Travel Report Bali, Indonesia

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Travel Report Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Bali, Indonesia
one stop on Wendy's & Joe's world tour 2004/05

Candi Dasa, Ubud, Lovina
 

 

 
Kind of travel: Travelling alone
Year of this voyage: 2004
Author's age: 30-45 years
 

 
Journal Update 13 Aug 2004 / Candi Dasa, Bali, Indonesia
We have managed to spend a week in Candi Dasa not doing very much at all which is why all has been very quiet on the report front as we have been spending our days lounging by the pool and paddling in the sea. The Indian Ocean is full of amazing sea creatures and a giant Sting Ray swam within a couple of feet of me the other day. We also met a very nice parrot or Cockatiel which spoke cockney. Joe became very fond of the bird and was considering bringing him back home to be our pet. We laughed for ages when we walked past and it piped up "Ello cockney" to Joe and jumped up and down excitedly every time he spoke.

We also hooked up with our friend from California, Andy who we met in Kamala Beach in Thailand. So we have spent many an evening talking about "The Nam" and chewing the cud about world ravels.

We arrived in Ubud yesterday, which is kind of central in the hills of Bali. It is a touristy, arty town and is very much my scene. We are staying with some friends we met in Tioman called Gerhard and Ari. Their place is amazing! Like a house you see in architectural books on Bali. They also have a very cute little two year old girl who is taking great delight in getting Joe with her water pistol, then dunking all his stuff in the pool.
 

Journal Update 21st August 2004
We have had a magical time in Bali over the last couple of weeks. Our stay in Ubud is we think going to be the most memorable of the trip. The hospitality of our friends Gerhard and Ari was incredible. Each day Ari fed us a delectable breakfast and in the evening prepared the most delicious Indonesian cuisine, with fresh fish and vegetables bought in Ubud market each morning.

Their two year old daughter Kim took a shine to me and referred to me as "My Wendy". It was great to be staying with a family as opposed to a hut or a hostel. The house and garden is incredibly beautiful set amongst the rice paddies of Ubud. We stayed in one of the bungalows in the grounds and enjoyed the luxury of hot water on tap and clean linen. Gerhard took us hiking around Ubud to see the surrounding countryside.
God my legs ached the next day but we saw snakes, King Fishers and all kinds of wild life. We also watched guys climbing up coconut trees to cut down the fresh green coconuts. We also visited a local painting school where the kids were painting some very intricate Balinese designs.

 
On the last evening we walked to another village to see a special local dance that happens every year in the village. It is a kind of erotic Balinese style dance where all the young bucks of the village write their name on a slip of paper and the lady dancers pick out their names from a hat. When the guy is called up he has to try and get as close to the girls as possible without letting her shake his hand. It sounds far more complicated than it was and it was very, very funny. Joe said to me at the beginning of the night "Either this is going to be very, very good or all these people have nothing better to do!"

The thing I will remember most is the toothless old hags of the village standing in intimidating groups around us smoking herbal ciggies and doubled up laughing at the antics of the village men as they danced their perculiar mating ritual.
Everyday in Bali there seems to be some kind of religious festival. The Hindu religion seems to have a lot of gods to keep happy all the time. Whilst we have been here we have had 2 major festivals and witnessed the Balinese visiting the temples with many offering to the gods (which are usually banana leaves constructed in to tiny boxes full of incense, nibbles of food and flowers). The ladies also carry towers of fruit and offerings majestically on their heads. The temples are all open air to allow easy access for the gods to descend down from heaven and August is considered the month when all the gods come down and visit earth. All the Hindu temples have little stone statues of tiny chairs for the gods to sit on, which are protected with ornate umbrellas and checked cloths. They believe strongly in white and black magic and every village has a guru who is consulted when advice is needed.

The last day in Ubud we visited the museum of a Spanish artist called Antonio Blanco (who resembled Salvador Dali) who had a penchant for young Balinese dancers. He liked to paint them in various states of undress, so some of the pictures are so rude they need to be kept behind screens.
 

Joseph Brilus
Joseph Brilus

Wendy Brierley
Wendy Brierley

 

We decided to blow the deposit for a house on a grand world tour through 2004. We booked through STA travel and put together a brief itinerary including the Far East, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. As it turned out we experienced China, Bali, Fiji and many more places in between.

We decided to end the trip with a wedding in Las Vegas (which was very memorable!) As a wedding present my brother put together an on-line travel blog for us which was a great tool for documenting our journey. This experience truly changed our lives and we encountered many fantastic people through out the world. I hope you enjoy reading some highlights of our journal!

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This was a museum quite unlike any other I have seen. Joe was entranced by the cockatials and parrots who live outside the museum and we spent just about an hour playing with the birds. Joe is determined that one day he will have his very own swearing parrot to converse with when he has had a few beers.

They say to see the real Bali you need to visit Ubud, and to visit Bali and just see Kuta would be a terrible shame. The rice terraces are particularly dramatic. After Ubud we travelled north in our trusty Suzuki jeep to a resort called Lovina, which is an 8 km stretch of black sand. The road took us up in to the mountains and the climate change was dramatic enough to see people walk around in bobble hats and jumpers. We passed by a huge volcano and had fantastic views of the beautiful lakes down below.

We stayed in Lovina a couple of days and have now ventured with our American friend Andy back to Kuta. Just to update everyone on the plan we are now redirecting our trip to Hong Kong and hopefully China instead of the 3 months we had first envisaged for Australia. So we fly out to Hong Kong on the 24th of this month. Then we plan to come back to Bali in October and potential see Java.

Wendy Brierley

a further stop on Wendy's & Joe's world tour 2004/05
 

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Travel Report Bali, Indonesia