Simply Chillin’ in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

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April 28th 2019
Published: May 5th 2019
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Guru StanGuru StanGuru Stan

I have said for years that Stan is the true yoga guru in our house. Now he’s looking the part in addition to living it since, like, forever.
Two and half months have passed since the last post. Since then we briefly visited Gili Trawangan Island, and went on a sweet road trip with our friend Phari who guided us around Lombok, Indonesia - Bali’s more shy but equally beautiful Muslim sister - before we returned to our home base in Ubud, Bali.

During the following two months in Ubud, we resumed our usual daily routines of yoga practice, lazy morning breakfast visits with other travellers, and I my Bahasa Indonesian language study, along with whatever else the day presented. What a challenge I choose to put my poor brain through! As I had just completed a six week course in conversational Thai, it took a week before I stopped mixing Thai with Bahasa Indonesian. It was initially frustrating, as I also felt I had forgotten so much from the previous year. But the courses did progress, my brain eventually clicked in, and I have now added far more vocabulary and grammar to forget in future! ☺️

It has been a slightly different experience in Indonesia this year, as the effects of climate change saw the rainy season here lasting until early April, several weeks longer than
Stan Teaching a Yoga Class Stan Teaching a Yoga Class Stan Teaching a Yoga Class

Stan and I co-taught four hours of yoga classes for our Canadian friends this year, most of whom are practicing yogis. They were interested in the type of yoga we practice, so we offered to share some of the teachings we have learned in the past two years.
normal. Being fully aware that our friends back home in Saskatchewan had been struggling with record cold temperatures of minus 28 degrees or worse, while we were enjoying tropical temperatures of plus 28, we were not about to complain. However, full-on monsoon rains every afternoon for a month does dampen one’s adventurous spirit - pun intended - so we did not take on nearly as many excursions or extra curricular activities during that time as we had hoped, but ended up chilling a lot more with Canadian friends who converge at our hotel every March. One of our interesting experiences during that time was to co-teach two yoga classes for them. Stan was the lead instructor, and I was his associate. My role was to demonstrate some asanas and offer theory when appropriate. Or, to rephrase Stan - to allow him to keep the class real, and not allow me to overwhelm everyone with theory yada yada. 😉

April arrives, rains subside, sunshine returns, friends depart, and we are excited to get active - music, diving, biking, fishing, etc. Except we both get sick for three weeks! Nothing serious, just irritating coughs and sinus congestion - but everyone knows
Celebrating Tessa’s 35th BirthdayCelebrating Tessa’s 35th BirthdayCelebrating Tessa’s 35th Birthday

Our daughter Tess would have turned 35 on April 10th, which means she has been gone for almost 17 years now. But the passage time of time is sometimes simply not relevant. Never forgotten, forever beautiful. Celebrating you always.
that diving with any congestion is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. We agonize for half the month, me especially waiting impatiently for the symptoms to disappear so we don’t have to cancel the cherished annual dive trip to Bunaken Marine Park in northern Sulawesi. Finally we concede that we cannot risk the trip, and that very same day we learn that northern Sulawesi has been experiencing a significant amount of earthquake action. So the illness was a gift. The universe was trying to tell us something.

We learned much from this experience: first, to plan future diving excursions earlier in the trip, so we have time to reschedule if something similar occurs again. Secondly, to allow enough time to get back to Bali to pick up our flight home in case we do encounter (and survive) a major earthquake, as we are, after all, living within the Ring of Fire. For example, I came out one day to my motorbike and had to clear off a quarter inch of volvanic ash, as Mount Agung, a mere forty kilometres away, had chosen to erupt again and spew ash and lava for two kilometres into the atmosphere. Finally, we are
 Melasti  Ceremony Melasti  Ceremony Melasti Ceremony

It is an annual tradition that every Balinese village must have its temples blessed beside water, a few days before the year end / Nyepe Day. The event is sacred, with much ceremony and ritual, but there is also a festival atmosphere of music, food, joy, and celebration - like pretty much everything that the Balinese people do.
now realizing that it’s a fairly wise plan to be well rested before the forty or so hours of travel we will need to undertake to get home.

And so another Dreamchasers trip has come to its inevitable end. We will miss the friends, the motorbike rides, the endless excellent vegetarian restaurants, the vibrant energy, the smiling open faces and quiet demeanour of the Balinese, the morning and evening chanting, the traditional Balinese Gambilan music, and the frequent colourful ceremonial processions on the streets that regularly cause extensive traffic jams - traffic jams where we see no road rage. Instead, we invariably witness an astounding degree of calm and acceptance that is precious to behold and experience. Most of all, we shall miss the deeply spiritual essence of this island and its inhabitants, which permeates everything.

