Photo of us dressed for a Hindu holiday in traditional Balinese attire!

 

Tom and I dressed for a Hindu holiday in traditional Balinese attire.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”
Fishing close to the shore in these tiny buoyant plastic homemade boats.

A few days ago, Gede suggested we attend a religious Hindu celebration on Saturday (yesterday) at a temple shortly beyond the end of the paved road. He’d asked the two Ketuts to bring the traditional colorful clothing for us to wear which is required to enter a temple which includes sarongs, special shirts, lacy women’s tops, colorful silk sashes and for the men, a cloth hat called a udeng.

We were excited at the prospect of dressing in the beautiful clothing and taking photos of the special annual festival, Sharad Purnima, which includes offerings of food, incense and flowers, music, dancing and a prayer service.


Ketut, one. 

Sharad Purnima is described here:

“The Sharad Purnima or Kojaagari Purnima or Kumar Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September–October). It marks the end of monsoon. There is a traditional celebration of the moon and is also called the ‘Kaumudi celebration,” Kaumudi meaning moonlight.

At night, goddess Lakshmi is worshiped and night vigil is observed. According to a folk-tale, once a king fell on evil days, and was in great financial straits, but then his queen observed this fast and night vigil, and worshiped the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Consequently, they were blessed by the goddess and they regained their prosperity.

It is also believed that on this day as moon and the earth are very close to each other, the moon rays have certain healing properties of nourishing the body and the soul.”

Regardless of one’s personal faith and spirituality, its difficult to find fault with the teachings and philosophies of the Hindu way of life.  Hinduism, when practiced and fully embraced results in the astoundingly truthful, gentle, loving and thoughtful nature of these special people as shown below: 

“Truth, kindliness, austerity, purity, forbearance, discrimination (not in a negative manner against  discrimination of others), control of mind and senses, ahimsa, compassion, contentment, detachment, and devotion to the Supreme Lord are some of the virtues that Narada talks about. Among the basic virtues that testify to one’s integrity, being truthful and honest tops the list.”

Ketut, two.

As we were about to embark on the long walk to the temple, it began raining in buckets.  (With no parking available at the temple, we’d have no choice but to walk).  Only recently I’d begun to recover from the injury of June 1st.  Tom suggested we not go out into the rain. The muddy road is slippery when wet and I’d run the risk of slipping or falling.  

After a recent rain storm we’d attempted our usual walk on the only road from the villa, but had to turn back when it was simply too slippery for me at this time.  We just couldn’t take any chances after over four months of pain and discomfort which finally began to abate in these past two weeks

Usually, I’m not so delicate but we’ve had to make tough decisions as to what I can and can’t do for now.  We decided that even if we waited for the rain to subside, the road would remain slippery.  It just didn’t make sense.

We’ve never minded getting wet as evidenced in this and many posts of our past adventures.  In Paris in 2014, we visited Versailles (see photo below) after spending no less than 90 minutes in the pouring rain at the exquisite Gardens of Versailles, a site not to be missed.

This is our favorite views in the Gardens of Versailles.  All of our photos shown on this post we’re taken during an torrential downpour.  By the time we entered the Palace of Versailles we were soaked through to our underwear.  It was worth every moment.



Getting soaked on the walk here in Bali wasn’t our concern, other than preferring not to ruin the beautiful clothing. (This special dress is required to enter a Hindu temple, especially wearing a sarong). 

There are umbrellas in the villa but using one would hardly have had an impact on reducing the likelihood of falling. Sadly, we stayed behind.  Instead, the two Ketuts created a special celebration with us as they “dressed us” in the layers of traditional clothing and took today’s included photos including a lovely offering bouquet with incense and flowers they’d picked for the occasion.

In our world travels, we’ve been limited in participating in certain activities in which other tourists may partake such as bungee jumping, zip lining, scuba diving and snorkeling. 


Tom, dressed and ready for Hindu celebration in proper attire.

As much as we’d enjoy some of these activities, we accept my limitations as a result of my precarious spinal condition.  Not an excuse.  Just a reality.  A single injury worse than the most recent could put a quick end to our travels.  This possibility became especially relevant over these past months.

I’d rather be a joyful world traveler continuing with our plans and dreams for the future than one who is required to abruptly discontinue traveling due to a single incident.  We’ve hardly spent these past four years avoiding many activities as illustrated in our over 1500 posts, nor will we into the future.

Today is Sunday, our staff-free day. Its sunny, hot and humid.  Yesterday’s temps rose into the 90’s F, 32’s C which is expected to continue through the week with humidity averaging in the 80% range creating hot and relatively uncomfortable days.  Today, at 11 am, it was 88F, 31C, feels like 102F, 39C.

But, folks, we’re in gorgeous Bali for 11 more nights and pay little attention to the weather as long as we stay safe.  Hot?  Dripping in sweat?  No matter!  Be happy!

May you be happy as well!

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Photo from one year ago today, October 16, 2016:

Coincidentally, one year ago today it was raining so hard in Fiji, we couldn’t see the ocean.  For more photos, please click here.



