Our lovely two weeks in Bali is already gone! It was a great time of beaches, temples, surfing, sun, and beautiful scenery. Not to mention a great way to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!
So we had lots of good beach time... do you like the new hats?
Josh getting ready to surf on Kuta beach, which was just a nice little jaunt from our hotel. Kuta is very popular, and tons of people on the beach and out surfing. So many, in fact, that sometimes it was quite scary to see the collisions that could happen.
Here's Josh with some dudes who came up to him and wanted to have their photo taken with him. We saw this a few times on Kuta beach, and when we asked one of our taxi/tour guides about it, he said that those are usually folks from Java (the next island over), who don't see a lot of westerners. Funny, huh?
We also spent a while at another beach called Dreamland--now known as New Kuta beach. When I was here four years ago, it had a few shops and chairs and umbrellas...now it's a huge resort area. According to our driver, the guy who owns the whole area had spent some time in jail for corruption, and when he got out, all the building happened. It was kind of disappointing to see all the buildup, but I suppose gorgeous beaches like this don't stay remote for long.
We saw lots and lots of pretty sunsets...
And there are temples everywhere! We were told that Bali has a greater population of Hindus, while other Indonesian islands have more Muslims. Every family home has a temple, where they bring offerings three times a day, and every village has temples. You really can't go very far without seeing a temple.
Here's a little cutie at the entrance of a temple.
We took a tour to the Tanah Lot temple, a beautiful 15th century temple that is out on a rock island. During high tide (we were there at low tide) water surrounds the temple.
Tanah Lot is just one of many temples in that area--here's another one on more pretty rocks.
Offerings of flowers, food, rice, and sometimes even cigarettes are found just about everywhere, both right in front of the temples, as well as just on the ground, on the beach, all over.
This is another temple called Uluwatu on the southwestern part of Bali. Very cool, just hanging out on a cliff. THis one was built in the 11th century, I think.
We also found some sea turtles! Kuta beach (the super busy one I mentioned above) is actually an area where the turtles lay their eggs. Because it's so busy, they've developed a program where they collect the turtle eggs, keep them safe till they hatch, and then let anyone who wants too help release them back into the water. So here's Josh and I with our cute little guys.
My turtle didn't want to go anywhere. So I got a chance to take a portrait. :)
Then we went on a little excursion where we took a glass bottomed boat (bit of a sham, though, it's just like two portions of plexiglass, about 1.5 feet x 8 inches on the bottom!), snorkeled, and went to 'Turtle Island,' which is actually a peninsula near Nusa Dua.
Here they have a bunch of different kinds of turtles, as well as other random animals...
Pucker up baby!
Here's Toucan Sam.
And this guy was my favorite--the fruit bat! They are HUGE! I want to take one home.
We hired a driver to take us up to Ubud, and on the way stopped to see the Barong dance.
Also stopped at a Batik factory, where they show you how all the very intricate designs are made. Erika and I actually made a batik piece when we were in Thailand, but ours weren't quite as cool. The idea is basically a series of dying and using wax to make designs.
Then we stopped at the Monkey forest. There are lots of cute monkeys who get fed a lot, so they aren't shy at all!
Pretty picture in Ubud.
We also went to see the Antonio Blanco Museum--he was this very eccentric artist (born of Spanish parents, in the Phillipines, and moved to Bali for most of his adult life, marrying a well known Balinese dancer who had been his muse) who built an elaborate studio/house/mueum complex, complete with all kinds of birds...
And golden Balinese dancers on the roof!
Then we saw these cuties practicing their dancing...so fun!
On our driving excursions, we also saw lots of the rice fields and terraces...very beautiful.
We had lunch at the beach...Josh found a REAL hotdog and he was more excited about that than I think anything we saw in Bali. :)
Oh! And this is just for my brother Boone. If we could have brought home a big canvas, I would have packed away the animals with fruit on their heads. Unfortunately, our packs can't fit them!
Now off to Thailand!