Day 53 & 54 – February 27 & 28, 2015- Bali, Indonesia & sea day

In my first blog about Bali I failed to give any details of the island. Having a little extra time with a sea day, I will try to expound a little.

Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighboring islands, notably Nusa Penida. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.

With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and currently 4,225,000 as at January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia’s Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 84.5% of Bali’s population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, 12% to Islam, and most of the remainder followed Christianity.

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The Amsterdam docked in Benoa which is about 30 minutes from the capital city of Denpasar and is located to the city’s southeast.

Sunrise on our second day in Bali.

Today we have a tour we scheduled through Cruising Excursions before leaving home. It was for an 8 hour private tour. We were met promptly at the appointed location just outside the terminal gate. We had an English speaking guide, Darmista, and a driver. Our transportation was a late model 6 passenger SUV. The total cost of the tour was $296.00 which included all admission fees, parking, etc. It did not lunch. Overall it was a great value. Our tour today covered the area west of Denpasar and the mountains whereas yesterday we traveled to the eastern part of the island.

I am posting several photos, but not too much commentary. I hope you enjoy. The island was beautiful and the photos can’t do it justice.

Rice fields with, I believe, banana plants in the background.

Happy Buddha carvings…

These fruit are forbidden on public transportation because of their odor. The locals love them though.

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Dragon fruit.

We arrived at Tenah Lot Sea Temple early, about 9:30 AM. The tide was out which did allow us to approach to the foot of the temple, but I was not able to get the classic photo of the temple totally surrounded by the sea.

Beautiful sky and sea at Tenah Lot Sea Temple.

Tenah Lot Sea Temple

Our guide Darmista. He gave us a very good tour and shared a great deal of the Bali culture and Hindu faith with us.

We visited the Candikuning fruit market near Bedugul.

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Snake fruit, it is easy to see how they got their name…

A spice seller. Any and all spices you could imagine.

The fruits and vegetables here were remarkable.

We learned the unusual yellow color of the corn and also boiled peanuts we saw was due to boiling with spice turmeric.

We then continued into Bedugul, where we visited the beautiful Lake Beratan, which is also famous for its Ulun Danu temple.

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The draping of large statues, stones & trees is an older form of worship on the island which predates Hinduism. I am not sure if the current practice is still considered a religion or just a tradition. Whatever, you see this everywhere you go on the island.

Darmistar pointing something out to the girls.

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Darmista took this photo for us because he said we could show that we were in Bali.

Lake Beratan

A beautiful flower in the temple.

Janet being carried away by a giant eagle. Not only is the temple at the lake, but there is a huge park which families visit for recreation. There are several areas for children to play as well as picnic areas. This eagle was in the play area and was partly carved from the tree.

We stopped for a typical Indonesian buffet lunch at the Gong Xi Fa Cai restaurant. There were many delicious dishes but we all agreed the Indonesian noodles were our favorite.

Terraced rice patties which could be seen from the restaurant.

Our next stop was in Mengwi where we visited the garden water temple on Taman Ayun Island. Built in 1634 and is the former Royal Temple.

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This a depiction of a typical cock fight. Fights are still actually held here during special Holy Ceremonies a few times a year.

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All of the Hindu pagodas have an odd number of tiers with the maximum being 11.

A road side vendor quickly photo’d from the moving car on the way back to port.

Sunset of our second day in Bali.

Saturday – February 28

We have one day at sea on our way to Semarang, Java. We also gained another hour last night so we are now exactly 12 hours ahead of EST.

One of our cabin stewards, Budi, left this fruit for us this morning. He got it on his visit to family in Bali. It was a very thoughtful gesture and the fruit was delicious!

As we make our way to Semarang (Java), the ocean if shallow only a few hundred feet deep, the winds are mild and the ship cuts a path where the waves may be seen all the way to the horizon.

This visitor was on our veranda this morning. I must assume he hitched a ride from Bali.

We watched a movie in the theater this afternoon, “The Iron Lady”. A dramatic biography of the elderly Margaret Thatcher as related through talks with the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband. The movie was quite good, as was the popcorn.

This evening Cruse Specialists, our travel agent, again hosted a cocktail party for its clients. It was an hour before dinner and we had the opportunity to visit with our hosts, fellow guests and some of the ship’s personnel. The refreshments at the open bar weren’t too bad either!

We did get some sad news. The Rotterdam was in port a couple of days before us. Apparently one of the crew members went surfing, Bali is known for its excellent surfing, and unfortunately was killed. The exact circumstances weren’t known but he was a friend of many of the crew members on the Amsterdam.

Also the word on the grapevine is that we have had four passengers on the Amsterdam to pass away. This certainly is not official because this is the one thing the crew will never talk about. This is probably about right though. On our 67 day South America cruise we lost 4 passengers also. With still 60 days remaining on this cruise, I expect that there will be more deaths. This is not something you like to think about, but with over a 1000 passengers and the majority of them of advanced age it is to be expected.

We are now about to leave for the showroom for tonight’s performance which is a Capella group “Metro”.

See you in Semarang tomorrow…

Goodnight

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