped of which is one of the nice perks of travel in SE Asia. All I have to do is pack it into the travel space saver bags and put it in my backpack and I am ready for the next city. I just can’t get over feeling so spoiled with someone else cleaning, ironing and folding all our clothes.  Even my yoga pants now have a lovely ironed pleat in them.  Maybe I will not feel so bad when I actually have to wear them as pants too. If only I could afford laundry service back home.

And don’t worry about Adam, while I was writing he was reading and taking nap, it was a big day.  But I guess this is why just the other night at dinner I was saying how I feel so rejuvenated! I guess all the napping might have something to do with it.

And to break up the activities of the day (yes, reading, napping, writing and watching a movie are activities) we hung out on our patio to soak in the warmth of the sun and play cards.  With so much sun, it was on appropriate that I call room service and order two large Bintang’s.  It felt excessive to get room service, but hey we are on vacation:)

Mmmm, beer

Mmmm, beer

 

DSC_4310DSC_4312DSC_4316As we walked to dinner at the hotel restaurant we stopped and took in the view that as we finally had a clear evening and could see all the way to Mt. Agung. It was pretty cool to see the opposite side (we watched the sunset over the other side of Mt. Agung when we were on Gili Air) with the reflection of the last of the sunlight highlighting the mountainside and white fluff clouds towards the bottom of the mountain.

Today’s Travel: Around Strawberry Hill and even across the street to the fruit stand

Accommodations: Strawberry Hill

Exploring Bedugul

6 March 2014

With a slight chill in the air (yes we now quantify 71 degrees as cold) we made our way to breakfast.  After a yummy breakfast, with plenty of strawberries of course, we were off to explore Bedugul.  Our first stop was at the Ulun Danu Temple (or Lake Bratan) temple.  As we walked towards the temple we stopped for a moment to take in our surroundings.  It really is like we have traveled to a completely different place.  The air is cool, crisp and without the smell or sounds of many motors bikes and the lake and mountain views just seem so out of place when what we have seen thus far are stunning beaches and beautiful rice paddy fields. All we could think of was that we had somehow been transferred to somewhere in the Swiss Alps.  As we wandered the temple grounds taking in its beauty and watching a celebration begin in the center before a procession into the temple, you could easily understand why this temple is recommended in almost every guide book. The ground around the temple also provided some good laughs and photo moments with all of the various color animal statues.DSC_4199DSC_4202DSC_4203DSC_4206

Every time I put on these pants Adam does the 'Hammer' dance

Every time I put on these pants Adam does the ‘Hammer’ dance

 

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Ulun Danu Temple , your America is showing.

Ulun Danu Temple , your America is showing.

DSC_4247After our visit to the temple we headed back into town to the fruit market which sits adjacent to the town’s giant corn statue.  I think they may have been inspired by their Aussie neighbors and most frequent tourist, to erect a large statue to a food item. At the market we bought few rambutan (or what I like to call dragon balls) and mangosteens from one of the vendors.  As this lady was quite the saleswomen, we also tried some passion fruit and another fruit that was similar but a bit more sour.

Rambutan

Rambutan

 

And the inside of a rambutan

And the inside of a rambutan

 

Oh, sweet mangosteen

Oh, sweet mangosteen

 

With a sweet fruit that tastes just like sour patch kids

With a sweet fruit that tastes just like sour patch kids

And why they sell rabbits along side fruit and tourist gear, I will never know. But they are so cute.

And why they sell rabbits along side fruit and tourist gear, I will never know. But they are so cute.

