Thursday, January 7, 2010
Today was our first excursion to Bali Indonesia. The rougher seas of yesterday calmed and we are sailing smoothly along.
We assembled at 8:00 AM for our first excursion to Bali, Indonesia.. We boarded tenders that would take us to the port, then split up in two coach buses for our sightseeing trip. Sutara was our guide and tried exceptionally hard to have us understand him. He did a great job and we had some laughs as we tried to figure out what he was saying a few times.
Our first stop was in Bangli where native dancers performed a story wearing beautifully decorated costumes. Musicians accompanied them with various percussion instruments. There must have been about twelve dancers in the group,
Next we drove north to a traditional village compound. One home was unoccupied, but other homes had people. The neighborhood is walled with concrete blocks or bricks and adorned with various statues, mostly on each side of the gate to the family’s house. The homes are not large, but looked massive with all the sandstone walls, decorations and statues. There were some darling children walking around and women standing at their gates beckoning us to come in and see their house, for which they obviously wanted payment.
We were planning to see Mt. Batur volcano which would be possible from the road we were on. When it came into view (barely) it started to rain and was very foggy, so the volcano was not visible. We drove on to a large restaurant buffet and listened the pounding rain on the roof..
The roads were good with jungle-like foliage on both sides of the road. We stopped to take pictures of terraced rice paddies, their young shoots popping up out of the water framed by lush green trees and palms. We passed miles of shops selling carved wooden ware that all looked the same. I’ve seen some of those products that the vendors were shoving in our faces at other stops and wouldn’t give good money for.
Our last stop of the day was to Sarirejeki Wood Carver where wood carvers were at work outdoors and many lovely intricately pieces were for sale in the shop. There was great variety in pieces and prices.
We headed back to the harbor and got in the tenders to the ship. Tomorrow we’ll be in Bali again for more sights.