Bali – March 2013 – Part 2

Day 9th & 10th (March 26th & 27th)

People are preparing for Galungan and Kuningan celebration

“ Every 210 days the whole island of Bali sprouts flimsy bamboo poles, known as “penjor”.Adorned with fruit, flowers and coconut leaves, these tall poles are found on every byway and highway and outside virtually every Balinese home, fluttering aimlessly in the breeze.

Galungan is a unique 10 day celebration commemorating good over evil in typically melodramatic style. Balinese mythology is colorful to say the least and the story behind Galungan takes it to a whole new level. Briefly, it involves a shape-shifting evil giant, rivers of blood and a year-long battle royal between the Gods. During Galungan the Godly spirits return to earth and expect to be welcomed and entertained with important Balinese rituals and extravagant feasts.

The preceding days are all full of feverish activity – cooking, cleaning and making offerings. You’ll see the roads filled with convoys of scooters ferrying neatly dressed worshippers to and from temples carrying huge baskets of fruit, flowers or live chickens.
The day before Galungan, men of the village cook pig meat which is used to make traditional spicy “lawar” dishes containing satay, jackfruit, dozens of herbs and spices and always enough to feed a small army.

There were road blocks erected outside main temples as waves of devotees flood the area, bringing even more maddening traffic chaos than usual.

The streets of Ubud are flooded with schoolchildren performing “Barong” dances for about 10 days, collecting money for the temple’s celebration.  At the beginning the’ll be very enthusiastic, after a few days, you’ll see them fade away.

We rant into Fantuzzi here! at Bali Buda. He introduced us to Bruce, a guy from Maui that builds Bale Huts here in Bali. We connected with him the next day and went for a tour at his facilities. It is amazing what is doing with Coconut, Mango and other environmentally friendly woods. Truly inspiring. He specifically ships to Hawaii and has been approved for building codes there.
Good information to have for future home plans 🙂

DRIVING TO GIANYAR – BRUCE’S PLACE

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Taking a ride up the Huge Arjuna Statue in UBud, there are many Dijeridoos manufacturers.
We were looking for deals, ideas and options to bring some home?
the journey took us through the beautiful Rice Terraces
beautiful scenery, tons of tourists and traffic
picturesque Bali indeed
There are no signs for street names, no addresses,
just directions with landmarks like statues,  stores, and things of that nature.

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Some of the woodwork at Bali Art house (Gusde’s house)

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We move to the beautiful “Gusde’s Villa/House”

We’ve been staying in the main family compound for 10 days. It’s time to upgrade to the Villas
Same owner, a little isolated, but closer to Ubud. We celebrate as Gusde has given us the best price and since the neighbor villa is out of town, we get to use the pool!

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ONE MARKET DAY

and another dinner at SOMA, Yum!

Day 11th, 12th & 13th (March 28th, 29th & 30th)

Searching for other alternatives but Gili Islands for March 30th & 31st. We haven’t booked those dates yet.It seems like we both agree we rather see the mountains, the volcano…rather than the beach.
We have beautiful beaches at home.We’ll see how things unfold.

Daniel has been sneezing a lot. It seems more like a cold now than allergies.
He is taking power nap now to gain some energy. He’s been writing songs ! Ahh…. So beautiful!

We suspect Breakfasts here at the B&B contain MSG (Monosodium glutamate) and white sugars. My feet are constantly hot and swollen.Daniel’s hands, feet, elbows and knees have developed a rash like tapioca. It itches and feels hot.Apparently Balinese people use MSG like salt! Crazy…

We are going on a raw food and juice diet for a while

Gusde has offered us to see his uncle. Gusde says his uncle can give us a better insight about dates for wedding or anything we want to know about us and life.  He is an astrologer or “brujo”, like I would call him where I come from.
We waited all day for him to give us a time

Then we had to dress in traditional Balinese clothes… and it’s so! hot when you wear those! Then, we got there and waited in his room for about 1 more hour!
I was feeling a little disrespected by then The session was not satisfactory, but you pay in advance! so, I left there feeling ripped off! Experiences, experiences… aren’t life full of those…It reminded me of that song of Ruben Blades ” Madame Kalalu”. Next day we woke up with a sense of disillusion. We felt as if the magic had vanished.We’ll re-cover.

BALI SAFARI

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MEET CHLOE – the cute red hair orangutan – 4 years old

It felt so good to hold her hand! I can not put into words the sensation. It was like a recognition. Her eyes, her face was so soft and beautiful! She is the sweetest baby, her ears are just like ours! but tiny…

We were to pay $5 each to take only a couple of pictures with her. She seems a little bored from having to pose with many people but we hanged around for a while and became friends with the caretakers.
When the time came that there was no people in line, we got to play with her and be in her presence.
It was a magical experience for both of us.
She is an Ape, not a Monkey, and our closest relative. Sweet, playful and incredibly intelligent!