With a nice sugar rush from our fruit snacks it was on to the botanical gardens.  At first we thought we could walk the entire gardens but at ​​157 hectares, we quickly opted to be taken from point to point with just the occasional walk around the gardens.  While the orchids were not in bloom this time of year, the area just next to it, which included the medicinal plants of Bali was my favorite area to explore and learn. Just before we left the park we made our last stop at the area known as Lake View. Just sitting on the park bench a taking in the view, I probably could have sat there for hours just watching the clouds pass by. But alas, we was time to go grab some lunch before we headed back to the hotel for some late afternoon lounging and planning of our next adventure.DSC_4255DSC_4267

The gateway to the medicinal plants areas...no not that medicinal plant

The gateway to the medicinal plants areas…no not that medicinal plant

 

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The lakeview

The lakeview

 

DSC_4296Today’s Travel: Just over the hill from our hotel we explored the area of Candi Kuning and the Ulun Danu Temple (Lake Bratan Temple), fruit market and botanical gardens

Accommodations: Strawberry Hill

Tour de Bali

5 March 2014

Thanks to the ever amazing google, we found the company called Dodi Made, which offered a variety of tours around Bali.  We decided to make our own path to see a variety of sites on our path from Ubud to Bedugul.  Our driver, Kadak was right on time in picking us up from our homestay and once we hopped in the car we talked thru what we wanted to see on the island and we started on our way.  As we toured thru all of the sites, Kadak was very thorough in explaining the details and significance of many of the sites.  So thorough in fact that I grabbed my phone half way thru the day and tried to just write down as much of the information as I could.  Even as we drove around and random questions popped in my head he would happily answer any and all questions.

Our first stop of the day was at the Holy Water Temple, once we had on our proper sarong and scarf on we made our way into the temple and around the grounds. It was a beautiful place and we felt very fortunate to be able to watch as many were practicing their faith.  The one odd moment though was as you left the temple you were guided thru a labyrinth of stalls selling crap to tourist. DSC_4085DSC_4090

And you could see the natural springs bubble up in the back

And you could see the natural springs bubble up in the back

 

DSC_4099DSC_4101DSC_4103From there we made our next stop at Mt. Batur and Lake Batur. The views were beautiful and slightly scary, knowing that it is still an active volcano with the last eruption occurring in 2000, and to see all the homes located right in its heart.DSC_4109DSC_4112

And here we were able to capture the ever present Sasquatch crossing street sign

And here we were able to capture the ever present Sasquatch crossing street sign

And because we only had one cup of coffee this morning it was time to get our fill at Wedang Sari where they serve the tourist special, luwak coffee, ah cat poo coffee.  The luwak was okay and luckily we had plenty more to choose from and we both agreed that the coconut coffee was the best. In addition to the various coffee we also were given a tour of the grounds which had a variety of crops including vanilla beans, cacao trees, a variety of coffee beans and various fruit trees.DSC_4123

Even the fruit bat knows how to work the camera

Even the fruit bat knows how to work the camera

Roasting the beans

Roasting the beans

 

DSC_4129DSC_4132And a day of travel around Ubud would just not be complete without seeing rice paddy fields.  So our next stop was at Tegalalang rice paddy fields. And by far these were the most impressive fields we have seen so far.  The pictures almost do this place justice. DSC_4133DSC_4137DSC_4147

Since we had to drive back to Ubud before heading toward Bedugul we made a stop just outside of the center of town for a nice lunch in the rice paddy fields.

It was then the beginning of a longer drive with a stop at the Royal Temple of Mengwi (Pura Taman Ayun).  With the sun at its peak and the humidity rising I decided to grab an umbrella for shade as we toured the grounds of the temple. While Adam laughed at me at first, he wasn’t shy about standing under my shade as we looked at the temple grounds. Everything about this temple was fit for a king, from the meticulously maintained grounds to temple altars you had to stop and enjoy, even in the heat. It was then back in the car and as we made our way thru the town, the night market preparations were just getting underway and I only wish we had time to come back to see the market.DSC_4160DSC_4165DSC_4171DSC_4181DSC_4184DSC_4188

And why this is here, I do not know....

And why this is here, I do not know….