Visitors dropped by to see us…A pleasant surprise…A cultural occasion…

Gede and his family walked by with their offerings on their way to the shrine a few doors from us.  On the return walk, they stopped to visit with us.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

After the rain, Tom’s sunset photo.

With a slew of ideas for future posts while in Bali, we’ve yet to begin chipping away at the list we created before our arrival.  It seems that each day brings a plethora of new photos and stories we can’t help but give top priority.


What a lovely family in their colorful holiday clothing!

Whether or not our recent posts are of interest to our readers remains somewhat of a mystery but we can only observe the of number hits in the stats to determine how many people around the world are stopping by.  We continue to be astounded by our visitors after posting for 4 ½  years.  Thank you, people!


The offerings are placed at the shrine.

Yesterday morning, as we peered out at the sea from the cabana, we were pleasantly surprised when Gede, his wife and two adorable children walked by in exquisite colorful clothing on their way to the temple two doors from us. 

It was beautiful for us to witness the family’s Hindu tradition.

The holiday they are celebrating is as follows with additional information here:
“Galungan is the most important feast for Balinese Hindus, a celebration to honor the creator of the universe (Ida Sang Hyang Widi) and the spirits of the honored ancestors.

The festival symbolizes the victory of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma), and encourages the Balinese to show their gratitude to the creator and sainted ancestors.”

Two sweet little girls.

Gede’s lovely wife is seven months pregnant and was truly a sight to behold in her festive holiday garb. The two precious little girls were dressed in equally colorful and adorable attire.  Gede looked handsome in his special sari all of which is shown in today’s photo. (We asked their permission for the photos).

This particular holiday, as in the case of most Hindu holidays, consists of colorful flower and food offerings again as shown in today’s photos.  Yesterday, our own household staff placed flowers and offerings and burning incense both indoors and out.  

Seated on the edge of the cabana, we chatted with Gede.  His wife, Ayu suriani and two daughters, Kadek siska (younger) and Putu saskia speak no English so it was through facial expressions we were able to express our gratitude for their visit.

Whether the offerings were placed here for us or for them while they worked in the villa, we were honored to partake in the beauty and of course, the intoxicating smell.  These are special people, gentle, kind, graceful and peaceful. We love and appreciate all of them. 

Even as we lounge on the veranda or the cabana, passersby on the beach including children often yell “halo” while vigorously waving their arms. Where in the world have we discovered such warmth and welcoming?

Look at that adorable face on Kadek siska!

Today is Sunday.  The staff is off and we’re on our own.  We have a complete meal ready for the microwave and will only need to toss the salad with dressing at dinnertime. 

Today, its hotter and more humid than its been these past over two weeks since our arrival.  We’re still in the bedroom in air conditioned comfort, showered and in our swimsuits, waiting for the morning humidity to lessen a little before we tackle the outdoors for the remainder of the day. 

Gede’s older daughter, Putu saskia.  Stunning!

With rain each day over the past week, the flies have been on a rampage anxious to nibble on human flesh influencing our desire to be outside right now.  They seem to reduce in numbers as the day wears on.  With a 90% chance of thunderstorms again today, its currently sunny.  After each rain storm the number of flies increases.

Some have asked if there’s a lot of insects here and there are, although most are relatively harmless except scorpions (we’ve only had one in the villa so far) and occasional visits by scary looking spiders.  Otherwise, its mostly mozzies, flies and ants, lots of ants; huge amounts of ants; a gross amount of ants.

Gede explained that different colors are used during various part of the Hindu ceremony.

Ants in Bali are generally only bothersome around food and prep areas.  At any given moment they are all over the kitchen regardless of how clean it is kept.  After these past years of living with ants, we’ve come to just flick them away, even if a few are crawling on our plates of food which is often the case. 


There are few ants in the bedroom but many in the bathroom especially in the shower.  The two Ketuks clean the shower six days a week but there’s still ants crawling up and down the walls.  Even under these circumstances, we’ve come to ignore them.  If they’re not the biting red ants, we pay them little attention.

The Ketuks place this beautiful display of offerings in the villa containing food and flowers.  Some of the flowers are edible and are consumed during the ceremonies.

Soon, we’ll head back outside for another glorious day in this outstanding villa in Melaya Beach, Sumbersari, Bali.  How did we got so lucky to find this fabulous location where we’ll be spending another 38 nights plus an additional four nights at the hotel in Lovina (beginning in eight days)?  Safari luck?

In our old lives we’d never have imagined it would be possible or affordable to be spending 42 nights in Bali under these blissful circumstances.  Yet, here we are, lapping it up, in awe and with tremendous gratitude for every single moment. 

May your day be blissful!

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Photo from one year ago today, September 18, 2015:

In Fiji, one year ago, Badal, the neighbor Sewak’s dog, bounded up the steep hill with ease as we rode in Sewak’s truck.   It was the steepest road either of us had ever experienced in a vehicle. Badal came to visit every evening around dinner time hoping for a few scraps which we always provided.  We’d asked Sewak if we could give Badal meat, since his beliefs surrounded vegetarianism.  But, Sewak didn’t mind if Badal ate meat.   For more photos, please click here.