Kites, baskets and a curry!!

Trip Start Mar 25, 2011
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158
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Trip End Dec 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
Tropical Bali Hotel

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

6am again!!! This time thanks to the mosquitoes!! Oh how I've missed them... NOT!

So before doing anything I pack my things... I still have a few "warmer" clothes that I need to get rid of but at least its not causing an issue with the weight!!

I make my way down to breakfast and catch up with emails.  At the moment I'm not sure what time I need to vacate my room so I guess that will be the next thing to check!

Today I'm off to Sanur.

Sanur I'm told is the perfect destination to watch the sunrise, as you walk or indeed jog (yeah right.. that's me... I don't think so!) along the white sandy beach. Being one of the first resorts developed in Bali, Sanur still maintains its traditional feel and local customs. Only a stones thrown away from the beach, ancient temples stand as solemn as they have been in centuries past.

Sanur offers a much quieter side to Bali. Sindhu Beach, recently restored through funding from the Japanese government, has a natural reef which provides calm waters making it a safe environment so maybe I'll even make it into the water!

Sanur is also the starting point of my tour and so I will still have a few days before it begins... this way I know I'm making the most use of my time and seeing the sites that I really want to see and experience during the 3 weeks that I'm here as well as enjoying the relaxing side.

It's really nice being somewhere different even if I don't understand the language... so far everyone has been very friendly and helpful and Bali is definitely a relaxing and calm place to be... well I say that now maybe after the hikes, bikes, temples, reefs and turquoise waters to come maybe I'll be glad for the few days after to again relax before flying to Singapore where it all starts again!

I arrive at my next destination a home stay hotel run by Mathias and Florence a French couple whom have lived all over the world, had many businesses in France, Thailand and now here in Bali. They instantly make you feel welcome and nothing is too much trouble.

The room is clean and has all the normal things including satelite TV... it's good to have English channels, news and movies!!

I quickly check in and then walk into the town... walking in sanur in the late afternoon, you'll see what appears to be a flock of huge, colorful bird hovering in the wide sky. These are in fact the fruits of the neighborhood's favorite past time: kite flying. But the flying is only a small part of the fun. Much more goes into this traditional sport than meets the eye.The kite starts out in the imagination of young girls and boys, who come up with inventive designs to try out over the fields. The simple are geometric- squares, triangles, cylinder, and boxes that are easily lifted by the slightest breeze and are flown by the youngest of toddlers. Favored shapes are modeled after the island’s main winged creatures: birds, bats, and butterflies. Other popular motif includes dragons, lizard, fish, and turtles. The kites are sewn by hand.  Most animal kites are quite large, 3-6 ft wide,  paper mache bodies, downy, dyed feathers and life like glass eyes. The most complicated are competition kites, supported by long bamboo poles bound by thick ropes. Among the world’s largest kites, each can be as big as a house, weigh as much as a small car, and require 20-30 men to carry it.

The crowning contest in the Bali kites festival, is held over a weekend in July, which draws crowd of thousands to see which kites is champion of the skies. Villages can take months to create their entries, enlisting the help of every man and boy available. When finished, a kite is christened in a flurry of ceremonies, parades, and offerings. During the festival the beaches and street on sanur are crowded with on lookers and competitors, the latter of whom are often team of men clad in identical uniform-and soccer shoes, to get the best beaches traction when hoisting the huge kites into the air... its so pretty to see and even now there are still so many kites in the sky.

Another common site is as you visit Bali , are baskets filled with rice and flowers or two. These are small offering baskets called ‘canang sari ' that Balinese offer to their Gods three times a day.

So what are they for....It is basically a ritual of giving back what has been given to you by the Gods. It is a sharing that is not based upon fear, but on gratitude to the richness of life. Offering appeases the spirits and brings prosperity and good health to the family. It is a duty and an honour at the same time, and in Balinese perspective a very natural and almost logical thing to maintain a good relationship between people and spirits.

So next time you walk the streets and stumble upon an offering tray, remember that it may seem like a small thing but the whole cosmos is related to it, so it's best not to step on it.... oh at least try not too!!

Feeling hot and sweaty now I make my way back... the heat is unbelievable.. the water (ok sweat) is dripping through my hair.... nice... !!!

I then receive confirmation that my tour is all booked and finalised. Starting in just a few days I have a very full on two weeks of really exploring Bali... I can't wait and until then I will continue to relax and soak up the fabulous atmosphere, sun and sea before it all changes..

Tonight I'm in the mood for a curry... Florence has said that the Indian only delivers at lunchtimes however she will send Mathias out to collect it for me... that I should just relax in my courtyard and she will bring it out to me.... the service here is outstanding no sooner is Mathias back and Florence has plated by meal and brought it out to me on a tray...  I cannot fault the service here or the extra mile this lovely couple will go to. The curry is outstanding!

Feeling full its time to retire with a new book that I've exchanged here...

Night for now..


 
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