When we arrived in Bedugul, I thought we might have traveled to another place.  I am not sure if it was the rain that started to pour just before we made it up the driveway of the hotel or the extreme temperature change from the elevation gain, but I was freezing.  I headed straight for the shower since several hours earlier I was using an umbrella for shade and moving slowly because it was so hot to shivering waiting for the water to heat up. I was also excited to see that we had a real comforter and really wishing that heaters actually existed here.  I think it’s safe to say we’ve adapted to the warm weather the above was my reaction to 72 degree weather, yes, I thought I might freeze in the 70-ish degree temps and understood why the locals were wearing North Face jackets.

And as the day ended I realized today was month three of travel, so happy three months of adventures to us!

And here are the random facts I remembered to write down from the day:

Holy water temple- you can come for many reasons; you make your offering and then a wish and you work your way from the far left waterfall down except for the last one that is only used in a ceremony if someone has recently died

There is one God and many manifestations. There is a temple for air, water and fire as that is where all things were created. There is a balance between good and evil and both are recognized in the temples with statues of both types

Family temples face northeast

The calendar is 35 days every month

It is currently 1934 in the Balinese calendar

Kids go to school: 7:30- 1pm Monday – Saturday and the family must pay for the schooling as there is no such thing as free education

Today’s Travel: From Ubud to Holy Water Temple, Mt. Batur and the beautiful Lake Batur, a stop at Wedang Sari for luwak coffee then to the Tegalalang rice paddy fields, to the Royal Temple of Mengwi (Pura Taman Ayun) and ending the day in Bedugul

Accommodations: Strawberry Hill. Just off the main road perched high above most of the island the views were stunning and the strawberry patch just outside our balcony was a great touch.  The rooms were spacious, well-appointed and very clean. The staff was very fairly and the food at the hotel restaurant was great and we found it to be much cheaper than Ubud.  I guess the guide books weren’t lying when they said the cost of food is regional.  Plus there was a fruit stand at the bottom of the driveway which made for a convenient mid-morning snacks.DSC_4192

Back to Ubud

4 March 2014

Our time on Gili has come to an end.  As with life it was time to move on.  We lingered in the breakfast area for as long as we could savoring every last bite of the homemade bread and papaya and pineapple preserve along with the strong cup of Lombok coffee.  It really did feel like our home while we were there and I think that is what made leaving a little bit harder than most places we have ventured to.

After our goodbye’s we hoped in the back of the horse cart (not oscar as I really thought our host said when she asked with her French accent, ‘do you want an oscar?’) and we off towards the harbor.  It was short ride, which took us thru the center of the island to streets we had yet to explore.  So by the time we made it back to the harbor I think we can state that we saw the entire island during our trip.

Finally taking  a ride in the horse cart. And by the way, clearly I was not confident we would safely pass by the cart coming towards us

Finally taking a ride in the horse cart. And by the way, clearly I was not confident we would safely pass by the cart coming towards us

With just three of us on the boat and about eight crew members we set off towards Bali.  Our boat made a stop on Gili T where we picked up an eclectic group of tourists who looked and smelled like they had spent the last few days partying non-stop.  My favorite character was the Aussie with the raspy chain smoker with a super sweet pseudo mohawk, but more like a mullet, who was probably in his 40’s but looked like he was in his 60’s.  It was a stark contrast to the relaxing and rejuvenating time we had on Gili Air that and was a bit shocking to see.

With just a night planned back in Ubud, we did our best to go back to our favorite spots and even made time to check out a new restaurant called Locavore, where we had the best mocktails with local fruits (when you travel cheap you can’t always afford the booze).

Today’s Travel: A boat ride from Gili Air to Pandag Bai with stops on Gili T and Lombok followed by a drive from Pandag Bai to Ubud

Accommodations: Gusti Homestay. At $15 per night this homestay served its purpose for a one night stay.  The room was basic and the location was great, in the center of town and just a few meters down from our favorite coffee shop Seniman.  We didn’t spend much time here but with the limited interaction with the family who ran the homestay we found them to be very friendly and accommodating.

