March 16 and 17, 2019
I have so much to post about Bali! It is our second visit here and two years ago, we hired a local guide to take us around. We had a fabulous time and became Facebook friends, so this time, I contacted him and he was available for both days. So, thank you again, Nyoman Terep, for the amazing repeat visit to Bali.
When we first met Nyoman (pronounced like Norman!), he told us about how Indonesians name their children. He is the third child.
A birth order name is chosen from a few typical names according to the position of the child in the birth order of siblings. The people of Bali use the birth order name to refer to one another.
The first born are named Wayan. Wayan is a Balinese name meaning “eldest”.
Second born children are named Made, Kadek, or Nengah. Made and Nengah mean madya or “middle”. Kadek means “little brother” or “little sister”.
The third born is given the name Nyoman or Komang. These names may be shortened to “Man” and “Mang” respectively.
Fourth born children are named Ketut. Ketut is often shortened to “Tut”.
If there is a fifth child in the family, she is often called Wayan Balik. And for additional children, the same names are then repeated in order!
The prefix “I” is for boys and “Ni” is for girls. So he is I Nyoman.
Here was our sail in on Saturday. The harbor is a very busy place with lots of boats, parasailing and other water sports. The Mountain “Mother” Gunung Agung is seen in the first picture.
Our Balinese welcome!
We told Nyoman that our priorities for the day were the Ulun Danu Temple in Bedugul and the Tanah Lot Temple.
We accomplished that and much more. Since we had an overnight stay, we didn’t worry about timing and it was a good thing since the traffic was horrible. It took more than 2 hours to reach our first destination.
We saw bamboo poles decorated with young coconut leaf decorations lining the streets all over Bali. These intricately decorated poles, naturally curved at the top, comprise harvest items such as rice, fruits, coconuts and coconut leaves. The men of the households erect their ‘artwork’ at each household gate on the eve, resulting in an impressive view throughout all village roads.
The other thing we noticed as we traveled along were the very large posters encouraging people to vote for candidates for next month’s elections. They seemed to be everywhere.
While most of Indonesia is Muslim, in Bali, 95% of the population practices Hinduism, but it is a much more relaxed and moderate approach than you see in India. The population of Indonesia is 260 million and 4 million live in Bali.
We witnessed a long line of people along the road on our first day travels. Nyoman told us that the people were returning from a cremation ceremony.
Cremation in Bali is usually one of the most expensive rituals to perform. In Bali, before the cremation, people go through a burial ritual where they bury the dead for some time. Usually, this burial ritual is being conducted near a temple called Pura Prajapati. This burial ritual acts as an interim state. Due the funds needed for cremations is quite high, they will go through this interim state until they are financially ready. Once the family members are financially ready, they will select a day to perform the cremation ceremony. And, Nyoman told us that many people from a town or specific area are often removed from the burial sites together and cremated together – so that explained the long lines of people we saw in that village. I thought it was disrespectful to take their picture.
We passed several places that were getting prepared for weddings, which did add to the traffic for sure. Since most people have their own temples within their homes, some weddings take place in homes.
There are impressive statues everywhere! This is just along the road.
Since the ship didn’t get in until 11 and the traffic was so bad, Nyoman stopped for lunch at a restaurant overlooking a beautiful valley and rice fields. We had a delicious Indonesian lunch with rice pudding made from the black rice for dessert.
Our first temple visit was to the Ulun Danu Temple in Bedugul which is at an altitude of 4900 feet. This is a major water temple which serves the entire area. It is on a lake that is so beautiful with the green mountains in the background.
Clever sign, right??
We went on to the Taman Ayun Temple which is also known as the Royal Temple. It was built in the 17th century. It includes a wide moat, exquisite wooden shrines and beautifully carved gates. We could only walk around the outside of this temple. There was one woman inside leaving an offering. Offerings are seen everywhere, not just in the temples and can be almost anything, from fruit to flowers. Nyoman had an offering on the dashboard of the car. Outside of homes and businesses are small temple replicas where offerings can be seen.
These characters represent good and evil and are used in performances
The Balinese dancers are just beautiful to watch. Nyoman says that girls start learning the dance at about 6 or 8 years old.
You may wonder about our long pants on a hot Indonesian day. It is expected that shoulders and legs are covered when entering temples. Most do have a kind of sarong that they lend you, but we chose to dress as expected when doing our visits. Indonesians do not wear shorts except for field workers and becak (a kind of bike taxi) drivers and they look down on people who do.
The last temple we visited was the Tanah Lot Temple. It is also referred to as the Sunset Temple. The black lava towers of this 16th century temple are situated on a rocky outcrop just off shore, and we were hoping for low tide so we could actually cross to the temple. Unfortunately it was not low tide so we had to settle for the beautiful grounds and take pictures of the temple.
So we had accomplished our list of things to see today and Nyoman was going to take us to a romantic restaurant for dinner (and wait for us there!!) These Indonesians are so polite and wonderful. But as we got closer to the restaurant, the clouds thickened and it started to rain. This restaurant was outdoors with a view and he said it is not as impressive if you have to be indoors, so we chose to go back to the ship and have dinner on the covered terrace.
We agreed that he would pick us up by 7:30 on Sunday as we leave at 3 and had other places to see. We hoped that the traffic would not be as bad.
We had a room service breakfast (for the first time) so we could leave the ship early.
Sunrise was beautiful.
Our agenda today started with the Uluwatu Temple which you might say is the most spectacular of all of them (but each is equally impressive). It is an ancient temple perched on awesome seaside cliffs. Nyoman warned us about monkeys that will definitely steal your glasses, so we left everything except cameras in his car!
Here is what was left of one pair the monkeys got to.
We walked all around from one end of the cliffs to another. Here we needed to wear a cloth sash around our waists to visit the temple. There were a lot of people bringing offerings and small children learning to play the traditional instruments. Magnificent.
We visited GWK Cultural Park. We got there before 10 and wanted to go up into the recently completed GWK statue which opened at 10. Unfortunately when we got in we found that it is too new to be opened to go into, so we settled for pictures of it and other beautiful structures around the entire park.
We weren’t there for the dance performance but did get some pictures with the performers.
Last stop for the day was in the Nusa Dua area which is a high end beachfront area with luxury hotels and a golf course. There is a water spout area that is impressive when the waves are high, but that wasn’t the case today. The rocks are immense.
You know I always like to take pictures of children, with parent permission of course. Here are a few from Bali.
When we returned to the ship, we found lots of St. Patrick’s day decorations and goodies.. yes, they do honor all of the holidays here on board! By the time I took the picture, the top clover leaf had already been eaten!
The day finished with a cabaret by Stephanie and Nieks of the entertainment team, and a celebration dinner for Marilyn’s birthday.
Goodbye for now, Bali and Nyoman, see you next time!