Bali Hi !

March 13, 2011 - Bali, Indonesia

We sailed into Bali just before sunrise yesterday and it was amazing, it was so beautiful.  Komodo Island also is stunningly beautiful - so we now compare them to the French Polynesian islands that we loved (Moorea and Bora Bora, specifically)

We had a car and driver for the day and gave him only a general idea of what we wanted to do. We had to close our eyes on the main roads, as the motor bikes, trucks and cars all weave in and out, passing on the L OR the R and if possible they pass in the middle...  

We visited a batik factory which was amazing, as the women were sitting outside working with hot wax, needles for making all the dots, various stylus for painting the fabrics.  Others were weaving, some sewing.  Inside they had their showroom which was filled with beautiful batik pieces.  Picture of Bruce in new wardrobe to follow ~ but there is a photo here of the women working, and of me with the sales girl.

Most of Bali is Hindu although most of the other islands of Indonesia are Muslim.  We went to several temples, always being given a sarong to wear.  They are ancient, beautiful, strange and mysterious.  I told our guide that I find the Hindu religion very complicated.... he held out  5 fingers and said "It's like USA:
This is the President, this the VP, Senator, Congressman, Governor.  When you need to talk to the President first you go to the Governor, then Congressman....etc" and work your way up to God.

There were constant offerings being made in the temples.  They wrap the food and flowers in beautiful banana-leaf woven baskets.  On our way home about 4:30 we actually were able to see a Procession where several groups - musicians, children, women with baskets of fruit on their head, men with drums... walk down the road to a temple to make offerings.  We got a few photos, but we were on the wrong side and traffic didn't stop in our lane for them.  But my best shot of the day is of the 3 little boys leading the parade.

We saw several brides,  the most beautiful at a temple taking photos.  It was a very elaborate dress and her groom looked like a prince.  Very fairy tale-ish. (see photo)

The Balinese are very big on religious and other statues, so there are hundreds of shops making statuary art:  Hindu gods, Buddhas, decorative temple-like poles etc. We went to kite shops (awesome), a park where Holy monkeys roam free, and to a really crowded scary market with too many people.

They were harvesting rice in some fields, planting in others.  They raise many types of rice so are constantly planting or harvesting.  It is back-breaking work, in hot sun.

Hope all is well with you and yours.  We miss you !

BE SURE to scroll around if you don't find the pictures right away.  The best one is the toilet=paper holder in restaurant bathroom in Bali:  It is a wayang golek shadow puppet !

xox, C & B

PS the next day:  Internet has been down for past day.  The tsunami passed under us during the night, not even rattling things.  There are many Japanese onboard who have been frantically calling family to see if everyone is okay.  And many passengers who were originally flying thru Tokyo to get home tuesday, so Crystal has been very busy re-routing people.  We have 6 extra security guards on board, on 24 hour watch for pirates.  How exciting is that ?  This mornng's piano class had their "recital" and in a few minutes, my afternoon class will do theirs, then I'm free until thursday basically. There was a big celebration at noon for crossing the Equator, with King Neptune and court.  They do a LOT of silly but very fun things to keep us all entertained.


procession enroute to temple
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