Sunday funday

23 February 2014

As is now our normal routine, we started the day with a morning yoga class.  Again we got to walk thru town in the early morning and see the market full, which was a bit of a reminder that we are so lucky to have refrigeration, and we don’t have to make daily trips to the market for our daily meal.

It was then an afternoon of reading on the patio and wandering the neighborhood in search of great meals and coffee. That evening we decided to give Warung Schnitzel a try. The name made both of us furrow our brows as we walked by many times, but after reading the tripadvisor reviews, we decided to give it a go. After we sat down we were presented an appetizer of tempura style spinach with a nice sweet and spicy dip.  I think in the last week alone I have consumed more spinach than I have in my entire life.  And I can’t get enough of it, if only restaurants/parents prepared it in the variety of ways like they do here and everyone would be strong like Popeye!  And both our entrees and smoothies were delicious as well, so the lesson learned here is don’t judge a restaurant by its name (although there were plenty of Germans in the restaurant ordering the schnitzel).

Today’s Travel: Around Ubud

Accommodations: Sama’s Cottages. Bungalow #6. A final move for good measure for our last night!

Ubud Sunrise

22 February 2014

After almost a full week in Ubud, it was about time we set our alarms and take in the sunrise.  We started in the dark walking further along the outskirts of town to the locally called, ‘Hill Climb.’  As we began the ‘climb’ the sunlight began to shine thru the palm trees to reveal hillsides terraced with rice.  It was nice walk to start the day (and to those running on the trail, you are crazy! It was so humid that at certain points the camera lens would fog up!) and even better was that we finally saw a view of Mt. Batur, which until now we had only seen in pictures and paintings.DSC_3614DSC_3633DSC_3636DSC_3650DSC_3654P1030115DSC_3666 DSC_3674DSC_3679DSC_3681DSC_3685DSC_3695

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It's a smaller version of the pre-historic plant we saw on our rafting trip

It’s a smaller version of the pre-historic plant we saw on our rafting trip

 

And just before we were back on the road, we realized we forgot to take a picture.  I guess no coffee on an early morning will do that.

And just before we were back on the road, we realized we forgot to take a picture. I guess no coffee on an early morning will do that.

 

And the morning commute begins

And the morning commute begins (and this is a Saturday)

Again, with the early start to the day, a nap and lounging made up our afternoon plus wandering the town in search of lunch and juice.  And somehow before we knew it, it was time once again for our evening workout, a Pilates class for me and yoga for Adam.

Feeling great from another great workout, we made our way to Fair Warung Bale for another outstanding and healthy meal.  Ubud really does have so many healthy and great places to eat I only hope we can continue to eat this well as we travel.

Today’s Travel: Around Ubud

Accommodations: Sama’s Cottages. Bungalow #7.  Yes, it is true you can stay in four different rooms at a hotel over a period of ten days when you don’t book in advance and only ask ‘can we stay two more nights,’ every other day.

Master chef

21 February 2014

We were picked up from our hotel by Wayan, the husband of the husband and wife (Puspa) duo at Paon Bali cooking school.  Our first stop was at the Ubud market.  As it was still early the market had not yet transformed into the tourist market and the local farmers where still there selling a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, spices and flowers for offerings.

There were endless rows of flowers

There were endless rows of flowers

 

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Kids these days, mixing the Betel leaf with tobacco for a high

Kids these days, mixing the Betel leaf with tobacco for a high

We were given a great tour of the market and given a description of the many foreign fruits and vegetables, with a focus on those that would be used in our cooking that afternoon.

And this is a relatively short bunch of long beans

And this is a relatively short bunch of long beans

We were even treated to a sample of fruits like snakefruit and mangosteens (which are absolutely amazing and essentially taste like a sour patch kids except better).

