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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud March 25th 2020

Our return flight to Canada from Bali was originally booked for April 28th, but we moved it ahead to March 21st in light of our Canadian Government’s calls for its citizens to return home, combined with those of our son and his partner - both highly trained nurses - strongly encouraging us to get on a flight home while we still had that option. But let’s backup a bit, to convey a sense of how quickly things were changing in our world, just as they were everywhere else. Wednesday, March 11th: Conversation with my niece and her husband in Vancouver. Me: “Bali is so chill. If you didn’t listen to the news or other tourists talking about the news, you would not even be aware that anything was wrong. It is totally calm here. No one ... read more
Indonesian Government Declaration, March 18th
 Bali International Airport: Quiet
Singapore International Airport: Quiet

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud March 15th 2020

Bali’s New Year’s Eve day, as determined by the Balinese Saka calendar, is a Hindu holiday mainly celebrated in Bali, Indonesia. This year the celebration takes place on March 25th. It is also known as Nyepe Day, or the Day of Silence. On this day, the entire island of Bali turns off all power, stops all traffic, abandons all global activities, including the internet, and remains in silence. Streets are literally empty of all traffic, as only emergency vehicles are allowed, and people are expected to remain in their homes or their yards, but cannot venture on any public streets. All businesses are closed, including the international airport in Denpasar. The intention is multifaceted: to spend quiet time connecting alone or with family; to rest and meditate upon the year, resolving to practice forgiveness for any ... read more
Ogo Ogo in All Its Terrifying Glory
Ogo Ogo Proud Village Community Creators
Ominous Mount Agung from our Bedroom Window

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud January 4th 2020

I loved the region of Ubud 9 years ago - that was the only part in Bali which really got under my skin. So, of course, I wanted to share this experience this time with Markus. That is why we came here. But beforehand I was warned a bit by many vlogs - Ubud seemed to have changed quite a bit. Still all vloggers come here and stay longterm in Ubud or Canggu and rave about it. But watching different vlogs, I could see a Bali and especially Ubud which I did not like (traffic chaos, too many people in one place, fancy modern shops and cafes, far too many artificial instram spots). So, we were curious to come here and see what it was for us. The day we left Sudaji in the north was ... read more
Markus exploring mystical Gunung Kawi
Mount Batur as seen from Kintamani
little hidden waterfall around Gunung Kawi

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud December 27th 2019

Today is Friday and we have been at the Swallow Guest House since Monday. I wasn’t sure how we would do with the slow pace, spotty wifi and rural setting, but it has been a nice change from our normally crazy life. The quiet countryside, where the only sounds are the roosters crowing, the odd sounding frogs croaking (there are several types and they all sound weird!) and the occasional motor scooter on the little path create a very serene setting. Our days of coffee on the patio, reading, writing, sleeping and swimming are a sure cure to any blood pressure issues and Ken has slept better than he has in years. Our only activity for the day is to head back into Ubud, get some more cash (this time 2.5 million rupiah=$180) which should last ... read more
Ceremony Temple
Beautiful Women's Dance Group
Incredible Offerings

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud December 26th 2019

Today we are doing some sightseeing with Wayan, but before we get started, we are treated to a wonderful breakfast from Uly delivered right to our porch. The food consisted of fresh local fruit including dragon fruit with beautiful bright purple flesh, along side a very different version of banana pancakes. As you can see from the picture, it is more like a dumpling with a banana covered in a green dough, which is colored by a local leaf (ground up and put in the dough). All were very yummy and a nice healthy way to start the day! Our first stop with Wayan was to the Tirta Empul Water Temple, where a spring is bubbling up from the ground. It then feeds water spouts in a pool where people come to get cleansed by the ... read more
Dressed for the water temple
Getting the blessings
Our cool samples of tea and coffee!

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud December 25th 2019

I have rolled two days into one, as Tuesday the day after Paige left for home, Ken and I pretty much did nothing. Ok, we did walk through the rice fields to the laundry shop and then continued to check out the little village. There were a couple of little grocery shops (and I mean little) and a small fruit/veg market, as well as some of the normal vendors needed to keep the village running (housewares, fuel, etc). Even though it was about 9am, by the time we got back to the house we were both sweating and ready for the pool. Before our walk we had enjoyed a nice breakfast from the stuff we got at the grocery store, of toast, avocado, local jam, mango and banana. And of course the local Balinese coffee, which ... read more
Enjoying some corn!
Uly our wonderful cook!
Workers next to our house in the rice field

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud December 23rd 2019

Today has two key activities, first we leave the beautiful views of Mt Agung and Lake Batur for our guest house outside of Ubud. Then we sadly have to say good-bye to Paige who has to head back to her home in Budapest. We have so enjoyed having her with us the past few days and wish she could hang a little longer, but real life prevails. After a banana pancake served along side fresh fruit, we packed up for the short trip down the mountain. Our driver (not Gooday this time!) picked us up and in addition to checking into the guest house, we decided to do the Goa Gajah (elephant cave/temple) and then a cool place over looking the river for lunch. Since the guesthouse was before the other two, we stopped there first ... read more
Trail around the Elephant Temple
Amazing View from the 2nd floor of the Swallow House
Welcome Drink and Fruit at the Swallow House

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud July 17th 2019

I wasn’t planning on returning to Ubud so soon after my 2017 visit, but my friends Ryan and Anthony were getting married there, and my friend Trixie was also attending the wedding, so we decided to make a trip out of it. As this was my fifth time in Ubud, I didn’t really try to see or do many new things... I just let Ubud suck me in as always. So, here are some photos - with commentary - about what I did and saw in and around Ubud.... read more
Penestanan
Penestanan
Penestanan

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud April 28th 2019

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 ... read more
Stan Teaching a Yoga Class
Celebrating Tessa’s 35th Birthday
 Melasti  Ceremony

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud December 13th 2018

Today we have arranged to meet up with our friends Mark and Jane from Melbourne who are staying in Ubud. They have booked a tour which the brochure they sent us a link to said goes to the Tenenungan Waterfall and then on to Bali Swing, so we decide to meet them at the waterfall. We are picked up from the Sofitel by the same Wayan who took us to Uluwatu Temple earlier in the week. The traffic in Bali is frenetic, but calmly frenetic. If you don’t have right of way it seems that you just nose your way in and the other drivers will accommodate you, and they seem to do so quite happily without threatening violence upon you and your loved ones as would happen if you tried this approach back in Melbourne. ... read more
Tenenungan Waterfall
Tenenungan Waterfall
Tenenungan Waterfall




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