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Bali - Ubud - again

INDONESIA | Tuesday, 8 February 2011 | Views [643]

Ubud – again

The weather was bad in northern Bali, so we returned to Ubud. Len & Michaela were still at the same home stay and saved a room for our return. We really did nothing in Ubud, except take some incredible walks though rice fields and along ridges. One can follow a side street off the main and it will narrow and narrow until it is finally just a dirt path traversing through the most wonderful and peaceful landscape imaginable. The path will gradually get wider and wider and finally turn into a proper street which empties back onto the main street. Incredibly, there are little vendors set up in the most out-of-the-way places; a lady selling bananas on the edge of a rice paddy, a fellow selling water, soda and chips in a little jungly setting beside the path, an organic cafe in the middle of the rice paddies. So we wandered and walked, never once tiring of the beauty of the landscape nor the people.


We came across an artisan, in the middle of nowhere, who paints eggs – both real and wooden, as well as pictures. He was ever so happy to show us his display of art and said the he gives classes, should we decide to return to Bali. He is third generation egg painting artisan. Most craftsmen and women learn from an older family member. (Wayan Rana - Balinese Artist)


The fences in Bali are unique. They place 1.5 meter long sticks, the width of a tennis racket handle, into the ground at about 15-20 cm spacing with bamboo woven between them horizontally or sometimes in a criss-cross pattern, and the sticks start to grow! The type of stick and the humidity causes the thing to start growing leaves and branches. The 'fence' becomes a natural tree line. Ingenious and beautiful.

All the lava that regularly spews out of the mountains is used as well. The lava rocks are collected and sold to people who chisel them into building bricks or fashioned into statues, temple decorations, etc. The resultingchips are used for gravel to make road repairs or cement to hold the bricks together. It is common to see two people (men or women) with a huge wooden frame sieve, shaking it back and forth to sift out the finer sand, which is also used for cement. The gods may have caused destruction by spitting the lava from the volcano, but the people then use it to build temples to worship those same gods. The resulting brick-work is amazingly smooth and stunningly black.

Back at our home stay, the lady of the house (Ketut) was making the offering baskets for the next day's offerings. She graciously showed Michaela and Irene how to make some basic baskets. It is NOT easy. She seemed to whizz through making intricate baskets, and we struggled to do the simplest of simple. She would cut the coconut leaves with such speed that we had a hard time to see what she was doing. Then she would fold it and flip it and tell us to insert a thin stick to hold it together. Our sharp sticks seemed to break before they punctured the coconut leaf or our leaf would split or the fold and flip would get away on us. She chuckled graciously and would say “It OK”. She made dozens, every day. She said she learned as a small girl from her mother but she has since come up with some designs of her own.


We decided that although Ubud was beautiful and comfortable, we should venture out to one more spot.

Sucik's House - a pleasant place to stay

Lembongan next.....


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