Travel Bali

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Something a little different–some of my photos from Bali.  So looking forward to my next adventure….back to Italy in October.  Here are some notes from my travel….we had no agenda we just flew by the seat of our pants. (as my Dad would have said)

After flying for 20 hours (15 straight) we stayed our first night in the airport hotel.  It was very nice and so needed.  The next morning we grabbed a taxi to Ubud.  I legit choose a random hotel on the way there….and we couldn’t have been more in love with it when we showed up.  In the heart of the monkey forest the Champlung Sari Hotel was so perfect.  Priced in the middle at around 7000 Rupiah for the two of us it included breakfast.  That is about 20 US dollars per person a night.  I loved reading on the balcony in the morning with the monkeys all around….just don’t have any food or water bottles with you or they will come and take them aggressively.

I was excited about the time of year we were visiting because there were to be big Balinese New Year Celebrations–but the next day is what is called the “silent day” meaning nothing is open, people do not use electricity, no one leaves their house, and there is no talking.  Very thankful that the Balinese allow the vacationers/foreigners use the facilities on their hotel/resort.  So I was able to spend the silent day reading my book by the pool resting my feet that were blistered from all of the exploring we had done in the previous few days.  It was funny the day before the “silent day” their grocery store looked like our Walmart on black Friday…completely full of people and nearly empty shelves.   In the evening the people parade the effigies into the streets.  Then they tell stories about the elaborate characters (called ogoh-ogohs) they have both good effigies and bad ones.  The stories are about how the gods defeat the bad characters.

Other highlights from the trip include the street food…not pictured was the pig sausage as well as a noodle dish that we made spicy with red pastes.  It was crisp, and fresh.  It looks terrible but it tasted delicious.  Walking down the village streets and stopping to smile and talk with the people.  I loved the tea, and I adored breakfast.  I had Nasi Goreng every morning and LOVED it!  Also loved the $3.00 US foot massage….$6.00 for neck as well 1.5 hours!

We took the fast boat to Gili T.  I loved Gili T….only bikes and horse drawn carts.  Trust me you learn that the bell means move over very quick on that little island.  One of the highlights from our night on Gili was the night market.  You can choose anything you want to eat and they will prepare/cook it right there in front of you.  It was beautiful, full of energy, and so tasty!  The night life on the island is fun–we listened to live music and had drinks outside.  The following morning it was raining very hard.  Around 11am it cleared and we chartered our own private boat for snorkeling 7000 Rupiah (20 US).  It was a glass bottomed boat and I am not going to lie I have a pic of my snorkeling guide bailing out the water that leaked in 🙂  I wanted to swim with the sea turtles–and I got too!

When we got back to Bali we were greeted by our taxi driver.  I rented a car in France and drove across the country but Bali there are essentially no road rules it would have been a disaster to try and drive.  On the way to the car I stopped to take a picture on my cell phone of the roosters under the baskets.  Then I asked the driver about the birds, they were just there and no one seemed to own them.  He explained that they are cock fighting birds and that one of them was a winner and was his uncles.  We connected because Breaking Ben was being played on the radio and I was singing along–he was surprised I knew the band.  I told him I have actually met them in person after watching one of their concerts.

We did attend a cock fight as that is a very traditional cultural event and I wanted to see the real lives of the people.  While many Americans think it is terrible there is no waste.  The winning person gets to take the loosing rooster and eat it for dinner that night.  The blood is used in traditional religious ceremonies.  We were the only women there.  It was very cool when everyone started chanting their bet loudly from the sidelines…..lots of energy.

We went to the local market in Ubud.  We bought traditional Balinese temple attire.  We went to the local post office and mailed home the carved deer skulls we bought.  We shipped them via the sea for 8 million Rupiah!  They just arrived yesterday (took almost three months) it was quite the experience.  The people of Bali are very kind.  Most of the shop owners in the village proper speak English.   Truly a place to escape the world and appreciate life.

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