Bali again

Bali was a time of relaxing and seeing a few new spots.  We stayed in Diwangkara Beach Hotel, one we have stayed in several times before.  It’s a lovely small hotel and we had a nice room.

Our first excursion was to Taman Ayun Temple, the royal family temple of the Mengawi Kingdom.  The temple was built in 1634.  “Taman” means “garden” and the temple area was set in a lovely garden spot surrounded by a moat.

We continued to Alas Kedeton which features hundreds of cheeky monkeys and very large bats in a forest temple area.  Guides accompanied us to protect us from the monkeys—they especially worried about glasses being taken by the monkeys.  Our guide encouraged us to feed the monkeys with food that she carried.  Evan was happy to do so and while we all watched him, a monkey jumped on to Andrea from behind completely surprising her.  And then a monkey tried to open one of Ron’s pants pockets hoping for food.

Our last stop that day was at Tanah Lot Temple on the west coast.  Tanah Lot means “Land [in the] Sea.”  The temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide but you can walk to it during low tide.  We were hoping for a spectacular sunset but the clouds came in too early.  There were some big waves as the tide was coming in.  It was a lovely spot.

Our second day we took an all-day tour to the north coast of the island.  We stopped at Bedugul, a village in the mountains where the Ulun Danu Temple is located.  Built in 1633, this temple is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, due to the importance of Lake Bratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali.  We were lucky to be there on a festival day.  There were many participants and it made for an interesting and pretty site.

We continued through the mountains stopping at a point where we could see twin lakes—Buyan and Tamglingan—and on to Munduk where we hiked a steep path to the island’s highest waterfall.  We had lunch at a nice restaurant on the beach.

Then on to Brahma Vihara Arama—the largest Buddhist monastery on the island.  Brahma, Vihara and Arama, when combined, mean “a place for self-cultivation”.  The facade of the large meditation hall structure is very reminiscent of the Borobudur temple of Yogyakarta. One can see the influence of Balinese architecture in many of the statues.

We returned to our hotel along some very narrow, curvy, mountainous roads.  It was spectacular scenery with small villages scattered.  Unfortunately, the scenes are only in our memories.

Our final day in Bali was spent just relaxing at the hotel—swimming in some very big, strong waves in the ocean and in the hotel pool.  And just lazing on the beach.  We had seen a beautiful sunset the night before with an almost full moon appearing.  We got up early and witnessed a lovely sun rise.  It’s a beautiful spot!

After a walk along the beach at low tide, we had a final meal by the beach and enjoyed the light of a full moon when it got above the clouds on the horizon.

After checking out of our hotel we headed to the airport. It was then a 12:30 am departure for us and a 1:30 am departure for Andrea and Evan. About 36 hours later we met at O’Hare, Chicago, after going around the world in opposite directions!


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