ARAGORN ... Not all those who wander are lost (JRR Tolkien)
Indonesia - Bali
This section covers Bali. By leaving Lombok and crossing the 20 miles to Bali, we have also crossed the Wallace Line, an important change in flora and fauna (BH- thank you for the reference). You may see different animals here. Please see our introduction in Indonesia-Eastern Part too.
Bali - the Hindu Island of Artists
Bali is known as the Island of Artists (and craftsmen), where all sorts of weaving, carving and performing is done. The Balinese have a strong culture including passing the craftsmanship "from generation to generation" (their words). The Hindu influence means there are calming retreats in the hill towns, as well as severe bargaining whenever buying anything.
While on the way to Bali, we passed through literally hundreds of fishing boats with the same basic design and rig. One of the rally boats thought it was a regatta(!), but it is simply the way these poor fishermen earn their living, going out for a day or three in these outrigger canoes. But they did seem to troll in clusters.
Many of the fishermen needed the services of a sailmaker! and dig the crazy bowsprit (left). Right, as with good watermen all over the world, the Bali and Lombok fishermen were friendly!
Of course, Bali has it's own Ground Zero. Here is their memorial on the site of the terrorist atrocity. The name of each innocent victim is listed on the black panel in the middle. We should never forget.
In Bali, each village has a theme. We came across this master wood carver at a shop in one of the carving villages. As is the tradition in Bali, we met his son and grandson also learning the craft.
This stone carver worked in a village specializing in .... The carvers did some incredible work, see below.
Some of the stone carvings were as friendly and as quick to laugh as the typical Indonesian
Another strong, traditional craft is batik making. This man is applying wax to the cloth. When it is dyed, this area will have no color. Then they re-wax and re-dye the cloth, several times over, until they have completed the cloth. This can be done by stamp or machine, but the product is not as authentic.
The thousands of tourists who flock to Bali do so, in part because it is so affordable, and goods are cheap. Here you can get DVDs for about $1.10 per. While not all of them work in your player, the price seemed right to some. But somehow, I don't think all the royalties are going back to the artists and producers.
In Bali, we traveled up country to the village of Ubud. There, we went to the palace of the former kings to see traditional Balinese dancing. On the sides of this wonderful setting you will see the drum and chime band tuning up.
The dancing was tremendous. Unfortunately, you will have to wait to see the movies to get the idea. Suffice it to say Balinese dancing is as good as reported. The next day we snapped this mask the dancers wear. This mask is of the good "god".
In Ubud, we stayed in a wonderful hotel/spa with great carvings (as in many places in Bali). Here Leslie looks out the front window onto the porch.
Ubud had a thriving little market going. As it had two floors, we were able to get this shot of a fruit seller making a transaction.
The Hindu tradition is strong in all of Bali. If you look hard at the fruit seller photo, just right of center you will see a small basket of flowers, incense, rice and other things, which almost all people bring to work every morning. These offerings are prepared in the temples with blessings, smoke and prayers, see below.
The woman with the tray in her hand tried to sell me some shirts only forty-five minutes later.
While returning from Ubud to the marina, we sidetracked up the mountain to see a largest complex of temples, dedicated to various ramifications of the Hindu god. This snap is of the oldest Hindu temple on Bali.
The tour guide taught Ed, Helen, Leslie and Dick how to pray to the god Vishnu. The priest in the little hut chanted while we prayed from a larger structure. The god is the little bright object inside the open door in behind us.
Of course, the word Bali means rice pattys on the hills and in the valleys too. Look at that farm on the right, in the river valley. I don't think I will retire to rice farming.