31 Dec 2009

Bali trip

The last time we went to Bali was May 2004 - and that time we stayed at this truly fantastic place called Tegal Sari in Ubud. This time we stayed at Champlung Sari, also in Ubud, not too bad a place, but I was quite disappointed. It's okay I guess if you haven't been to Tegal Sari but after Tegal Sari, this place just sort of became second class. I'm not saying that Tegal Sari is a 5 star hotel - definitely not. But our room had a wide verandah which faced the padi field and it is separated from the other rooms by a narrow path with beautiful trees on either side. Since that was May then, the padi was still growing and the green was like emerald and you were greeted by the sound of birds cooing early in the morning.

Monkey eating my apple

Here in Champlung Sari, you are greeted by monkeys raiding your verandah, fighting on the roofs or stealing your food. You cannot leave anything outside for fear they will steal it.  However they look kind of cute.
 Rice terraces at Jati Luwih

However this time around we got to see more places - we went to see the padi terraces - they are really fantastic - at JatiLuwih. It was quite far from Ubud - maybe around 2 hrs away on a very narrow winding road but I think the trip was really worth it. The water that irrigates the padi comes from the mountains and its so clear you can see right through to the gravel beneath. We had tea and fried bananas with honey at a cafe there and it was simply marvellous. The farmers here still use the ox and plough to plough the land and many were actually ploughing when we were there. There was also a group of young boys swimming in the irrigation canals,their high spirited shouts echoing through the valley. The scene reminded me so much of my childhood and I hope that modernisation, if it came to Bali, would not take this away.

That evening we also went to Tanah Lot to see the sunset. It's been said that the sunset here is just out of this world but this treat was denied us - the spectacular sunset just did not arise - the cloud cover was too low and we could only see mild strips of burgundy and orange - nice but not spectacular. However Tanah Lot itself is an awesome place - its a promontory where the sea has carved out blowholes, caves and also a spit upon which the Balinese have built a temple. It is truly a marvellous sight and a natural masterpiece.

Tanah Lot, Bali

The rest of Bali is just as beautiful as ever though Denpasar is bigger than I remembered it. There are more big malls and shopping centres and also of course more vehicles. The people are just as spiritual as ever - there are holy days in Bali almost every day - each day for a special saint. THis time around too we did not see the Barong Dance or even the Kecak Dance. We just wanted to see the sights - the natural beauty that is Bali. I think next time we'll renew our memories of Kintamani and the volcanic basin  or Danau Batur, and Mount Batur. Anyway I'll try to remember not to come at the end of the year where they have thousands of visitors who go there for the New Year celebrations at Kuta Beach.

THis is my last post for this year so I'll say good bye to 2009 and welcome to 2010. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE!

1 comment:

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Beautiful post, Kat! Sunrises and sunsets are hard to see. They just pop up or down. I feel lucky when I have traveled and actually experienced them.

Happy New Year, dear friend.

Hugs, JJ