So, we’re at our final destination before hitting Brisbane. Part of me will be sad to stop traveling. But part of me is really ready to settle in one place for a while. I’m also really keen to get stuck into a job – not really looking forward to actually hunting for one though.
Anyway, back to Bali. I love the way lots of people in Bali put small offerings in front of the buildings and shops in the morning and the evening. They place things like flowers, incense and sometimes sweets and rice in a little plate made of banana leaves. I also like the way the statues in the temples are covered with sarongs and all the temples are built out of beautiful orange coloured bricks. It makes for a lot of beauty. I imagine 30 years ago or so, before Bali became super touristy, it was a magical place. It seemed busy with tourists to me, compared to Java and Sumatra, but the Balinese themselves complained that the numbers of tourists were so low.
We’ve been in three destinations here in Bali. First off, we stopped for a few days in Lovena, on the north coast. From Lovena we went to Ubud in the centre of the island. While there we visited a couple of beautiful art galleries. One in particular was set in a big mansion. This housed the work of the Spanish/Filipino artist Antonio Blanco, who settled in Bali during the 1950s. The gardens which surrounded the gallery had some beautiful tropical birds. We even saw a toucan there.
From Ubud we headed to Sanur in the southeast and are spending a few days just lazing on the beach. A happy ending to a fantastic journey.
There was a pop song when I was a kid called “I’ve been to Bali too”. I vaguely remember hearing that a lot of Australians were going to Bali for their holidays. It was often cheaper to go to Bali than to holiday in Australia. Apparently there aren’t as many Australians coming these days but still… there are a lot of tourists. It’s easy to see why I guess. Compared to other areas in Indonesia it’s a bit more expensive but it’s fairly clean and much easier.
We’ve spent a good bit of our week here just relaxing and contemplating the fact that our trip is about to end. Mostly we’re excited about our future and looking forward to staying in one place for a while but we get a bit nervous about it all as well.
We’ve done a few tourist things while we’ve been here. A favourite for me was to see a Kecak dance. I’d seen a Kecak dance before but only in the movie Baraka. The dance involves a group of men sitting cross-legged in concentric circles. They act a bit like a human dancing orchestra. The main sound they make is a fast repetitive rhythmic “ke chak, ke chak, ke chak” chant and they sit up, lie down, move from side to side or wave their hands in the air in unison to create interesting patterns for the viewers. The kecak dance that we saw had other dancers acting out a story in the middle of the circle. We saw this in a village just outside of Ubud. Over half the population of the village was involved in the dance. When it finished, they lit up their cigarettes, got on their motorbikes and went home. Tradition in a modern age…