She would walk all around and grab colorful things, leaves, flowers and tasting them! She seemed to enjoy that…

We both were so elated to have shared with an Orangutan this close.
We felt so blessed and open hearted.

A few days ago back at Gusde’s house, we met the founder of one of the biggest organization for protection of the Orangutans. His name is Gary. Gary is the leader of teaching sign language to the orangutans. What an amazing synchronicity! Orangutans are an endangered species due to the illegal logging and clearing of the forest for Palm Oil Plantations.

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Orangutans were found throughout Southeast Asia ranging all the way to the island of Java and into southern China. Orangutan populations probably numbered in the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions. Today, however, the few orangutans left in the tropical rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra number less than 60,000.

OTHER INCREDIBLE SPECIES WE SAW AT THE SAFARI

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LOTUS RADIANCE

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OUR PLANS TO LAKE BATUR

It’s time to leave Gusde’s house. We have booked a Hotel at Lake Batur, a beautiful cabin with a view of the Lake. On one side Batur Volcano, on the other side, Agung volcano

The driver from the hotel picked us up at 11am. the drive had a mix of intense traffic and beautiful nature. We wanted to buy some Durian so the driver took us to a fruit stand that was next to a Coffee farm We got the Durian and a few Mangosteen
(Ah! Thank God for Mangosteen)

We started to feel a shift in the energy. The coffee farm pushing us really hard to buy coffee. 50,000 rupiahs for 1 small cup of coffee! That is $5…for a cup of coffee!
We said “no” and then they brought samples and kept pushing for us buy something, coffee, cacao…. something! I was getting a little irritated and feeling a lack of trust. I went back to the car. Daniel stayed and tried the samples.

It was interesting though. Their coffee is called “Kopi Luwak coffee”

The secret blend lies in the natural bean selection, which is performed by a Luwak species, a distant cousin of the mongose, endemic to the island of Java, Indonesia. The Luwak will consume only the choicest, most perfectly matured beans which it then excretes, partially digested, a few hours later.

Plantation workers then retrieve the beans from the ground, ready for immediate roasting.
Of course, this is my research afterwards. The farmer didn’t speak english but he did a pretty good imitation of the process: showed me the animal, he said “eat” then “poop” with a perfect expression with a fart sound imitation and everything…Ha!
Amazing nature is…and how did they come up with that idea? Gosh!

We went up the mountain and then down the mountain to the Lake. It looks very poor, the lake is not particularly beautiful, there is fish farming on it and onions plantations all around… flies everywhere, tons of flies.
We got to the hotel. A couple of men came out, not particularly welcoming. They showed us the room, not particularly beautiful.
The back 2 walls were walls, the other 2 facing the entrance were glass. Not very private. Even with the curtains down,  still didn’t feel private. They were not wide enough! We felt like fishes in an aquarium.
One of the men there was a painter. He started pushing for us to take a look at his paintings.
We ate our Durian sitting on the steps outside. It was musky and there were hundreds of flies everywhere!!. Durian tastes amazing. It was my first time. It so spiky outside, all these compartments inside with this fleshy meat surrounded by a sac. You break the sac, it’s as creamy as it can be. Creamy, creamy… and stinky. The flavor is fantastic and the after taste very oniony! Unbelievable..

There was a puppy around. He was licking and sucking the huge remnants, Durian seeds!
It is a huge fruit! We eat just half.

Inside the room, we lay in bed. There were spiders and ants in the sheets and on the roof of the bed. This room is $40 a night..! More than Gusde’s house! Ay…
We laid there and I say, “I want to go back”. Daniel says “go back, go back?” Yes, please, I want to go back to Mas Village – I replied
“I can not stand the idea of sleeping here. There is nothing to do here. The only thing to do was taking a canoe trip on the lake or hiking the volcano for sunrise”… it sounded all so good but it didn’t feel good..
It didn’t feel right in my guts. I wanted to leave. It felt masculine, no women around, almost a ghost town.  We talked about it and we finally made a decision.
“Driver, take us back home”. – we said
We called Gusde. He said is ok to go back, he has openings. We had to pay a $5 cancellation fee to the hotel and $35 to the driver to drives us back.
We drove back through the jungle, up the mountain, down the mountain, through the village, to our home.
When we arrived, Gusde told us stories of tourists that have been taken in canoe trips at the Lake and when in the middle of the lake, they’ve been asked for all their money or else they will be left in the middle of the lake. Yikes! It was scary! I’m glad we are back to our little beautiful nest

It was a nice ride to see other things, interesting thank you… now take us back 🙂

BACK AT GUSDE’S HOUSE – FUN WITH DAN at the POOL

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AND the next couple of DAYS
Fun with Fantuzzi, good food and great cappuccinos with the best sweetener ever, palm sugar!

ALCHEMY FOR THE BEST SALADS!

We are surely having a grastonomic experience.

Scooter fun reflection to Yoga Barn

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