Bali

Bali – Part III

We are now on the later stages of our stay in Bali. We have moved from Candidasa to Sanur which is in the southern part of the island, not very far from the airport. It is much more crowded down here, with many more tourists. This is the low season and up-country tourists are sparse. Quite often we would go to a restaurant and be the only customers. That didn’t stop the people from being very friendly.

I get the impression that most people in the country areas can get by without tourism, at a subsistence level – they have enough to eat – and tourism gives them access to cash which is useful, but not essential.

While at Cadidasa – and Ubud – we went up into the centre of the island to look at temples and to explore places to stay in the mountains. And each time we got rained out! I have seldom seen rain as extreme as I saw then. The country side is beautiful and very green – we now know why! That is the reason we are now in the drier lowlands in the south.

View from our lunch stop

View from our lunch stop. This is a wonderful place. And the food was quite good too! It was raining at the time.

View from the lunch stop

View from the lunch stop. An incised, meandering river valley. I presume uplift has helped form the steep valley sides. The clouds in the background conceal Gunung Agung volcano. It was raining at the time.

As you can see the countryside of Bali is beautiful; the beaches are disappointing. The best one we saw was the white sand beach near Candidasa.

The white sand beach near Candidasa

The white sand beach near Candidasa. This was the best beach we saw in Bali.

The beach at Candidasa was a series of tiny fragments. Apparently, sometime in the 80’s the beach was destroyed when the coral reef was removed to produce lime for cement so that the tourist building boom could take place. The words “Golden Goose” and “Golden Eggs” come to mind. There are various groins etc. built to retain sand but success is fragmentary.

A beach at Candidasa

A beach at Candidasa

In the South of Bali, facing west at Kuta, and north and south of the town the beach is very good, but it is a surfers beach, rather than one for swimmers. Even on a calm day great crashing waves come in and if one goes out further than knee depth one is likely to be bowled over!

The east facing beaches near Sanur are very good but suffer from being dirty. The big hotels clean their bit of beach but reserve the sun loungers for the exclusive use of their guests. The rest is good but it is no ones responsibility to keep it clean. Which is a great pity as the sea is calm – there is a reef offshore – the sand is good and the sea shallow.

There are several good things about Bali. The most important is the people. They are very friendly. Everyone says “Hello!” and often mean it. They treat tourists as welcome guests.

A villager in Tenganan offers us a local delicacy - black rice and palm sugar, wrapped in banana leaves

A villager in Tenganan offers us a local delicacy - black rice and palm sugar, wrapped in banana leaves

Another great thing about Bali is its cheapness. What you could not afford in Britain or Europe becomes affordable in Bali. We are here in low season so we find ourselves moving upmarket. No longer content with suite with bedroom, living room/kitchen, we now aspire to villa with private swimming pool. I don’t think this will last for the rest of our trip!

The arts and crafts of Bali are another big plus. These range from wood carving, done on an industrial scale, stone carving, weaving, batik and silver and gold jewellery to calligraphy.

Balinese calligraphy from Teganan village

Balinese calligraphy from Teganan village. The "paper" is a type of palm leaf, the ink is finely ground charcoal. The marks are made with a sharp point and the scratches are filled with the charcoal

Weaving double Ikat or gringsing

Weaving double Ikat or gringsing. In this sort of weaving both the warp and the weft are dyed before weaving!

Chris inspecting a single Ikat

Chris inspecting a single Ikat. In this type the warp threads are one colour and the weft are pre-dyed with the pattern. Note the gringsing in the background.

Died cockerel

Dyed cockerel. Not one of the artistic crafts of Bali.

Batik making

Batik making. The lady is putting beeswax on the parts of the cloth which she does not want dyed.

Wood carvings - Buddhas by the score

Wood carvings - Buddhas by the score. There are container loads of these available.

To show some of our excursions I have created (with the help of some rather clever software) some files which show our routes and the photographs taken on that route. The results are displayed in Google Earth (available, if you do not already have it, HERE). The links below take you to a page from which you can download the particular file. Once it is downloaded, click on it and Google Earth should open, displaying the file. Otherwise open Google Earth, click File / Open and navigate to the downloaded file

Categories: Asia, Bali, Sanur | 1 Comment

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