Monday, July 26, 2010

Bali: The Weekend!

From the journal:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"Today was the first Cudamani filed trip and we went to two temples.  The first was Pura Tirta Empul near the village of Tampaksiring, which is a water temple with several springs (11 in total), each with its own spiritual property and power.

There is a designated bathing area where people are able to bathe in the holy water.  The whole temple was overlooked by the Sukarno palace at the top of a hill.

Sukarno palace on top of the hill
As an aside: The drive there passed through some jungle area and it definitely reminded me of Avatar.

The water in the temple looked so cool as it came up from the ground and disturbed the sediment at the bottom of the pool.  It was very mesmerizing to watch."

"We then drove up to Gunung Batur (Mount Batur), which is an absolutely breathtaking part of Bali!  It is a volcano in Central Bali with a huge 10x15km crater.  Inside the crater is the peak of Gunung Batur, an active volcano even today, set beside Danau (lake) Batur.  The view was absolutely unbelievable!

Gunung Batur
Danau Batur
We ate lunch at a nice buffet restaurant right on the edge of the crater, so the patio we ate on had an entirely unobstructed view of Gunung and Danau Batur.

View from our table at lunch - the dark portion of land on the left is the most recent lava flow
It was so picturesque that I was almost convinced that I was simply sitting in front of a backdrop.  UNBELIEVABLE!!  I have never seen anything so incredible."

"Before we ate lunch at this spectacular restaurant, we went to Pura (temple) Ulun Danu Batur to pray.

We were the only ones there and it felt both peaceful and deserted.

It was such a beautiful space, though, and an incredible experience.

I can't wait to see what Bali has to offer next!"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Today was my first real day off since my first day in Bali.  I went with six other people on a trip with Danu, our beloved driver.  He first took us to see a Barong performance.  To describe it in its simplest terms, this was a representation of an eternal fight between good and evil.  The Barong (a mythical animal, in this case a lion) represent the good spirit and is the protector of the village

while Rangda (a monster/witch) is the evil spirit.


There was a lot of fighting, possession, mythical animals, a royal family, shape-shifting... you know, the usual.  I am very glad I got to see one of these performances."

The Queen and Prince
 In the above picture, the Queen is being possessed by one of Rangda's minions.  This causes her to tie the prince to a tree, allowing Rangda to appear and eat him.

Conflict between Barong and Rangda
Rangda uses her magic to turn the warriors' swords against them
But in the end the Barong steps in to protect their physical bodies
"After the Barong performance, Danu took us to the main course of our trip - the beach at Sanur!!!  Oh my gosh, the beach is so so so incredible!  The sky was the bluest blue and the water was unbelievably warm.  I would equate it to a nice bath, but that would be gross.  This particular beach didn't have any waves, which I found quite pleasing.


It is on the East side of the island and in the distance you could just barely make out the island of Lombok.  there were a lot of bits of coral in the water and I think that's what made up most of the sand.  The sand was rather coarse (at least right on the shoreline) and the individual grains were so large that you could tell they were coral and shells, worn down into a shape I can only describe as a circular pyramid.

Closeup of sand
It was so cool!  I'm sunburnt now, but I think it was well worth it.  The ocean!  It was so amazing!  Ahhhhh!"

See, I told you there would be more pictures today.  Remember that you can always click on them to embiggen them (I think).  Thanks for reading!


  1. I love the Balinese script. It reminds me of the Dravidian and Sinhalese alphabets with its sinuous forms.

  2. I am so jealous of you right now. Such a gorgeous place glad your having a good time.

  3. I'm loving your travelogue! Seriously gorgeous photos!!

  4. Wow, you saw some seriously gorgeous views on your trip. By the way, this cracked me up: "shape-shifting... you know, the usual".

  5. Great photos Peter! And great writing of course, too. This makes me miss gamelan practice with you and Sonja and Dewa!
    Of course, me being the fatty/ Italian-Am. gastronome that I am, I have to ask: was most of the food cooked with coconut oil or did they use other things too? What kind of vegetables do they have there and did you try durian? :) You rock.

  6. The view from your luncheon spot looks breathtaking. Wish I could have been there!

    The Barong looks like a lot of fun. The costumes are wonderful.

    That beach is also gorgeous. The water is so clear... It's amazing.