World Trek 2004/2005
Amanda and Josh travel the world in 2004 & 2005!
* Delhi Belly, Peekin' at Bikaner, Agra-vated
* Tai-wan, Tai-pei, and Thai-Lads (I Think)
* Fine China
* Its Chinese to Me!!
* Up the Coast in Vietnam
* Phnom Pehn to Ho Chi Minh
* Angkor Wat? Angkor Whoa!!
* Wowed in Laos
* Know UNESCO?
* Slow Boat on the Mighty Mekong
* Chiang Mai Pad Thai
* Jungle Juice
* Banged Up in Bangkok
* Tied up in Thailand
* To Tha Highlands Laddies!!
* Malaysian Sensation
* Singapore - NOT a bore!
* Bye Bye Bali!
* To the Gilis!!!
* North, East, South - We circle East Bali!
September 05, 2004
Bye Bye Bali!
6 weeks in Bali just isn't enough. I think I'll need at least a lifetime to really enjoy it. There just isn't enough time in one day to get a two hour massage, eat three delicious meals, catch a play or see a movie AND eat a late dessert...or two! Its really a shame. Nonetheless, Amanda made sure we filled our last days with the cultural stuff we hadn't yet seen.
We went to see a shadow puppet play that I enjoyed while Amanda nodded off on my shoulder. It would help if we understood Indonesian but they kept it to an hour instead of the normal 4 hours locals get. Our imaginations had to fill in the parts we didn't understand and I know I definitely wasn't thinking about the Mahabarata though the puppet master tried to act the story the best he could.
We also visited the Ubud Palace and decided to catch a show there since we hadn't yet seen a Barong Dance yet. A Barong is a little different than the other shows we've seen in that it seemed to have a better storyline with a better grand finale. The story is fairly complicated and I won't bore you with it like Amanda bored me but essentially, there is a king who is warring with a local black magic witch. The king asks for help and is aided by a man who agrees to marry the witches daughter under the guise of true love. He's actually out to steal the witch's black book. He succeeds and in the final battle between the king and witch she realizs he has the book. This spells defeat for the witch and she turns herself into a Barong, a dangerous animal-like demon. The catch is that the Balinese take this very seriously even in a play. They have several guys put themselvs into a trance and scare off the Barong. They fail and while in the trance turn their daggers on themselves. Somehow the trance protects them but a holy man has to come out and douse them with holy water or they might kill themselves. They had visible cuts or red marks after this was over and we were left a little stunned after such a light-hearted performance. Still, that was a cool experience and I'll have to admit, just a wee bit better than the puppets!
The next day, Amanda suggested we complete our tour of the east section of Bali by hiring John's driver, Gusti, to take us up to Gunung Batur and Lake Batur. The mountain is actually an active volcano that recently erupted in 1994 though it erupted 3 or 4 other times since 1900 with much more catastrophic effects. We had lunch with a fantastic view of the whole area (that picture was taken from our table!). We didn't have time to do any trekking but we did stop by Goa Gajah on the way back to Ubud so Amanda would have a chance to see it in person. I think my story of the place made it a bit anti-climatic. At least we chalked off another of the things on our to-do list. Later we got to knock off another major "to-do" by eating from a street-side vendor. Braving all the horror stories of intestinal revolt we asked for a bowl of Bakso Ayam. We knew Ayam meant chicken but that's about it so when our soup had some kind of dumplings floating on the surface we couldn't help but grimmace. The first bite... and it actually turned out to be quite good! I guess bakso means "good dumpling"! We shared the bowl with vigorous manoeuvers to steal each others dumplings...Amanda won! We should have eaten here more often since that big bowl of soup only cost about 50c US!
Next morning Gusti drove us to the airport and gave us a warm, heartfelt good-bye. We'll miss him and we'll miss Bali... but we'll be back!!
Posted by Josh on September 5, 2004 06:04 PM
Category: Where are we?
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