Snakefruit and yes I thought he said snackfruit until he said, 'because it is like snake skin'

Snakefruit and yes I thought he said snackfruit until he said, ‘because it is like snake skin’

After the tour of the Ubud market we headed out to the rice paddy fields on the outskirts of town.  Wayan gave us a description of the growing cycle of rice, along with the community decision making in growing rice.  Everyone in this region will grow the same type of crop: white rice, brown rice, red rice or soy at the same time as that is the best way to prevent certain types of pests invading the fields.  As Wayan was community leader in promoting organic farming he did focus some on those techniques, in fact after his rice lecture he was off to present to the community about organic farming.

Wayan giving us a lesson on the phases of the rice crop

Wayan giving us a lesson on the phases of the rice crop

 

DSC_3497Once we arrived at their home were the cooking school was located, we were given a history lesson on home designs in Bali.  We learned all family temples are located in the north east corner of a home, the entrance faces the west, there is an altar for rice (as it is so important to their diet) and that there are separate living spaces for the children and the parents.  We were then treated to a fun story of how the couple met and eventually got their MBA (Married By Accident aka getting pregnant).  After we enjoyed that fun history lesson and tasty lime juice, it was time to start cooking.

Mmmm, lime juice

Mmmm, lime juice

Before we chop!

Before we chop!

Give me more garlic!!

Give me more garlic!!

Chef Adam, enjoying his coffee before we cook

Chef Adam, enjoying his coffee before we cook

 

Puspa giving us an explanation of the foods and taking time to pose

Puspa giving us an explanation of the foods and taking time to pose

We started out with prepping all the food, aka chopping.

Look at that focus

Look at that focus

We worked thru various stations taking a turn working with a variety of the ingredients. It was then on to prepping our first course, soup.  After we finished our soup is was time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, while the staff got everything ready for making the main dishes of the day. Before we headed back into the kitchen, we had a short tour of the garden which was home to almost all the vegetables and spices we were cooking with. Now back in the kitchen we started work on the main dishes.  All along the way as we made and prepped the dishes Puspa did a great job of reminding us ingredient substitutions, since there were a handful of ingredients that would be hard to find at home.  With plenty of fresh ingredients and a variety of flavors, I had to do my best to not taste while cooking!

Adam using the Bali blender to make the yellow curry

Adam using the Bali blender to make the yellow curry

Look mom, I can cook!!!

Look mom, I can cook!!!

 

OSHA would be proud

OSHA would be proud

 

Cooking the satay we had just prepped

Cooking the satay we had just prepped

Soon enough it was time to stuff our faces.  And we were some damn good cooks!

Yum!

Yum!

 

Adam's lunch

Adam’s lunch

While the flavors were mild by decision, the owners didn’t want us to get ‘Bali Belly,’ by the time I went back for seconds most of the dishes were gone!  And for dessert, all we had to do was watch and eat the jackfruit and banana concoction which was smothered in a coconut milk sauce.

And to balance out the day after our food coma nap, we then headed to Radiantly Alive for some evening yoga.  Adam is officially a Yogi! After less than a week’s time of doing daily yoga he is able to touch his toes for the very first time.  It only took years of nagging and being 8,698 miles from home for me to get him to try more than one yoga class.

Today’s Travel: Around Ubud

Accommodations: Sama’s Cottages. Bungalow #10

More coffee please!

20 February 2014

We started off with a lazy morning of drinking coffee before we headed out into town with no true plans other than to pick up a few gifts and items for our future home.  We wandered down a street we had yet to venture down and found a great coffee shop called Seniman.  The coffee was superb and they don’t take their brewing techniques lightly.  They are very proud of their ‘lab’ and no machine technology used to brew the perfect cup.  No other place in the world can even come close to having better beans than Indonesia and the way they brew coffee here is pretty damn close to perfection.  They even highlight that they do not serve their coffee with milk or sugar and if that is something you would like than they suggest more European/American style coffees and not the single or double brew coffee.  I thought it was kinda snobby, until I had my first sip and realized that adding milk or sugar to this coffee would be like putting ketchup on a beautiful steak.  The first cup was so good that we decided to split a cup of cold brewed coffee, again seriously amazing and I might never be able to have an iced coffee again unless of course it is cold brewed.  And of course all the coffee made us hungry (that or it was a little after 12) so we ordered lunch here as well.  Not only do they know how to brew coffee, but with their simple menu they figured out what they can make and they do that very well too.