There is so much to be learned here, from these gentle, beautiful, inspiringly positive people, and with every year’s stay we try and retain a little more of this energy - to become a little more Balinese in our way of meeting and being in the world - for this tiny, unique island of Bali has become our spiritual sanga. It is
Lombok Road Trip with PhariLombok Road Trip with PhariLombok Road Trip with Phari

We spent three days being driven around the beautiful island of Lombok by our very special friend and Lombok resident Phari. We then enjoyed another day together on a snorkeling boat, touring some of Lombok’s surrounding ocean and stunning beaches.
why we keep returning.

Thank you for your interest in our travels.

Additional photos below
Photos: 22, Displayed: 22


Lunch Stop at Pink Beach, LombokLunch Stop at Pink Beach, Lombok
Lunch Stop at Pink Beach, Lombok

Stunningly beautiful. Crystalline blue waters, soft sand, zero tourists.
“Rip Curl” Woman and Child in Lombok“Rip Curl” Woman and Child in Lombok
“Rip Curl” Woman and Child in Lombok

Although this method of transport is not a particularly uncommon site in many Asian countries, I found this photo particularly interesting against the culturally contrasting logo of Australian designer brand Rip Curl.
Annual Blessing of the Temples CeremonyAnnual Blessing of the Temples Ceremony
Annual Blessing of the Temples Ceremony

It was quite an extraordinary experience to being invited to attend this ocean ceremony with our friend Eddie’s village, just one of several villages attending that day. We may have been the only foreigners present of the two thousand plus people there.
Balinese Cremation CeremonyBalinese Cremation Ceremony
Balinese Cremation Ceremony

The horses are the vessels in which the royal family members who have died in the past year will be cremated at a public ceremony.
Ceremony in UbudCeremony in Ubud
Ceremony in Ubud

One of many such ceremonies, the main roads transform into procession routes for the various villages to march to their respective temples.
 Cinta Bahasa Course 2019 Cinta Bahasa Course 2019
Cinta Bahasa Course 2019

Thank you Mbok Trias for the excellent teachings in this complex language.
Sharing Music with FriendsSharing Music with Friends
Sharing Music with Friends

These delightful women brighten each and every day with their beautiful smiles and cheerful good morning greetings, so I was very happy to share with them a few Indonesian songs I had learned.
Random Streetside Music Concert Random Streetside Music Concert
Random Streetside Music Concert

So we are biking down the street when Stan notices a jam session going down at this Tattoo shop. So we both pullover and Stan asks, as always, if we can join in and share some songs. This is when I crack out one or two Bahasa Indonesian songs they will likely know, as well as sharing a couple of others and listening to some of their Balinese music. Delightful. They asked us to come back again when we return next year. Sweet.
Nyepe Festivities in UbudNyepe Festivities in Ubud
Nyepe Festivities in Ubud

Nyepe is the Balinese New Year. It is a day of silence and reflection on the entire island, with no activity allowed anywhere on the streets,other than emergency vehicles. Even the international airport shuts down for the day. It is also a day of rest for the earth, so no power usage. But the night before is full of music, lots of noise, and theatre.
Dinner Party @ Stan and Bev’s Dinner Party @ Stan and Bev’s
Dinner Party @ Stan and Bev’s

Stan’s sister Annie graciously offered to cook a delicious vegetarian coconut curry, so we could not refuse.
Balinese Wedding CoupleBalinese Wedding Couple
Balinese Wedding Couple

We had the pleasure of attending the Balinese wedding of one of the staff members at our hotel. The bride told me her make-up and costuming began at 4 am and took until 1 pm to complete. And then the ceremony went on for a few hours, until around five pm, but the guests stayed on to socialize with the bride and groom until midnight. This was a simple Balinese wedding.
Tessa is EverywhereTessa is Everywhere
Tessa is Everywhere

No, she is not entirely thrilled with being a poster girl for facial tissue, paper towels, and such, but I find it somewhat delightful to see her name all over the local grocery store in Ubud every time I shop. ☺️😉
Rice Paddy Entrepreneurs Rice Paddy Entrepreneurs
Rice Paddy Entrepreneurs

These two women sitting have a preferred roadside spot along some very beautiful terraced rice paddies where tourists often stop. We used to pass them every day, en route to an Ashtanga Yoga Shala we once studied at for three seasons. We no longer study at this shala, but we still enjoy the drive and five years later, they are still there, waving at us as we pass. Just this week we stopped to say farewell for another year and they shared this lovely photo.
Hindu Mythology Artistically and Majestically DisplayedHindu Mythology Artistically and Majestically Displayed
Hindu Mythology Artistically and Majestically Displayed

This was mind blowing in its artistry, detail, and sheer magnitude.
Stunning and Gigantic SculptureStunning and Gigantic Sculpture
Stunning and Gigantic Sculpture

This is a display for a jewelry store. Not too extravagant. I’m guessing there are not a whole lot if low end pieces at this outlet 🤔☺️
Room with a View Room with a View
Room with a View

Breathtakingly beautiful, day after day. One of our favorite early morning activities before rising is to watch the tree squirrel jump from one coconut tree to the next. And so it is, we enjoy chilling in Ubud.

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