Friday, September 18, 2009

Bali August 2009

Our side trip to Yogyakarta and Borobudur was a visual experience that we won’t soon forget. We are driven to the Yogyakarta airport taking back roads that avoid the center of town and see all kinds of farming with the exception of pigs and cows, if that falls within the category of farming. There are lots of chickens running around, but we don’t see anything that remotely resembles a chicken factory. It is not surprising that there are no pigs because Java is mostly Muslim besides, pigs need grain putting them in competition with humans and making them ecologically undesirable especially in the desert of the mid-east where their taboo started. Bali is Hindu and they eat pork but we are not there yet.

It is Saturday and the airport is teeming with people traveling to various part of this huge east-west country. We board our Garuda flight direct to Bali and not surprisingly find a full plane. All Garuda airplanes have 6 seats a row, with no extra leg round for anyone six feet or over, which is fine for most Indonesians, and tolerable for the rest because the flights are not long and they always have food and drink at no extra charge.

We land at Bali and for the first time, I do not have to go through customs because we came on a domestic flight. Soon we are off to the Laguna Hotel in Nusa Dua and after two security checks we check-in. We eat an excellent dinner just off the beach to avoid the wind while a trio and singer perform some light rock songs.

I wake up early Sunday morning and take off to the beach to get some sunrise pictures. I find these two workers raking up the seaweed, digging holes every 10 feet and burying the seaweed in the sand.

I see this heron like bird feeding in the tide pool and use him to add interest.
See the bird? Do you see him? His long beak is in the sun’s reflection. Enlarge.
Later the tide will come in and come close to these chairs. This is the quiet time before nature’s energy comes alive.
The AIDS/HIV conference is next door at the Weston and Judith goes and registers, and finds her students, from China and Indonesia. And she also meets with the Laguna event manager to make final arrangements for her small party to entertain her colleagues, students, government officials and others on Wednesday evening after the end of the conference. Of course, my time is spent on the beach, re-enforcing the best body tan I have ever had.

Monday Judith made plans to have two vans take her students and colleagues to Jimbaran Beach. This is the sunset beach where several seafood restaurants adorn the shore and after the sun goes down the place lights up.

There is cloud bank on the horizon this night so there will be no sun setting at the horizon, so this is the last glimpse of the sun.
The candles go on and the beach torches light up. Lights from the fishing boats add to the atmosphere along with the perfect weather and slight breeze. And I have my feet in the sand.

Wednesday the conference is over so Thursday, Judith rents a couple of vans and her ex-student Mad’e takes the group of us into the interior of Bali starting with Ubud. We have been there a couple of times before, but it was a new to most of the travelers. We split into two groups, one of whom went to the monkey forest and the rest of us wandered through the shops and markets before we gathered again for lunch. I have always wanted to get pictures motorcycles in Indonesia as they are the main form of transportation. Indeed, if everyone had a car, the roads would be hopelessly locked up.
From Ubud we traveled through mountains and rice fields where “lush” is the word of the day.
And a good time was had by all.
We ended up at Mad’e’s home before taking the 1 ½ hour return trip to our hotel, arriving worn out and looking for some hard liquor and light dinner.
We checked out of the Laguna Friday to get a change of scene. We checked into what used to be the Ritz Carlton and now is under new ownership as the Ayana Resort and Spa. We were here before when it was the Ritz. It now has refurbished rooms and carpeting which it needed before. We stayed in the club section and sat out on the balcony having a few drinks until it was time to get closer to the sunset.
Here is one of the best pictures I have ever taken.
Life is good!


GETkristiLOVE said...

I don't know... I really like the one with Judith and the gang jumping up on the beach!

Dad E said...

I like that one also. But the boat headed for the sunset helped to lead the eye towards the sun set.