Floating away in Bali

Sep 23rd, 2010, 02:59 AM
  #1  
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Floating away in Bali

It's late afternoon in Ubud, and just like yesterday it started to pour like crazy. Unlike yesterday, it's showing no sign of stopping. So starting a trip report sounded like a good idea. If you are reading this Bob and/or Andy, hello from Putu. We had yet another great ceremony experience with him 2 days ago.

Only on even numbered years near the full moon at this time, there is a ceremony in East Bali where thousands of people from 4 villages climb 1000ft. and lots and lots of stairs up to a temple at the top of Bukit Gumang. It happened to be the day Putu was picking us up to tour around. He didn't really think we'd be willing to climb all the way up, but when we were in the middle of throngs of villagers carrying offerings, including roasted suckling pigs on long bamboo poles, who could resist? It took around an hour to get to the top. The view was great with rice fields and Mt. Agung in the background on one side and the sea on the other. At the top the poles full of babi guling were hanging in the trees to be blessed. Families set up camps to stay the night and monkeys were jumpiing around in the trees as people threw food to them. Gambling games were going on all around where the gamblers were not the adults, but the children. After a while, processions of men carrying shrines showed up and were circling around the temple area, with people falling into trances, some with their ceremonial knives in hand, trance dancing to the drumbeats and several fainting in the process. Needless to say, it was one of the more interesting ceremonies we ever attended. We go out with Putu again on Sunday and I don't think he'll be able to top that experience.
susncrg is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 05:41 AM
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Sounds like you got the"real" Bali expierence. Don't you love being a part of such ceremonies. Some how our holiday parades, church services,gratherings don't have the ferver that they exhibit in Bali. It becomes a real famnily day. You were very lucky to be there for that cermony. I have read about it.

Enjoy your next day with Putu and hi back to him.
kmkrnn is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 06:07 AM
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yes please give putu our best regards...

he might like to know that andy has a brain tumor and is facing an uncertain future...
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 03:08 PM
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Yes, kmkrnn, our holidays feel so different than those over here. It was so amazing to see everyone from toddlers to the aged all making the hike up and participating. I will let Putu know about Andy, and also will give him your regards.
susncrg is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 04:55 AM
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I think Bob has the BT. Putu knows , as we told him when we were there in the spring. You might tell Putu that Andy and Beth did make it to Hong Kong. Continue to enjoy Bali.
kmkrnn is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 05:30 AM
  #6  
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What is the BT?

We are continuing to enjoy ourselves, but this evening it poured again. Luckily it did not pour at lunchtime. We decided to try Sari Organik, a restaurant that I can't believe we'd never gone to before. It's an open bale style restaurant situated in the middle of the rice fields, which are incredibly green and full of rice right now. It's a 10 minute walk off the main road in Ubud. You climb a hilly driveway, walk down a footpath, turn the corner and suddenly you're in the country. It's a lovely place to relax and enjoy the views. Apparently, you can call them for a motorbike assist from the main road, according to their business card.

I wasn't hungry enough to try one of their main dishes, but the house salad I had, with the addition of some feta, was absolutely fresh and delicious. The organic farm is right next to the restaurant, if you want to stroll through it. We decided to walk the back way to Jalan Kejang on the way home, which turned out to be a rotten idea. It was a narrower path that was muddier and we got a bit lost as well. Since it was threatening rain, my sense of humor was a little strained until we got to a familiar place and all was well again.

I hope tomorrow is not rainy as we are doing a little trek in the morning.
susncrg is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Thanks for using your rain time this way! I just booked a week in Ubud nextonth. Any suggestions for a cozy villa for one?
Grassshopper is offline  
Sep 25th, 2010, 02:14 AM
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Grasshopper- Depends what your budget is and whether you want to be in town or out of town a ways.

It stopped raining in time for the trek this a.m. We had decided to stay at Kajane Mua again as we got a pretty good deal being repeat customers and we love having our private pool. This time our rate included an "activity": cycling, trekking, cooking lesson, etc, which included massages and lunch. Since DH is not inclined towards massages, I got to have 2 hours!! We picked the trek and I figured it would be a stroll around a rice field and a small and unimpressive lunch. I was quite wrong. We drove to a village with a driver and 2 guides for just us. They gave us each a walking stick which turned out to be very helpful because the walk was alongside the irrigation ditch through lots of rice fields and quite narrow and muddy. It was Bali life at it's "realest". We passed a mother washing her baby, a startled naked couple taking their bath in the canal, women doing laundry and people working in the fields. There was even an very traditional bare-breasted old lady walking barefoot and in only a sarong carrying a large basket on her head and with her grass cutting crescent shaped knife stuck in the sarong. No walking stick for her!!

