The QiRanger Adventures

Bali Baby!

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House Temple

The third stop on our Indonesian tour was the lovely island of Bali, just to the east of Java. Unlike Java, Bali is a tourist destination and scores of visitors from Oceania make the trip often. Another thing that is quite different from Java is the fact that the native inhabitants of Bali are Hindu, while those on Java are Muslim. This can be seen everywhere, from the architecture to the way that people greet you.

Jo and I were extremely fortunate on this leg of our trip for a number of reasons. First, we had an awesome guide and driver. Made (meaning second born in Balinese), has spent his whole life on the island and over 30 years sharing his experiences with tourists. The second, was that Jo planned everything down to the minute to maximize our tour time so during our our free time we could simply sit back and relax.

Making the Offerings

Our first day started out after having a wonderful breakfast in our hotel. Made picked us up and drove us to a small village about 30 minutes away. During the drive, he let us know that we came at a very special time (our third fortunate reason). Twice a year, the Balinese people make special offerings at the local Hindu Temples. This happened to be that week, so during our stay in Bali, we got to see countless spiritual rituals. Once in the village, we watched an hour-long Barong (traditional) dance.

After that, we were shown some amazing wood and silver crafts, but nothing was better than our lunchtime visit. It was a delightful buffet, followed by a stop at a coffee farm in the mountains. This particular farm makes Coffee Luwak (the one that comes out the other end… if you know what I mean). While that was impressive, Jo and I really enjoyed their other offerings, most notably, a coffee/ginseng combination. It really is amazing.

The rest of the day took around to several other mountain temples and shrines. Our last stop was Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave. We were the last ones there and had the entire Holy Water pool and cave to ourselves.

Jo and I in front of Taman Ayun

Day two was the most memorable in terms of events, as there were four remarkable places we visited. The first was the temple at Taman Ayun. As I mentioned earlier, we arrived during a special offering time, so while we were at the temple, we had the opportunity to see people come and go, pray, and leave offerings. It was fantastic.

Ulun Danu

Then it was time to hit the road. The day called for us to drive into the mountains and have lunch near Beratan Bedugul Lake. It was very picturesque and tranquil. The food was fantastic as well. But the attraction was amazing. We were there to see Ulun Danu. Two small temples that were actually in the lake. The sight is stunning and immortalized on the 50,000 Rupiah note.

We then drove down the mountain towards Alas Kedaton. This is one of the famed monkey temples. To say that there were thousands of monkeys there would be an understatement. They were everywhere! We had the fortune of being there towards the end of the day and were able to see many of the mothers out playing with their children.

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The final destination of the day was Tanah Lot. It’s famous for the amazing sunsets one can see from the cliffs leading up to the temple. We were not disappointed. Thousands of people were there with us.

After the sun set, we ventured to Jimbaran Bay for a candlelit seafood diner on the beach. The food that we were presented with was amazing. I think we each had the best barbeque crabs on the planet. Roaming the beach was a troupe of musicians that played everything from Brian Adams to Michael Bublé.

From there, we headed back to the motel to start our free time… What an awesome few days! Here are some photos from our trip… the video is forthcoming.

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