Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Island of Gods

After beach hopping in the Philippines and Indonesia for awhile, we decided to leave the beautiful turquoise waters and white sand beaches for a day to explore the interior of Bali. From our guesthouse in Padang Bai, we set out for a trip through the lush green rice terraces, narrow winding roads, jungle covered ancient temple complexes next to bubbling waterfalls, looming active volcanoes surrounding by lakes, and big city shopping full of Balinese hand made crafts.

We watched as the local Balinese arrived at the Besakih temple (largest Hindu temple complex on Bali) with their offerings for the special week long full moon celebration (only happens every 10 years).The amount of devotion was evident all over Bali where every house has its own small temple. People leave a small offering in a hand woven bamboo basket with little servings of rice, flowers, food, and drink for the gods three times a day. Even at our guesthouse run by an Australian couple, a little Balinese boy came every morning and night to lite incense and leave an offering at the small temple on the balcony overlooking the village and ocean.

 They even leave offerings on their motorbikes!

 Of course I also made a friend at the temple.

The rice terraces were never-ending. With an amazing irrigation system set up in the way that they plant the rice so that the water flows throughout all the terraces.

Mount Batur, one of Indonesia's more active volcanoes was an impressive sight looming over the lake and rice terraces below. People often take treks up the volcano at 2 am to watch the sunrise from the top.

We discovered an amazing temple at the bottom of 371 steps beside a bubbling river lined by rice paddy fields and trees. It was a great place to meditate on the days sights and to catch our breath before the long climb back up.

The day ended in the town of Ubud. The central cultural spot for massages, art and cooking classes, food, and handicraft shopping. We found some lemongrass gelato and a market of course! Bali may not have left our backpacks  full of emptiness, but it definitely left an impression on us.

1 comment:

  1. The colours are breath taking. I am in awe when I think you two are there amongst all that beauty and spectacle. Missing you.