Reclining Buddha. Eighty percent of the population in Bali is of the Hindu faith. This restful pose reminds of us the pace here; calm, relaxed, and stress-free.
“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”
|Pinch me! Is this real? We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw two buffalo walking on the beach with their owner. He’d brought them for a swim in the river next to our house. The black spot in the ocean is a small buoy. This is our first photo in our upcoming series of photos of “Sightings on the Beach in Bali.”|
Oh, please, there’s so much to write about Bali, I don’t know where to begin. We’ve been out and about already but still, have much more to share before we even get to that particular round of photos.
We couldn’t wait to share the details of our meals which are varied and interesting and somehow befitting my way of eating with some modifications by the two conscientious cooks, Ketut and Ketut k whose names I been spelling wrong over the past few days. I’ve since gone back and corrected them. In fact, their names are: Ketut
(As an aside, let me explain about duplicate names in Bali, quite the oddity by our standards: All Balinese people are named one of just 4 names: Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut. Both men and women.
|What a view!|
Many are given nicknames to differentiate them from others in close proximity with the same name. I’m not quite sure how Gede and Ribud’s names fit in but most likely they are nicknames).
Tom finds himself enjoying foods he never considered, including last night’s fresh Bluefin tuna (common in these waters – safe to eat) caught first thing in the morning. Only on a few occasions, in all of our years together (25 as of June) have I seen him eat fresh fish without a batter. He actually liked last night’s fish.
|The large mirror in the living area on the main floor.|
I failed to take photos of our meals when we were so busy admiring and eating what we’ve been served each night. Going forward I promise to do better, as we continue to determine which possible menu items fit into our way of eating.
In respect of Ketut and Ketut’s schedule, we’re eating early, usually no later than 6:00 pm. They stay during dinner, out of our dining area while quietly waiting to clean up the dishes and be on their way. They have a magical way of staying unobtrusive.
|Each of the four bedrooms has a similar double sink en suite bathroom. Everything is pristine in this four-year-old house.|
The only adjustments we’ve made to accommodate them is to wander outdoors when they arrive at 8 am (not hard to do in this paradise-like environment) while they clean. Thus, we make our way to the cabana, shaded from the hot sun and yet even closer to the sounds of the surf only a short distance from the edge of the infinity pool.
I’m still wearing the FitBit we purchased in Darwin but ashamedly hardly making it to 3000 steps a day when absolutely nothing is required of me in daily household tasks. As we’ve settled in, we’ll soon start walking the neighborhood, taking photos, and sharing them with all of you, hopefully getting some much-needed exercise in the process.
|View from the entrance to the house. More interior photos will follow in days to come when we’ve yet to take photos of the kitchen, the living room we use, and the entire upper level.|
(Good thing I didn’t have aspirations about joining a health club here. It’s non-existent, let alone a grocery store anywhere in the immediate proximity with familiar foods we use).
The local markets don’t carry beef, chicken, and certainly no pork which isn’t a food option here. Balinese people use a small number of protein sources used as an adjunct to a meal, not the main item. Mainly they cook chicken and fish purchased from local vendors only available early each morning, none of which is available at the local markets).
We can hardly get through the photos we’ve already taken since our arrival. Without a doubt, we’ll have an endless stream of photos both during this two-month stint in this house and again when we return on September 1st to fill a two-month gap.
|Each day, except Sundays, the staff cleans the house, makes the bed, and prepares meals as requested. Today, we asked that they close these windows during the day to keep the bees, flies, and mozzies from the bedroom at night when we use the AC.|
As we anticipated arriving here, we hesitated over the return in September, especially during the harrowing four-hour car ride, wondering if we would feel like coming back. Now, almost three days since our arrival, we both have no doubt we’ll look forward to the return. How could one not fall in love with this tropical paradise?
I could go on and on today, but we have plenty of time to share our perspectives and enjoyment of this dream-like environment. It makes us feel as if we’re on an extended honeymoon, only adding to our already playful and joyful daily interactions with one another. If one is seeking romance and/or peaceful reflection, this is the place.
|This is where we sit to dine each evening, keeping the huge sliding doors wide open for the breeze. At dusk, we close the doors to keep mozzies outside.|
Using cash is prevalent in this remote location. Each evening after dinner, we pay cash for the cost of groceries for our next night’s dinner which the cooks purchase fresh each day, as mentioned above. They provide us with an item-by-item receipt of each item purchased, giving us the change from the morning’s shopping. At that point, we dole out more cash for the next night.
Each time we venture out we pay for the cost of the use of the owner’s vehicle, an air-conditioned van that will be driven by Gede to our desired locations. Depending on how long we’re gone, we pay cash accordingly. More on that later.
Today, I’d intended to explain the currency exchange which is a complicated and unusual scenario in Bali. Due to today’s longwinded post, I’ll cover that in tomorrow’s post.
|Gede, holding our fresh caught Blue Fin tuna that we had for dinner last night, prepared whole with onions, garlic, lemongrass, lemon, and local spices. Our cost for entire fish…US $3.04, IDR $40,000 (Indonesian Rupiah); for the entire meal (for two) US $8.12, IDR $106,900 (more on exchange rate coming soon).|
As promised yesterday, today we’ll begin posting a new concept during the time we’re in Bali, entitled, “Sightings on the Beach in Bali” which will consist of photos we’ve taken during the day or evening from the veranda of the property. These individual daily photos will be presented below the main daily photo.
These “Sightings on the beach in Bali” may include such simple sights as a unique passing boat, dogs playing on the beach, or a woman carrying a pot on her head.
Or, these sightings may prove to be much more entertaining and interesting, some of which we’ve seen thus far as shown today in our first in this series. We hope you’ll enjoy this segment during our first 60-day stay. We’ll continue with our year-ago photos, now that we have a better wifi signal.
In essence, paradise is a sensation, not a place. May your find paradise in your hearts today and always.
Photo from one year ago today, May 3, 2015:
|With the help of friend Louise in Kauai, she’s identified this bird as a Chestnut Mannikin we encountered in Kauai one year ago. Please click here for more photos.|