Monday, November 24, 2014

Bali vacation - day 4

22 November 2014

I woke up and saw two sights.

One, of this blissfully sleeping child...

...and the other, the sight of Dad waving a humongous plant at me. Complete with roots and stuff. Oh dear lord, not again, I thought. I knew exactly what had happened. He'd either uprooted the plant from somewhere or gotten someone to do it for him. One of the weirdest things about Dad is how he doesn't stop to think before simply taking off with random plants to grow in his garden. I asked him and sure enough, he'd asked the security guard to get him a cutting of the plant. Okay, at least he'd asked. Like a school teacher, I pulled him along all the way to the guard so we could tip him. The guard was thrilled but I admonished my dad. I told him that if he tried to take any more plants, they'd all be confiscated. By me. As it is, Mom was struggling to keep to the check-in baggage weight limit, and his uprooting of bulky and voluminous plants was not helping at all. He listened to me and nodded, but I made a mental note to keep an eye on him.

Viv and I went to another supermarket near our villa to pick us some snacks. It was barely 7 in the morning and yet the supermarket was up and running! We also found out where my lovely disoriented Bali rooster lived! It was right next to the supermarket, cockadoodledooing its head off!

Then we went to McDonald's and packed some breakfast for everyone. We had quite a bit of time before our outdoor time began, so Viv took Xena to the pool again. 

She was doing much better than the day before. I quickly connected with my in-laws over Skype so they could see her swim. They were thrilled. 

Soon, the li'l monkey was dressed... (two frangipanis today!)

... and fed...

...and we were ready to leave! To our surprise, our very punctual driver wasn't there. There was some other driver at the villa entrance, with a huge van looking for Mr. Piper. We soon realized that it was Viv he was looking for, and that he was our replacement driver as our original driver had fallen sick. He bundled us off into the van (the vehicles just kept getting bigger and bigger each day!) and we were off to see Pura Tanah Lot, one of the most popular temples in Bali. 

We saw lots of these shops, with glassware shaped over pieces of wood. 

Dancing figures at the entrance of Tanah Lot

We finally reached Tanah Lot (you need to pay to get inside, and lots of shops and restaurants line the walk towards the temple), decided to have lunch first. Our driver took us to Sita Dewi restaurant, where we had a traditional Indonesian meal. 

The heat was driving me mad so I bought a hat from one of the souvenir shops outside the temple. Of course, Xena usurped it in no time at all!

Xena was seated in a very traditional-looking high chair.

Even the cashier's area looked like a mini-temple. 

After lunch, we walked towards the temple, which sits on a large offshore rock. 

There were quite a few tourists so everyone was in everyone's photos!

Xena poses with her dad and grandpa. 

If you wanted, you could actually walk over and climb the actual rock on which the temple sat, but it looked too slippery so we decided against it.

But I took tons of photos!

Notice the gap at the bottom of the rock formation? Made entirely my waves smashing on the rock. 

A picture with her Mama!

Family photo, courtesy Dad. Of course, Xena had to make a funny face!

The sculpture-lover poses next to this big idol.

Posing with grandpa (tongue out again!)

We also did a bit of shopping outside the temple. Mom got a purse and I bought Hello Kitty slippers (20,000 rupiah only!) for Xena. We left by 3 pm for the Uluwatu temple. 

Xena had a solid nap in the car so I was thrilled! 

We reached the Uluwatu temple by about 4:15 pm, and walked around, enjoying the views.

Check out this amazing view of the sea. I couldn't believe the shade of blue in the water! 

Xena had become good friends with our driver and guide. 

Dad likes to climb any tree he spots, and this was no exception. He'd have gone higher if I'd not glared at him. I didn't want him breaking any branches in a temple!

Dad didn't know we were going to surprise him with the kecak dance (he loves all kinds of traditional dances). When he saw us buying the tickets, I simply told him we needed to buy tickets to view the sunset from the pavilion. Mom and Dad looked puzzled but believed me, phew. (It was kind of true, because we would be viewing the dance against the sunset.) It was still very sunny when we got our seats so I opened my umbrella to shelter us. 

The crowd at the pavillion

Just before the dance, I asked Xena to give them the brochure and unveil the surprise. They were very happy and really enjoyed the performance. It started out with 70 men and no musical instruments. They were making a 'chak chak' sound with their mouths and the entire performance was done on the music they provided!

This is what it sounded like!

Xena wanted to know why the uncles were not wearing T-shirts! Soon, the four-act dance with stories from the Ramayana, from the kidnapping of Sita until the burning of Lanka, started. 

From my seat, I had a clear view of their 'green room', which was basically just a place where the dancers were putting on their costumes. 

A priest seated there was blessing each actor before they made their entry. Hanuman is getting his blessings now. 

I took this photo to show the perspective of where we were watching the dance. Amazing!

Rama and Sita make their entry. 

After Ram's gone after the golden deer, Ravan comes.

The sun was setting so I quickly looked away the dance to capture this shot. 

Ravan's guards are trying to burn Hanuman. Can you spot him in the centre? They actually lit coconut coir to make a real fire. 

It looked quite dangerous, but Hanuman was dancing around and spreading the embers with his bare feet. The playful actor got a lot of cheers. 

It was very dark by now, and the performance was obviously coming to an end. Some people started walking out. Some of the scary-looking actors (Ravan's guards) started walking after them, to their horror and our amusement. 

After the performance, we were invited to take photos with the actors. Dad poses with Rama. 

Xena, who was surprisingly patient during the entire performance, was happy to pose with Sita.

It had been a long and tiring day, and we headed to Jimbaran Bay for their famous seafood dinner. To our disappointment, it was closed due to some ceremony! We found another restaurant, but it was so busy that no one came to attend to us so we just walked out. Not before catching some beautiful fireworks display by the sea though!

It was too late for any other place and we were too tired and hungry, so we just asked the driver to take us home. On the way, we packed dinner from the McDonald's near our villa. We must have been ravenous because it tasted yummy! And that was the end of day 4.

Click here for Bali - day 5.



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