BEACH HOPPING

IMG_0010_2My second day in Indonesia was spent touring, taking pictures and just bein’ a full blown tourist.

Just a heads up, this post is going to be mostly photos, videos and recaps/stories from what I did; not too much written content on culture or reflection. It’s pretty basic, but there’s a nifty compilation video at the end.

So, the day came to be because I asked my hotel if they had any suggestions of things to see or places to go. They offered a driver’s services to take me all around Bali for two days for thirty bucks.

The first stop was Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Temple. The first statue is of the Hindu god, Wisnu, and is an illustration of the god “maintaining and caring for life and its beings.” Wisnu is the owner of amerta, the source of fertility, which gives wealth and life to the universe.

The statue was huuuuuge, the photos don’t do his size justice. The second statue is of his mythical bird companion, Garuda.

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GWK’s view of Nusa Dua and Uluwatu, which I will see up-close soon!

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The view of Garuda from behind Wisnu

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While at GWK I had countless tourists approach me whilst muttering and making a clicking-camera-hand-motion at my face. At first I thought they were asking me to take photos of them, with the statues, but, it turned out that they were actually asking for photos with them. So, I spent a lot of my time at GWK posing for photos with strangers. It was kind of funny at first, but then people just kept coming and coming and things got weird and annoying.

After touring the grounds and taking pictures, I sat in on a Balinese dance. As it was my first exposure to any sort of Balinese culture, the references and meaning was lost on me at the time, but the costumes and performance was still cool to see.

The “monster” to the right is a Barong Bali and is the king of the spirits, leader of the good, and enemy of Rangda (evil). Two people are inside the costume and move in sync to control the feet, head and jaw, which you can see in the clip below. If you look behind the Barong you can see some Balinese musicians playing some traditional instruments . The Barong Dance represents the eternal struggle between good and evil, but the clip doesn’t really do it justice.

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(panda)-wah!

After GWK, Roi (my driver, and one & only friend in all of the archipelago) took me to Pandawa Beach. I may have been riding the high of having fun for the first time on the trip, but it was my favorite beach in all of Bali.

 

The drive down offered a stunning panoramic view of the gorgeous distant white capped waves and turquoise sea. But as everything in life, the photos don’t capture the awesome, real beauty of the landscape (seascape?).

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Me smiling uncomfortably as the acoustic versions of “NOW! That’s What I Call Music” played in the car

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“WHEN IT’S ON, ITS ON”

After Pandawa we went to Padang Padang and Dreamland Beach. Both beaches are destination surfing spots for their huge waves and awesome swell. Pandang Padang was hosting the Rip Curl Cup, but it was, unfortunately, not on when I was there.

Pandang Padang also was where the movie “Eat, Pray, Love,” was filmed. To get to the [very overcrowded] beach, visitors have to walk through a rocky cave entrance, which was cool.

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“ITS PARADICIOUS”

Dreamland Beach was gorgeous. The wind blows headstrong against the huge waves which creates a cool wispy effect overtop the white caps (hopefully you can see in the photo below).

There was a large open rocky cave next to to the beach, which proved the perfect spot for surfers to snooze and get out of the sun. Next to the cave was a seawall peninsula being eroded by the current and powerful waves. A little man with a cute hat was climbing on it next to me and got knocked down by the wind. 😦

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Young surfers catching a sunset ride

The last undertaking of the day was to catch the sunset at Jimbaran Beach. This part is kind of sad and embarrassing, so I’m glad this is at the bottom where no one will read it.

So, I read some reviews online about the “unmissable,” “must see” sunset beach dinner at Jimbaran (Sunset) Beach, and I am not one to miss highly recommended things. My driver warned me that it might be romantic but eh, I didn’t think much of it. So I go, and lo-and-behold, all the tables out of the beach are all set for two, the courses are all for two people, and there were only couples eating together. It was an dinner for honeymooners. At first I didn’t care, and joked around with the Danish couple next to me that I was there with my Baliense boyfriend, Roi. Haha, so funny. But, after sitting there for a while I got kind of sad and kind of just wanted to share the beauty of the moment with my friends and family. So I ate the delicious fresh seafood dinner-for-two, watched the sun set over the horizon by myself and a tiny tear or two may have slipped out… Roi was not very comforting.

Thankfully, this was the only and last time that I felt alone whilst traveling on my own.

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