Today has been a very long, but wonderful day! Every day always seems to be better than the last… it’s like a constant contest to see which day will be better here in Bali.
This morning was begun by an amazing-adventure-filled morning walk. The morning walks, I think for each of us, is something we all try and force ourselves to go on, even though we are still half asleep. That is due to each one of them being so different and magical in their own way.
Today Aidan, Erik, Jean, and I went on a walk through one of the short cuts that leads back in to town. The reason as to why we didn’t go the full way is because the night before we were invited to go roast some coffee from a man who owns a coffee shop just up our street. On our way, we discovered a little “art house”, which basically just had some really cool wall art inside, and on the outside sits a seat that looks like it’s from a large van. After taking some artsy photos we moved on and continued walking towards the town. This was when it started to rain for a bit. It was one of the very first times in Bali that all of us actually got to feel the rain on our skin, which all of us greeted with a smile. After appreciating the rain for a bit, we eventually made it to the coffee shop, where we met the owner again who was just starting to open up shop. He sat us down and began to teach us how to brew some of our own coffee: pourover style. When we finished we finally got a taste of our own work and let me just say: I have never had coffee that strong before that was actually good! After hanging out for a bit, we continued walking and we ended up running into a man who I had previously met the week before named Gusti Yoga. This led to us being twenty more minutes late to breakfast, but it was fine because talking with the Balinese always brings this happy-fulfilling feeling (bit of a tongue-twister).
When we got back to the hotel, or home which most of us indicate it as now, we quickly ate our breakfast and headed off. Today, our plan was to visit three temples that were all so enchanting in their own way. I’m not quite sure which one was my favorite. Each temple I noticed was similar in different aspects. Every time we’d go into one, I’d take account to the location, the architecture, and what feeling came from being inside such a holy place.
The first temple we arrived at was called Gunung Kawi Sebatu. This temple is considered a water temple and when you go inside you can see why. In certain areas of this temple there are ponds of some of the prettiest Koi fish I have ever seen in my life. The architecture in this temple was insane! The detail in everything is so elaborate, you really have to look for awhile in order to see every characteristic of it. Not to mention how colourful all of it was. This temple I really enjoyed my time at because it was so peaceful but also very lively. The energy from this temple, I feel was very different from the others. I haven’t quite figured out as to why yet.
The second temple is called Batur Temple. This temple was on top of a mountain, where we had an amazing view of the caldera here in Bali. Since it was at a higher elevation, the clouds were so much more amazing, which made the temple look so much cooler, to me at least. When we entered, I immediately took into account of all of the people there because most of them were doing many different prayers. The architecture for this temple was detailed, but in a different way. Each of the buildings at this temple were all very tall. The energy at this temple was fascinating because of the prayers and the offerings that were taking place. Watching the people do it was very interesting because the whole time you are wondering why they do the certain things they do.
The third and last temple is called Bangli Temple. This temple was built around one of the biggest-craziest trees I have ever seen. When we arrived we found out that the Barong that was associated with the village the temple was in would be arriving as well. (How do I describe a barong? It’s like a lion… it’s a symbolic representation of something… of a demon or animal or something… one person wears the butt, one person wears the head… you might want to look this up for more accurate information 🙂 When we were told this we were also told to not take photos. I’m guessing was just to show more respect for the people and the procession that was going to be taking place. Seeing it happening to me made it appreciate it more because I know that it may have been rare for foreigners to have seen it. I know in my culture there are things that aren’t shared ever to anyone outside of the community, so to see this was made me appreciate it way more.
Back at home, we all spent some time winding down from the day, and soon we will all go to sleep in order to prepare for our classes that start back up again tomorrow. So, until next time I hope everything is Bagus (good/excellent) in New Mexico.
At Gunung Kawi / Water Temple
Fruit Stand along the mountain road to Batur Temple
At Batur Temple
Views of Batur Volcano, just outside the temple