With the mud and some steep bits it was a good walk and just challenging enough. Then it was off to Kajane's new property for my 2 hour massage followed by a really good and beautifully presented Nasi Campur and a fresh banana drink served at a table set out under a gazebo by a rice field. Quite lovely. All in all, a great day.
susncrg is offline  
Sep 25th, 2010, 02:39 PM
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For suckling pig, I have this bookmarked:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Ubud_Bali.html. It was a local joint before Anthony Bourdan discovered it.
mohan is offline  
Sep 25th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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Warwick Iban looks good. Your thoughts?
Grassshopper is offline  
Sep 26th, 2010, 12:46 AM
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Susncrg - I am reading your trip report with interest as we shall be there too in a few weeks time. Pleased for any restaurant/nice shop recommendations you can give.

rhkkmk - Bob where did you hire your car from when you went to Ubud?
janev is offline  
Oct 1st, 2010, 09:21 PM
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Janev:
Ibu Oka (pork with rice)
Dapur Sedap (sea food)
babymocca is offline  
Oct 6th, 2010, 07:30 PM
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janev- Sorry I didn't answer, but I've just gotten off the Komodo Dancer, diving for the last 10 days and am now in the airport in Makassar waiting for my flight to Manado for more diving in the Lembeh Strait.

Honestly, it's hard to find a shop that has items different than other shops, in the main. However, if you want to look at a stunning building, go to the "bamboo ship" built by (I can't remember his first name) Hardy. Expensive jewelry but a cool place. I'm sure someone on the forum can remember his name. Also, we went to a shop owned by a French ex-pat Jean-Francois, I think. It's VERY expensive, but I have never seen anything like it before - like going to a museum. Objects that have been outlined with beautiful silver work. Hard to describe but quite stunning. It's on the same road as ARMA, just down the road a bit. Sorry I can't be more specific. Have fun.
susncrg is offline  
Oct 6th, 2010, 07:51 PM
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susncrg - that's John Hardy, the Canadian artist. I like his bamboo bracelets where the detailed carvings are on the inside against your wrist. Hardy was also involved in the Green School in Bali, near Ubud, I think.

When I looked at the web page for the school it shows tour on Mon and Wed at 3pm. It doesn't say anything about reserving in advance - just show up.

Did you use an umbrella, then for your rainy days in Bali, a light jacket or did you find some other solution?
rivet is offline  
Oct 17th, 2010, 07:12 PM
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susncrg -

I'm really curious about your experience on Komodo dancer and in the quality of diving on Bali in general. I'm going to Bali for the first time in May 2011 and am considering either a relatively short live aboard experience OR staying at one of the dive resorts on the east coast. How was your experience?
beanweb24 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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I'm sure you enjoyed all of your time with Putu. He really is a Balinese treasure. Smart as a whip, too. If I could transport from Boston to Ubud, I would do it thrice a week. Timely and thoughtful report. No penalty.
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Oct 18th, 2010, 10:21 PM
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Sorry so long for a reply rivet. We're stillin Indonesia and have been without an internet connection most of the last 2 weeks. We always take our foldable raincoats just in case. They weigh nothing and have saved us many times in downpours. This time we were lucky and made it back to our villa in time. Most hotels have umbrellas at the ready for guests to use.

Beanweb- we love diving in Indonesia. We almost always do 10 day liveabords so I don't know much about short ones or on land, but we have several friends who dive out of Tulamben and Permuteran and seem to like it. When I get home I can ask them more about it if you'd like.

gpanda- yes, we have toured with Putu on 4 different trips and always have a great time. I hope you'll find a way to teleport to Bali through a wormhole in space and then let me know how you did it. We are now drawing to a close on our 2 weeks in Lembeh with some great muck diving. It's our 3rd trip to the strait and I'm sure we'll be back. Muck diving is not for everyone- no pretty reefs - but the weirdest critters ever. This morning we watched a sea horse hook on to an Ambon scorpionfish and take a ride for awhile b4 getting off! Hate to head home, but it left us wanting more.
susncrg is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 05:22 AM
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Heading to Bali for first time... does everyone go back?? It sounds wonderful but there is so much of the world to see.
Neuman605 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 08:02 AM
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we have been back 3 times.... it lures you..

our car rental was through: Agus Agencies.... i cannot find any reference to them other than the name...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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I must have been 20 times now - lost count - but as I am from Australia it is easier when only 5.5 hours flying time . It is quite addictive.

For anyone who can access it or even just buy the book / catalogue , The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra has the most wonderful exhibition on of South East Asian animist art and artefacts at present with most from Indonesia . Fascinating and very beautiful .
JohnFitz is offline  

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