April 26th, 2016 -Day 24 - Docked at Bali, Indonesia

We woke up cruising the Java Sea and saw another beautiful sunrise.

We had breakfast at the Terrace Café but we just ate a little bit because they were going to have a brunch today in the Grand Dining Room that was a big deal beginning at 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM.

At about 11 AM we cruised into Bali with a lot of fanfare from boats big and small and we saw lots of parasailing.  There was a lot of activity outside on the water.

At 11:30 AM we went to eat brunch in the Grand Dining Room.  There were stations set up with different breads and pastry,  meats, salads, soups, fruit, and a big dessert table.  They had made an Ice sculpture and various other centerpieces made out of fruits & vegetables and bread.  Everything was nicely prepared and laid out.

We met our tour group in the Insignia Lounge at 1:15 PM.  Our tour today was to Bali Terraces & Ulun Danu Temple.  We had a van with seven people in it with a guide and driver.  Our guide said because of where we were going there were two lane roads and a bus would not work as well as a van.

Our guide told us that there are 700,000 people and 1.2 million motor bikes on the Island of Bali.  We could not believe how many motorbikes were on the road.  There was so much traffic and a lot of motorbikes with whole families on them as well as babies and not all wore helmets either.

A fun fact we learned was that they cannot built any buildings higher than a coconut tree.

We started our drive and traffic was quite busy.  The density of the city is 10 people to one square foot where as in Australia it  is 1 person to one square foot our guide said.

For the majority of Balinese people, agriculture is their livelihood.  These people are so proud of their beautiful rice terraces, which are found in the mid western part of the island which is where we drove to.  Villages are mainly found centered around or near the rice fields and every farmer who owns one or more rice plots or sawahs, is compelled to join a subak, an agricultural society that controls the distribution of irrigation water to its members.  The most striking feature of the landscape is the cascading terraces of rice fields.  What is interesting is that they make an offering to the rice gods and have it in the field made of straw and flowers.

We stopped at a Traditional Balinese house compound in the country side of Baha Village.  The Balinese home is often viewed as a living organism.  Much like a human being, it has a head (the ancestral shrine), arms (the sleeping quarters and living room) and legs and feet (kitchen and the rice granaries).  We were allowed to get a glimpse into conventional Balinese life and we found it fascinating.  We saw some alters where they worship.  Every home has a temple.

Their bedroom is set up in the NE part of the compound because North is towards the mountain and East is where the sun rises so it is a sacred site.

There were 2 kids a girl 5 and a boy 7 and a grandma.  I asked if I could take their picture.  I showed them the picture and the little girl started giggling when I showed her.  I also showed her Thatcher's picture and she smiled. Then everyone was taking her picture and she was being a little ham.

We then drove on to Bedugul where it is mild mountain weather due to its location at an altitude of about 4,900 feet above sea level.  We also had a rain storm on our drive.  Luckily we were given umbrellas when we arrived but it didn't last long.

We visited the Balinese Hindu Temple Ulun Danu Temple or Par Bratan. The temple was built in the 17th century in worship of the main Hindu trinity, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, as well as the lake goddess, Dewi Danu. The sight and cool atmosphere of the Bali uplands have made the lake and this temple a favorite place.  It is a major Shivaite and water temple in Bali.  Water temples serve the entire region in the outflow area, downstream there are many smaller water temples that are specific to each irrigation association. Lake Braton is known as the Lake of Holy Mountain due to the fertility of this area.  It was a beautiful temple although we were not allowed to go inside the temple we could walk around the grounds which were lovely.  They also had four deer in a caged area that were well taken care of.  It looked like they lived in a forest.

Our drive back to the ship took 2 hours.  Along the way in the Sangeh area we saw monkeys on the street and swinging in the trees.  We pulled over and took some pictures.  We saw a family of monkeys just sitting on the sidewalk.  This was the Sangeh Monkey Forest or ‘Obyek Wisata Bukit Sari Sangeh’ which is a sanctuary of grey long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis).  The monkey forest boasts six acres of fertile forestland with primordial, giant nutmeg trees which grow to a height of 40m.

The sanctuary is considered sacred, where the macaques inhabit both the woods and the 17th century Pura Bukit Sari, a temple located deep within the greens.

It was a nice drive back as it became dark and we got to see the lights of the town.  We saw a beautiful Chinese Temple all lit up in red lights.  It was beautiful.

We drove by the market in Denpasar and our guide said he lives near there.  It was a bustling place.  What we noticed there were lots of little shops all over the place.  We also noticed they sell little bottles of gasoline for the motorbikes. 

When we returned to the ship we went to the Terrace Café for a quick dinner.  Pat had a Balinese noodle dish as well as some bowtie pasta with red sauce.  Jim had prime rib and mashed potatoes.  Pat tried the Bali Beer Bali Hai.  It was good.

Good night from Bali!