Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bali.......Beautiful and exotic

Exotic..... its a wonderful way to describe Bali.....As you sail into port, it is a beautiful and misty island far off in the distance. There is no dock in Bali big enough to port our ship, so we have to anchor offshore, and tender in. That in itself is quite an experience!  Picture 3000 people, anxiously awaiting departure from the ship.....lining and sweaty....not pushing and shoving...( yet)...but getting close! And you wait....almost an hour until you finally make it port side.....
The first sight that you see, are beautiful Balinese dancers and musicians awaiting you, as you exit the tender. The music is fascinating, and the dancers so anxious to please. We left a small offering, found our driver, and off we were to our Island tour!


Our first stop was a magical place along the shore.. These Shrines along the water are used to honor the Balinese Gods....
we could walk up to them, but not enter thru the gates to view the offerings inside.

as we walked along, thru the gardens, we could see another shrine in the distance. This shrine was accessible only at low tide.  
Driving thru the countryside, we saw rice paddies being flooded with water.

Passing thru small villages reminded me of the little neighborhood "Mom and Pop" of my childhood. I suppose you could liken this market, as the "7-11" of Bali!

Religious festivals happen every day somewhere in Bali....I'm not sure of what this group was celebrating, but they were dressed in their finest clothes, carrying flowers and fruits to place on the alter. There were musicians in the rear, playing solemn music. 

I'm sure these women spent hours preparing their offerings
The Priests awaiting the procession.....
Some offerings had already arrived....That would be me....I am ALWAYS early!!

A traditional home in this village....these were thatched roof pillars....We saw them everywhere!
even the most modest village homes had them, in various states of repair. 

A local village store... we wandered thru...looking for Christmas ornaments...I collect  ornaments as souvenirs, and I'm sure these shopkeepers thought I was nuts, looking for ornaments in April.....Actually, in a lot of places, they don't even celebrate Christmas, so I buy small things, bring them home, and make my own ornaments....It's so fun at Christmas, to hang them on the tree, and reminisce  about our travels!

As we were exiting the village......well.....this speaks for itself.....
Modesty is apparently, not prized, but cleanliness is a virtue!!
( he looks as surprised to see us, as we were to see him!)

After the above picture....we needed a frosty cold local beer....
The view was magnificent!
We loved Bali....from the  beautiful rice paddies.....the lush landscapes, the turquoise oceans, to the smiling, happy faces of the Balinese people.