Friday, February 1, 2013

Bali part 3

Here are a lot of photos for the next day
Ubud's famous artwork

Famous stonework

Home of silversmith where I took a class

Beginning of my creation

Hammering my design

Welding my ring closed

The silversmith washing my ring

My finished product

view from my Ubud hotel room

My bed

Kecak Fire and trance dance

Walking on hot coals

Typical offering

ducks in the rice fields outside my room

And last but not least the monkeys and my visit to Ketut, another blog....

Bali Part Two

Tirta Empul is a Balinese Hindu temple located just outside of the town of Ubud on the island of Bali. Founded in 962AD, the springs are believed to have magical powers. The actual springs bubble up into a large pool within the temple and gush through waterspouts into a bathing pool.
I saw pictures of this place and since I only had time to visit one famous temple, I picked this one. It was very crowded with Balinese people. First I had to go into the changing room and strip to just a sarong, then you proceed down the line of waterspouts. It was Christmas day and I was praying to MY God, despite what everyone else was doing. It was incredibly cleansing, the water was ice cold, and by cleansing I mean spiritually. To think that this spring has been gushing up clean cold water since 962AD!!
One weird thing that happened was on a few of the water spouts there was what I would call a German swastika sign...I weird-ed out at first but then someone said it is a hindu symbol, I need to research that more.
Anyway, after the bathing pools, people feel ceremoniously clean then you change, get a different sarong and enter the big temple where you can leave your offering and see the gushing springs.
The bathing pool

Closeup of spouts with people's offerings

Me at spout #1

Christmas Day in Bali 2013

The huge bubbling source of the springs

Family offerings

So I asked my guide/driver if the Balinese women actually get jealous of each other's offerings, like do they say "Wow, look at two chickens that Mary has or look at that big cake from Suzy.." and he laughed and said, yeah they actually do a little.
After the springs we headed to a big plantation where they grow coffee and where a lot of it is actually wild. There are these little creatures called civets that look kind of like a cat that live wild here, they eat the coffee beans and the acid in their stomach somehow makes the beans really delicious and they poop the bean out whole, the people collect the poop, wash it of course and it is made into the most expensive and delicious coffee in the world.
First photo is of an old lady roasting the coffee beans. Second is a photo of the coffee for sale with a pix of the civet on the front, Third is a lady showing how vanilla beans grow, fourth is a photo of the wild jungle where the civets live and last is a temple procession we randomly ran into. Website is acting weird....

So my Christmas Day alone 2013 without my family wasn't too bad afterall.