Coffee served with a crepe filled with coconut and sugar, doesn't get much better.

Coffee served with a crepe filled with coconut and sugar, doesn’t get much better.

Later that evening we headed back out for an evening of yoga.  Today we took separate classes, I took the flying class and Adam went with the restorative class.  Let’s just say it might take a while to feel comfortable with inversions, but maybe one day soon I will give this type of class another go.

Today’s Travel: Around Ubud

Accommodations: Sama’s Cottages. Bungalow #10

Super tourist day

19 February 2014

As we walked around the neighborhood today, we noticed that the offerings outside of the homes and store fronts were very elaborate and the temples had even more decorations than usual.

Today's offering in front of Sama's Cottages

Today’s offering in front of Sama’s Cottages

We started the day with gentle yoga class. The walk by the market at the early hour of 7:15ish again was a great insight to see how the locals live.  It was packed with people buying everything from fruit to live chickens that would I’m sure turn into a delicious lunch and dinner.

After class we enjoyed our breakfast and then a nap. This is after all our vacation from traveling so we are taking full advantage of naps.

It was then off tp lunch at Casa Luna and a visit to get some culture at Ubud’s Museum Puri Lukisan.  The museum was filled with traditional bakit paintings and wood carvings along with modern takes on the traditional bakit art.  While it was small museum, both the grounds and paintings inside were beautiful and definitely worth a trip if you visit Ubud.

The entrance to Puri Lukisan

The entrance to Puri Lukisan

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Even the gardens were lovely

Even the gardens were lovely

 

DSC_3461We planned on heading over to explore the Ubud Market to explore some more, but while enjoying our tea and dessert at the museum, the weather decided it had other plans.

What, dessert everyday is not a problem!

What, dessert everyday is not a problem!

Once the downpour started we decided to head back to our hotel to read and relax.

Later that evening we headed out for an early dinner, with of course a stop to hang out Juice Ja Cafe, as we are going to our a Balinese dance performance.

Once we arrived at the temple, Adam happily enjoyed that there was a women selling Bintang before the performance and he would just like to let Katie and Christina know that he would prefer it if they could arrange for beers to be sold at all future dance recitals.

The laughable moment of the evening came when Adam took out his camera only to realize the battery was about to die.  Luckily we had the point and shoot camera so all was not lost in capturing the performance.

The Barong and Legong Dance by the Panca Artha Troupe from the Mahbaharata was absolutely amazing and told the story of ‘The Great Mahabrata Epic and the Best of Classical Dance of Bali’ through such precise movements. It was amazing to watch the dancers and the precision that they had in their routine put any or dancing you have seen to shame.  Essentially they would be moving multiple parts of their body individually while staying in beat with the rhythm of the music.  As you read this, act out the motions to get a feel for how impressive it really was.  The dancers would open their eyes up as wide as possible and dart their eyes to one direction or the other (after doing this for 5 seconds I guarantee your eyes will be hurting), all while continually doing this they would have their fingers spread wide while moving them up and down into different groupings (imagine doing the star trek hand symbol except continuously changing which fingers are grouped together).  Do you have these two moves down?  Now imagine doing that all while also moving your arms, shoulders and rest of your body in beat with the percussion of the music.  It was quite an impressive sight to watch.DSC_3466P1030086P1030091P1030097P1030103P1030104

Barong from Amy Hicks on Vimeo.

Niatama and all her Bidadaris from Amy Hicks on Vimeo.

Niatama and all her Bidadaris – Part 2 from Amy Hicks on Vimeo.

Today’s Travel: Around Ubud

Accommodations: Sama’s Cottages. Bungalow #10