Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bali, Indonesia: Day 2

In the morning, my disenchantment with the hotel continued when I went to take a shower and the bathroom flooded, soaking little R's travel crib (she always sleeps in the bathroom when we travel so that we each have our own space). However, in many ways it actually was quite a nice hotel (it was really expensive, so the main problem was that it was overpriced; annoying even though I wasn't paying for it). It had a beautiful private pool, complete with a little pavilion and floating wildflowers in the water which had fallen from the surrounding tropical landscaping.
We breakfasted at the hotel, little R took a nap, and then we set out for the nearby beach because B's father wanted to go swimming. It is a beautiful beach, incredibly long (it must be at least a few miles), but unfortunately it was around 12:30 in the afternoon and blazingly hot. We soon realized little R could not be on the beach at all, as her little skin is too sensitive. So he went swimming and we had sodas in the shade. Then we all went to lunch at a fancy beachside restaurant (it served Italian food and wine, strangely enough), which B's father loved. It was pretty good but I would have rather eaten Indonesian food at the local restaurant.
After little R had her second nap, we hired a taxi and drove out to the temple Ulu Watu, which is on a cliffside in the far southwestern corner of Bali. It was an truly stunning setting. The temple is one of Bali's most important, and was full of both tourists and thug monkeys, who steal hats, glasses, cameras, and anything else they can get, and then hold these items for "ransom", until they receive some food. As a result, most of the older monkeys are obese and look like fat couch potatoes. I made B hold little R as I was worried about the monkeys kidnapping her!
As the sun was setting, a dance performance started. It was a kecak dance, performed (often in a trance state) by many male dancers, who dance and chant in chorus, while soloists represent various characters from the Hindu epic the Ramayana. I am not usually a big fan of dance performances, but this was by far the most exciting dance I have ever seen, and I was enthralled. Little R was too, and watched almost the entire hour-long performance with rapt attention. It was darling.
After the performance ended, we took a taxi home, put little R to bed, and ate in our villa.

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