Tuesday, February 1, 2011



Finally to Bali......the place I wanted to visit.....the instigation of the entire trip.  It seemed like it took forever to make it to Bali.  I just have to pause and say here that Indonesia was so different than I pictured it.  No one could have prepared me for this world that is like a step back in time.  I guess it is the sheer number of people in Indonesia. Over 229 million people living on various islands.  Seeing rows and rows of houses, some big, some small, some hovels, some sturdy and new.  Every 4 inches there is a store of some kind.  Vegetable and fruit stalls everywhere.  I couldn’t imagine enough people anywhere to buy all the wares that are for sale in Indonesia.  Every where you look there is someone sweeping something, much of the time it is just the dirt in their driveway.  Neat piles of wood, perfect rows of rice line every rice paddy.  Why did I feel like I was always in the middle of complete chaos?  Surely with everyone sweeping and stacking and straightening everything should be completely clean.  Then you look over and see a hillside completely covered in dumped garbage.  {{Shoulder Shrug}}  Go figure!
Bali itself was nothing like I expected.  I had the impression that I would go and stand in the center of Ubud and watch the life in Bali unfold around me.  It was never that way.  I could not find the center.  (That’s not exactly true we drove through it once and it was so chaotic I never went back.)  Instead I spent most of the days driving like a bat-out-of hell down the wrong side of a million tiny roads, with motor scooters whizzing around us like bees, potholes big enough to swallow us.  (We actually did see a rather large truck be swallowed up.....but that’s another story.)  Our driver, a veteran of 20 + years on the road, could do it all....answer all the questions that we peppered him with, answer his phone, keep smiling, work the horn every 20 seconds, avoid hitting anything....people, children, scooters, other cars, road side workers.  Phew!  It was mind boggling.  Even Brad said he would never drive in Bali....and why would you when you can hire a driver and a car for $50.00 bucks a day.  I learned a horn is essential to drive in Bali, blinker is optional.  

We found that a family can get around nicely on a scooter.

The motor scooter brigade

Who needs a truck?

Bali is a beautiful, lush, green island.  Very tropical.  What we saw of the beaches were not impressive but we did not do much beaching this time around.  We wanted to see the culture and so we stayed in Ubud.  So much beautiful art there, stone carvers, wood carvers and painting.  I really wanted to take home a stone Buddha but couldn’t figure out how to get it home.  Shipping is quite expensive, it would have cost more than the Buddha.  
The hotel we stayed out we loved.  It was enchanting and made our experience there so wonderful.  It is called Alam Jiwa and it is a beautiful garden paradise tucked in between the rice fields and the Monkey Forest just outside of Ubud.  Each room is a Bungalow and the rooms were large, with a large bathroom and then a most beautiful veranda, more like an outdoor room where we spent much of our time.  The pool was beautiful and the gardens were delightful.  The staff was so attentive I felt like a celebrity.  The breakfast which was included was a feast and a lovely taste of Balinese cuisine.  They also served afternoon tea with fruit and cakes, I became addicted to the plain ginger and hot water with honey and lemon....yum!  

The balcony

Pure luxury

The door to our bungalow

One of the cute staff boys that were at our beck and call

The pool


The Monkey Forest is just what is sounds like, a jungle with lots and lots of Monkeys.  It was so fun to watch all the monkeys.  We got a little spooked the third time we went because we had boughten some bananas from the banana lady (not supposed to feed the monkeys for obvious reasons.) and one monkey jumped on to Brad’s head....he really wanted the banana.  Thankfully the banana lady knew how to get him down (whacked him with her little stick) but we were a little freaked out by it, that and being hissed at by one of the monkeys.  We decided we had seen enough monkeys.  Super cool though.  
We'll just call this one Brad and the monkey

Right before the hiss!  Ha, ha!

The Banana Lady

So cute!  Momma and her baby!

The spa, oh we can’t leave out our favorite part.  You have probably heard that massages are cheap in Bali.  There is someone hawking about every three feet on any given street for massages.  We decided to go with the spa that belonged to the hotel.  A little more expensive but still very cheap.  We went the first day, just intending to have one massage.....we ended up booking at least 2 hours every day.  It was such amazing massage.  Well practiced fingers finding all of those sore spots and the reflexology and accu-pressure was pure heaven.  The spa was very beautiful, we really enjoyed it!

Well, all of this is probably more than you wanted to know.  Let’s just say we had a really good time in Bali and the days flew by until finally it was time to say our sad goodbyes and head for home.  Brad’s already planning our next trip there....I think I won’t resist too much.  

1 comment:

Ann Marie said...

what wonderful adventures you've been on!!!!! so perfect.

yes! let's get together...I'll have to wait until the end of the month. I'm way too busy for comfort. Ugh. Remind me in a couple of weeks that we need to get together...stat!

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