Bob's only request was that we go somewhere pretty "laid back" where he could just relax by the pool or beach and "do nothing". We found that in Candidasa, a small remote town on the east side of the island. The resort and spa we stayed at was a beautiful, relaxing place to be, although in retrospect, I would have moved to another place mid-week to provide a change of scenery and pace. We're just not the type to vacation in one place for a whole week. We were definitely far removed from the crowds and tourist destinations, and Bob found plenty of time for R&R.
On Saturday, December 21, we arrived in Bali and after a two-hour taxi ride to Candidasa, we were greeted with flower leis around our necks and shown to our cute little ocean-view bungalow. The resort provided daily activities, occasional entertainment, and morning taxi rides into town which was just 5-minutes away.
|The View From Our Bungalow|
The first few days were rainy and wet, but that gave us time to relax and enjoy the resort. The restaurant served some delicious Indonesian dishes, complete with a flower placed behind our ears, as well as a variety of international selections. These cute Balinese dancers performed for us on a couple of occasions.
On Tuesday we hired a car and driver to take us to Ubud, which is one of the main tourist centers in the middle of Bali. Our tour that day included a visit to the art village where we saw "Mas" (wood carving), "Celuk" (gold and silver jewelry), "Batuan" (painting gallery), and "Tohpati" hand-made batik. The most interesting visit was to the wood carvers who create very intricately detailed carvings of every shape and size. They use several types of wood including mahogany (dark), hibiscus (multi-colored), and a "crocodile" wood (light) with it's bumpy textured bark. Some of the carvings we liked were one of a couple which they refer to as an Indonesian "Romeo and Juliet", the rice-goddess masks, and a goddess of learning. Bob later bought a mahogany mask as a souvenir, and I found a silver monkey charm and a batik sarong to bring back home.
We stopped to visit a typical Hindu Temple in the town of Batuan. They were having a festival of some kind at Pura (temple) Puseh, and the streets were adorned with "Penjor", which is a long bamboo pole decoration. The split gate entrance to the temple is common to all Hindu temples, and visitors are required to wear a sarong which they provided for us with a nominal donation.
We headed to Tegalalang rice terraces where we enjoyed lunch with our driver, I Kadek Moyo. A truck load of pigs passing by caught our attention. Although the terraces were slightly shrouded with fog, they were truly a beautiful sight!
(The beauty of Bali continues in the next post . . . )