Monday 12 June 2017
Highlights: Hindu Batuan Temple, Blangsinga Waterfall, Elephant Safari Park & Lodge, Ubud Rice Paddy Terraces, Shopping, Watching Nieces dance at Gracie Kelly’s Irish Pub
Photos & Videos
This was the big exploring day, a chance to explore Bali outside of Kuta with the help of a local driver Made Dana. A work colleague supplied my with Dana’s details and I found him to be very good at finding great places to visit.
We started with a visit to the Hindu Batuan Temple which Dana explained was built in the year of 944 Isaka or 1020 AD. Being almost 1000 years old, this temple is categorized as a Puseh temple according to the concept of “Tri Kahyangan or Tri Murti”. This is also marks this temple as the oldest temple in Bali island. Dana explained how once a year the Balinese have a quiet day of reflection, no digital gadgets, no work, no driving, everything including the International airport is shutdown. People use this time to reflect and mediate on the good and the bad they have done over the past year. Sounded petty cool idea to me.
Next up was a visit to the Blangsinga Waterfall. It’s a bit of a hike to get there (given the humidity) and you don’t want to fall off some of the walk ways but it’s definitely worth it. Apparently some people used to dive off the cliff as a sign of bravely, but not everyone survives.
Next I visited the Elephant Safari Park & Lodge which is a sanctuary for elephants in Bali and you can actually stay at the sanctuary. The elephants appeared to be well looked after and I didn’t see in cruel treatment, just rewards when the elephants did activities that their handlers (called mahouts) wanted.
I didn’t go for a ride (having done that previously) but I did watch a show were an elephant dunked a basketball and killed a soccer goal. None of the elephants were interested in painting today and since they aren’t made do something they don’t want to do I missed seeing that live (but did see a video on site of some elephants painting).
From here it was a visit to the Ubud Rice Paddy Terraces which are working rice fields that show how mother nature can create diverse and beautiful landscape that humans can use without causing to much harm. There were a few children trying to hawk goods at these locations, while school was on a break. I couldn’t help wonder if these children do this and miss school sometimes.
Between these locations I visited the following cooperatives and businesses, getting to watch locals craft their goods:
- Dewa Putu Toris (Studio of Artists) – paintings;
- Yanyan Gold & Silver Smith – jewelry;
- Dewa Malen Wood Carving – sculptures, wood cravings;
- Alas Harum Agro Tourism – Kopi Luwak Coofee;
- Sari Amerta Batik Collection – scarfs, dresses etc
These artists and workers were so good I actually ended up buying something from every one of these businesses and collectives. On reflection I was very happy with my purchases and I suspect my family will be as well.
Driving though central Kuta at 5.30 pm (we started at 8.00 am) when returning I noticed a very different Kuta then I experienced during the day, many young Australians and a very different feel, a party feel. I might have found this jarring after seeing some of the Bali countryside during the day with the Balinese going about their daily quiet lives.
Back at the Dynasty Bali Resort I found that Harry, Darby and Erin had enjoyed their massage during the day. Hard to believe children getting massages, they are being spoilt during this trip!
For dinner we went to Gracie Kelly’s Irish Pub. The meals were fine but it was the entetainment that made the night. First Darby and then Erin went up to dance to local muscians. It was magical watching these children dance with such freedom. I felt so blessed to be there to experience this.