Special post 4: Food, glorious food

Eating out is so cheap in Bali and the food is excellent. Perhaps the odd drop of wine wouldn’t have gone amiss but the freshly made fruit juices are amazing (and there were copious amounts of Bintang everywhere)!

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And there it is! Thank you for allowing me to relive our fantastic holidays, and also for your encouraging comments. See you here on WordPress before too long for our next adventures. In the meantime don’t forget www.anenglishmaninlatranche.blogspot.com.

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Special post 3: Plants & flowers

With no real seasons, plenty of rain and constantly hot temperatures Bali is a paradise for plants. Vibrant colours are everywhere. Here is just a sample …

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Special post 2: Critters!

Some of the creatures we saw I’ve already posted on the main blog but here’s a selection of others.

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Special post 1: Roundabouts & traffic

In the big towns the Balinese love their roundabouts often with amazing huge sculptures. The traffic can be quite chaotic but in the nearly three weeks that we were there we didn’t see any accident at all, despite observing many heavily laden mopeds, the best (sadly not caught on photo) being two with huge clouds of balloons! To travel four or even five on a moped is considered the norm, the parents usually wearing helmets, the children not and often asleep!

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Day 18: Departure

After breakfasting on banana pancakes drowned in honey one last time we rushed to make a last few purchases before Nyoman 1 & 2 came to fetch us to take us to the airport.

It was with a definite tinge of sadness that we said goodbye to the two Nyomans, promising we would return to Bali one day. I certainly hope we do as there are many more places to visit, and there can’t be a happier people in the whole world.

Glamorous Martine on our last evening in Bali.

Spotted on the way to the airport: an advert for Bintang beer. Not had one since!!

The flights were very long but made easier with wine, grub, films and a good book!

Keep returning, faithful readers, as there are four special posts coming next.

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Day 17 (Part 2): Tanah Lot

The final visit of our holiday was to Tanah Lot, another amazing temple perched on a rocky island in the SW corner of Bali. We reached it via the submerged causeway, thankfully helped by temple workers. We ceremoniously washed our face and hair with the holy water offered to us, and therefore merited a beautiful frangipani flower behind one ear and grains of rice stuck to our forehead!

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Day 17 (Part 1): Rice museum and a visit with royalty!

Back to Kuta in readiness for our flight to Kuala Lumpur and Paris the next day. The two Nyomans came to fetch us once again and we spent a great day visiting.

First stop was the fascinating Subak Museum which explains the cultivation and irrigation of rice, passing some typically dressed rice workers on the way.

All water passes from field to field via intricate systems of irrigation, each barrier easily opened and closed.

All things Balinese are driven by two very complicated calendars, one similar to our 365 day year, but the other a 210 day version with different length weeks. Whether you want to plant rice, get married or build a boat you must choose the correct day!

We loved this scare-crow!

Nyoman took us onto Puri Anyar Kerambitan where we met Anak Agung ‘the leader of the royal family (which) lives sit-com style in this intriguing compound’ (according to our bible, the Lonely Planet guide). We were invited to sit with him whilst he questioned us on things European showing a particular interest in Northern Ireland, and our impressions of Balinese hospitality (he had worked for the government tourist office)! A definite surreal moment ….

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Day 16: Last day in Padang Bai

Our last morning at the villa and it poured down. First photo shows rain dripping down the palm tree leaves beneath our balcony into the noisy toad pond below!

Maud & Nico arrived at the villa the previous day and they offered to take us to Klungkung to visit the famous market. Having explored and made a few purchases we ate at their favourite warung – watch out for a food special post coming soon!

Then back to Villa Manouria to say our sad goodbyes with a promise that we’d be back.

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Day 15: Anniversary of the temple

We managed to avoid the heavy rain to pay a last visit to Bias Tugel Beach and found our two friends having a snooze when we arrived as it was so humidly hot. Later we spotted a turtle on the crest of a wave and continued to see it for quite some time (sadly no photos though).

In the early evening we were dressed again for more music and drama at the temple to celebrate its anniversary. Think stand-up comedians in traditional attire – although we didn’t understand, the fun element was absolutely contagious.

Apologies that the night-time photos are not as clear as I would like

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Day 14 (Part 2): Full moon ceremony

Once again Ketut and Wayan did us proud, making us feel very ready for the ceremonies in full Balinese costume. Words can’t do justice to the colour and the occasion: I’ll let the photos do the talking!

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