How do I describe Bali? It is bursting with color, smells and sounds. When we stepped off of the plane it immediately smelled like strong incense, clove cigarettes and an earthy mustiness. All around the country, everywhere you walk, there are small offerings to the Hindu gods. Little banana leaves filled with flowers, rice, little crackers or banana slices, incense, sometimes even a cigarette or other treat. They are beautiful and they are everywhere. I awoke this morning to a small square of banana leaf filled with rice and flowers outside of our door. They seem to magically appear out of nowhere and are created and distributed throughout the day. Those offerings that are placed up high, usually near or on statues of Gods are offered to “God”. Those offerings that are placed on the ground are offered to “Spirit”. Each Balinese must make three offerings a day.
The shops are teeming with gorgeous silk offerings. I haven’t had the desire to shop in a long time, but here I feel like I want to purchase so many things. Because of our need to conserve money and also the scant room in our backpacks, we haven’t purchased one thing yet as an indulgence. Maybe Bali is the time :)
The Balinese to me seem warm, happy, and personable. Their smiles are wide, bright and infectious. Yesterday Brian and I got a one hour massage together by two sweet women. It cost us about $6 each and was probably one of the best massages I have ever had. The women’s hands were strong but loving and we felt incredible as we left.
We went for a long walk to visit a very old temple today called Goa Gajah. Along the way we saw enormous rice patty fields. I have never seen anything like this in my life. I had to show you up close because it was fascinating for me to finally see what rice actually looks like growing in nature. Did you know it was this beautiful?
At the temple we were required to wear sarongs before we entered because we were both wearing shorts. We washed our faces with the water that will give us eternal life,
We’ve enjoyed some delicious cheap meals so far. I’ve been eating a lot of tofu and veggies with peanut sauce with either rice or noodles. Last night at dinner we got a young coconut to drink with our meal. It was green on the outside and full with sweet clear coconut juice. We squeezed a little lime and added a little bit of sugar and it was delicious.
Tomorrow we are off on an eco bike tour around the region. I'm looking forward to telling you about it!