Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Exploring Bali

After a couple of days relaxing at the resort, Chris and I decided to hire a driver and explore Bali.  Unlike previous trips, we had no set itinerary for the day so we let our tour guide show us some island highlights.

Stop One: Bali Bird Park

While driving to our first temple, I saw a sign for Bali Bird Park.  Since the park was on the way to the temple, we decided to stop and check out the birds!

The bird park had over 1000 birds! I was glad we made the stop to meet some new feathered friends.
This guy had a great time perched on Chris' head.
This little girl loved to be pet behind her head.  Chris approached her and she assumed the position. 
This bird was walking around with a stone in his mouth.  When I held out my hand to accept his gift, he jumped on my hand.  These birds were extremely friendly! 
After posing with me, this Cockatoo tried to steal Chris' sunglasses. 
The birds didn't fear humans at all.  These peacocks decided to play with us by blocking a bridge. 
If you are a bird lover, I highly recommend visiting this park.
Stop Two: Home Sweet Bali

After an hour with the birds, we were ready to keep exploring.  For our next stop, our driver took us to a traditional Balinese home. 

Each house in Bali has a plaque that states the family name and the number of occupants.  I believe this house had five residents.
This is the kitchen.  The family still uses a wood burning stove to cook. 
This was the bedroom.  All of the family members slept in the same room. 
This was the bed where dead bodies are kept until it is time for them to be buried. 
Many Balinese houses have their own temples.  This Hindu temple was located in the back of the family home.
Cock fighting is extremely popular among Hindus in Bali.  The father of the family was quite proud of his fighters.
The family well is located in the center of the home.  
The family also had three pet porcupines.  Why?  According to our tour guide, they are fun pets.

Here is a picture of the shower and laundry area.  
The grandfather prepares food for lunch.
This little cutie also lived in the home.

Stop Three: Batuan Temple

After our home visit, Chris and I really wanted to see a temple while in Bali, so we headed to the Batuan Temple.

Hindu temples require that all visitors be dressed appropriately, so we had to dress in sarongs before we entered the temple. 
The Hindu temple had all kinds of rules which we obeyed.
Many visitors were encouraged to make offerings to the gods.
I was impressed with the temple carvings.  The original temple was built in 1022, and was restored in 1992.
The temple details were fantastic. 
Stop Four: Lunch in Ubud

All of this exploring was making us hungry, so we took a ride to Ubud, Bali to eat lunch facing the rice paddies.

In Ubud, the streets were lined with all kinds of Balinese crafts.  I picked up a blanket similar to the one in this picture for $20 USD. 
We finally ate lunch at a scenic little cafe.  It felt wonderful to dine on the floor with our shoes off!

For our first course, we ate fried cheese samosas!  Yum! 
Then we ate some chicken fried noodles.  If there is one word to describe Balinese food, it would be salty.  It is important eat salt in the hot climate so people can retain water.
For desert...banana, pineapple, and coconut crepes!  So yummy! 
This was our view from the table.

After lunch, we took a trip to a place I never expected to visit…more to come!