Feb. 16, 2007
Just about everyone we meet wants to know how long we are going to stay in Bali, but we have no firm answer. We've pretty much been stuck in Kuta area and want to see some more of the island before we leave. Luhur has given us the number of his brother-in-law, Lanying, who he says can drive us around the island. Lanying shows up at our hotel about 8 AM to take us to the volcano Gunung Batur. Lanying introduces himself by his nickname, Gede. In Indonesian Gede means first son, so there are lots of men using that name. In the van with Gede is his wife, Luhur's sister Made, and their year old baby, Dadis. So this is going to be a family affair. On our way up to the volcano we stop in the Ubud area to see the Burong dancers
. The Burong dance is just what you think of when you hear the name Bali. Very exotic. The story line is about the eternal fight between good and evil. The moral of the story is that evil can be defeated but never killed. We take a zillion photos. Next we also stop in Celuk, the town which is known for its gold and silver crafts. Irina finds a nice braided silver choker there that she is sure she saw for sale back home for 5 times the price. After Celuk we go on up to Gunung Batur where we have dinner at a restaurant over looking the volcanic basin with a beautiful lake and the volcano in the back ground. Very nice view and excellent Balinese buffet. We've been passing a lot of woodworking shops with some great fret work on display along the road. Arvid wants to see if we can find something we might include in our house back home. So on the way back to Kuta we stop in a town known for its wood working. Here we find some circular pieces, with through carvings of dragons, which might fit the space we have in mind. The gallery we stop at has loads of large carvings which we try to ignore but end up bargaining on a life sized fisherman which is carved from one piece of wood. We don't need it but can resist. Once you ask the price of something it's hard to back out, especially if you make a counter offer. But the price included shipping which would probably cost about $500. Irina thinks she knows just the place in our house to display it. On the way back through Denpassar we stop at Luhur's shipping company office and meet him and Yanti there. They invite us to spend tomorrow night with them in their family's home in the mountain village of Soka, a place that doesn't even show up on the map. Before Gede drives us back to our hotel Arvid wants to try some rujack, a local dish. So we stop at a little roadside place where the lady crushes spices in a stone mortar, for the hot soy sauce, and chops up the fruit for this spicy treat. She also insists we try some other strange fruits and vegetables, the names of which we can't recall.