Tips: 1. More for information than anything – Bali is a lot more familiar feeling, maybe because a lot of tourists visit. 2. You can buy lovely silver (92.5%) and semi-precious stone jewellery in Bali. You can also buy delicious coffee here and visit plantations. 3. Early March is the celebration of Nyepi which is like a New Year’s celebration – we totally lucked out by visiting at this time – it was spectacular to watch and participate in the celebrations.
March 18, 2010: Indonesia Diaries, Part 4a
Greetings again from Bali!! We’ve done a lot since I had an internet connection, so we’ve got lots of pics and my message is split in to 2 so you can get them all!!
First off, a picture of the villa that we’re staying at – I’m going to send another email in a few days with just pictures of it. Here I am enjoying the pool and in the background is one of the houses that has 3 bedrooms and bathrooms in it – ours is the whole top floor. The pool is awesome first thing in the morning. The second picture is Sanur beach – we ran here on Monday morning – it’s less than 5 minutes from the villa. Lovely beach with a nice walkway that has hotels and restaurants on it. On Monday we went to a temple called Tanah Lot (Tanah means Earth, Lot means Sea) which is on the west side of Bali (Sanur is on the east side). Since it was high tide, we couldn’t actually get to the Temple, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Like most tourist areas in Indo, there was also a market near the temple and I managed to buy myself an awesome sundress for $6.50. From here we drove to a place inland called Ubud. I wrote a bit about it in my last email. It’s in the mountains and our first stop was the Sacred Monkey Forest. You guessed it – lots of monkeys and also a temple. Bali is mostly Hindu (around 95%) and there are lots and lots of temples here. The Monkey Forest was amazing and we snapped a good picture of this little baby. The komodo rocks were also in a ravine there, with water flowing at the bottom of it. Very Indiana Jones. We happen to be in Bali during what is their new year called Nyepi, which was March 16 this year. The day is a special one – the night before there are parades in all of the villages on the island, and Nyepi itself is a day of inward reflection – no power is supposed to be used, and it’s supposed to be quiet, everything shuts down, including the airport in Bali. Some hotels have permits to use power for their guests and to cook for them, so we stayed at a hotel near Ubud for 2 nights. It was on a river valley, high above some rice paddies. The night before Nyepi, we took part in the parade in our village. The villagers build huge papier mache Ogoh-ogohs, which represent both good and bad spirits, and they carry these down the street with music, and then carry them to the town square to burn them and celebrate late in to the night. The last picture is of the largest Ogoh-ogoh in our village. It was really something to see these – the smallest ogoh-ogohs were carried first by village youths – they were probably 7 – 8, and then the creatures got increasingly larger as the guys got older who created them. We skipped the burning because we were so spent by this time!! It was cool to be here for this evening.
And that’s it for part 4a. Going to send you part 4b shortly….
dpr and d2