“Why Bali?” you might be asking. “Why not?” I reply.
Haven’t we heard about Bali all our lives, from the song “Bali Hai” from the musical South Pacific, to the last third of the book, “Eat, Pray, Love?” I hear about Bali twice a year when I visit my dentist for tooth cleanings. Her surfer brother settled there, married, and will never leave.
On the surface of things I chose Bali after Nepal for a 12 day Permaculture Design Course. At my journey’s outset I had intended to do this in Southern India as part of the International Permaculture Convergence. But a conversation at an organic farm in Nepal gave me second thoughts and I looked into other choices for this course. A tent in India in a field with thrown-together sanitation or ….Bali? Back and forth I went for about two minutes and chose the more exotic and and what I hoped was the more sanitary. And after a week of surveying the eruptive potential of Volcano Agung and noting that the threat was steadily decreasing, I bought the ticket and arrived. And with a month to enjoy myself before the training began, I started in Ubud.
What is there to do in Bali?
In this popular tourist and cultural center, Ubud, anything you want!
This entire blog entry should have all been video!!
Legong Dancing at the Palace.
Watching children learn Legong dancing at the Agung Rai Museum of Art.
And learning instruments in the Gamelan ensemble music.
Water gardens outside Starbucks.
Temple ceremony for which I had to don a sarong, sash and arm covering. And hand-made offerings.
The Monkey Forest: but beware!
One little bugger jumped on my backpack, undid the zipper, plucked out toilet paper and ran up the tree with his findings in about three seconds. One friend got bitten for no good reason. Fortunately she had had the rabies vaccine in the States and did not have to fly to Singapore for the full rabies treatment!
Shadow puppet show, from the Mahabaharata. The story was described and then narrated in Balinese, Indonesian and English but I completely lost the story line!
Cooking classes. They pick you up, take you to the market, efficiently have you cook and eat eight dishes and drive you back home. Delicious!
Ubud is lively, friendly and very busy!
The only danger are the holes in the sidewalk and disregard for crossing walkways and the ubiquitous unsafe water. (Got a sick tummy again!)
Go, have fun, get a cheap taxi ride if it rains and ignore all the other offers for rides and massages and street sales.
And if you start missing Western conversation, the Paradiso movie house and vegan café on Hanuman Street will make you feel at home before you step back out into the beautiful and mysterious Bali.
And I still had almost a month to go!!