Out and About in Bali

We hired a driver to take us to see some Bali sights.

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First stop was a Silk Batik factory.  The designs are beautifully detailed.

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Next, we stopped to see intricate jewelry being made. 

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I know these places are designed for tourists, but they do employ people, so we bought a few souvenirs. 

It was time for a coffee break, so we stopped at a coffee plantation.

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Luwak coffee is made from partially digested coffee beans which have been eaten by an Asian palm civet.  The beans pass through the animal’s intestines, where they are fermented, defecated, and collected.  It’s considered quite gourmet.

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I had heard of this, but ….ewww!

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I’m not a coffee drinker so I tried the Rosella tea made from hibiscus.  Will tried the Luwack coffee but was not impressed.

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It was our Aussie friend’s birthday, so we celebrated with lunch at the Four Seasons.  This is definitely not the “real” Bali

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The hotel is built on the side of a hill that drops into a small river valley.  Feels like a very fancy treehouse! 

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We gave this local xylophone a try.  I’m sorry I didn’t get the name of it.

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The food was fabulous!

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And sorbets for dessert!  A very special birthday meal.

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After lunch we drove to Ubud, a bustling little town that we expected to explore later. 

We thought tonight’s stay, at the Green Fields Luxury Villas, was on the edge of town, but it was aptly named and turned out to be WAY out of town in the middle of a field.  Our driver dropped us off and we said goodbye till tomorrow. 

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It was a 2-bedroom townhome with huge rooms.  The pool looked a bit cloudy, so we skipped that.  They offered $15 – one-hour massages.  The guys were game, so two women came in, borrowed the pool loungers, and went to work.  Will said it was the best $15 he ever spent!

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It was lucky we’d had such a huge lunch as there were no restaurants nearby.  I think room service was unavailable that evening because they had lost power or something.  (Breakfast the following morning did arrive however.)  I have a memory of eating potato chips so we may have raided the mini bar.  I always pack granola bars.

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Travel can be an adventure with unexpected twists and turns.  As twists and turns go, this one was pretty easy to handle.   

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Relaxing in Bali

After a rainy week in Japan last fall, we flew to Bali where we met close friends from Australia for a week in the sun.  We stayed at the Nusa Dua Gardens, a beautiful Marriott resort.  Nusa Dua is a tourist enclave built in the 1970s in the southern part of Bali, Indonesia.  There are over 20 resorts in this area along with “The Bali Collection”, a shopping mall to cater to the tourists.   

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It was ridiculously hot and humid, so our first day was spent taking it easy by the pool.  The water was as warm as bath water – just right!

That evening we visited the nearby Grand Hyatt hotel and enjoyed an elaborate Balinese Dinner and Kecak dance show.

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This gorgeous hotel also has a beach.  I think the “No Swimming” flag was because of jellyfish. 

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No problem, we were here for dinner and the show.

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There was a huge Balinese buffet.

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Kecak is a form of Balinese Hindu dance and musical drama that was developed in the 1930s in Bali.  Based on the story of the Ramayana it is traditionally performed in temples and villages.

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The program was around an hour long.  If you are interested, this link is a short version of a similar show. 

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We needed and enjoyed this relaxing day. 

Because the resorts are removed from the “real” Bali, we hired a driver the next day and set off to explore sites outside of Nusa Dua….

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