Friday, February 27, 2015

Bali Adventures Day 7

At the Tanah Lot Temple

Today my headache was much better. I could actually get out of bed and eat something without wanting to pass out. Today was the day of our day tour with Ketut. Last year on our honeymoon Ketut took u on a day tour and we had so much fun and he was such a fantastic tour guide that we booked him again for our family trip.

Ketut picked us up from the hotel at 8am and went over the day we had planned and let us add a few things onto the tour and take some things off. First off we went to see a Barong Dance. We arrived at the venue and purchased our tickets and we were all given copies of the Barong tale to read through as we watched the dance.

There were some barong dancers in their full costumes who let us take photos with them before the show. The costumes were absolutely gorgeous. Ketut also took us out the back of the venue to teach us about the offerings that an old lady was putting together and to also explain a bit about the costumes and characters. Ketut left us after that to enjoy the show.

Mikey enjoyed the characters in the performance and we were both huge fans of the cheeky monkey. The music was interesting and the story was a little difficult to follow but enjoyable none the less. There was some very funny scenes and a few scenes that I was a bit unsure if kids should be watching. But they just laughed along and I don't think they quite understood it all.

After the show a lady came up to us selling plates that had our photos on them that we took with the balinese dancers. Ross got into the spirit of it all and purchased one for $8.

Next up we headed up to a traditional balinese primary school so that we could see what the schools were like and also meet the children. Ketut had to ask permission from the headmaster to go in and he let us meet with a grade 4 class. They were absolutely adorable and so excited to see foreigners in their classroom. This experience was truly amazing and I will never forget it. Ketut explained to us that one of the things they learn in school is English at that having us in their classroom would be a great experience for them to practice their English so we bought gifts in for them like colouring books, pencils and pens and we got to ask them questions and choose a student to answer. Whoever got it right in English got have a present. It was lots of fun.
Ross asked "What Day is it today"
Rahni asked "What their favourite colour was"
Mikey asked "What time it was"
and I asked "What their favourite sport was" and the little I chose with his hand up so eagerly answered "I like to play basketball"
We had 5 prizes in total and the last prize was a bigger than the others so we had to ask a harder question. At the beginning of the meeting we had to introduce ourselves to the class so Ross asked them who could remember his name. One kid stood up tall with his hand in the air and when we picked him to answer he remembered not only Ross, but all of our names and tried s hard to say them clearly. It was so sweet.

One kid really liked Mikey and they high fived each other which got all the kids excited so their teacher told Mikey he could high five everybody if he liked. The kids were so happy. It was truly amazing and something I hope Mikey always remembers and cherishes.

Next place on our tour list was heading up to a traditional market where all of the businesses and balinese shop for food items and much more. It was really smelly and really cramped but very interesting. We purchased some local fruit to try and Ketut purchased some traditional balinese treats that they have with their morning tea for us to take back to the hotel and try. He really is a great tour guide!

The Taman Ayun Temple was our next venture. It was a beautifully serene and peaceful place but we couldn't go inside the actual temple as it was closed for preparations, I believe. We could only wander around the outside walls and look in but we got lots of photos and Ketut gave us some background on the temple as we walked. The temple also had an arena type section which was all undercover and Ketut told us that it was used for the Cock Fighting during ceremonies. He also said that it is illegal to do cock fighting in Bali except when it is for a ceremony purpose.

It was coming up for lunch time so Ketut took us to the most amazing restaurant. I was in absolute heaven and never wanted to leave. It was called Warung Dedari which had a lake in the middle surrounded by small huts with cushions and tables that you could sit at on the water.

Ross chose a whole fried gourami, I chose nasi goreng chicken, Mikey chose nasi goreng seafood and rahni had a chicken dish. We all sat and enjoyed the scenery and Ketut had his lunch up with the other guides despite our invitations to join us. The food was very very yummy and it was a beautiful place to just sit and relax after all the driving we had done.

Our next stop was up to the rice terraces which was quite a long drive. We only stopped to take photos as it was getting quite late in the day and we were all getting tired. It was another big drive back down to our last stop which was Tanah Lot. I had really been looking forward to this stop as I have seen so many beautiful photos and heard so much about it. The temple was more amazing than I expected. It was absolutely beautiful and right on the ocean.

We walked along with Ketut and took photos while he educated us on the story of the temple. We walked right down the steps and onto the ocean. At the bottom of the steps we watched some Balinese holding a ceremony for a new baby. Ross and the kids went up to the temple and paid 5 cents to wash their faces in holy water and blessed by a balinese. The kids also paid a small donation to see the holy snake that resides in caves under the cliffs.

As we climbed back up the steps Mikey purchased a flying bird toy from a balinese guy for $1.20 and we grabbed some drinks from the local deli type store. I had a really yummy Minute Maid - Aloe Vera and Grape drink which I absolutely fell in love with! I could drink that all day.....I hope I can find some in Australia. The drive back to the hotel was long and most of us fell asleep in the car. Ketut asked us lots of questions about the day on our way home and quizzed us on things we had learned.

After a short rest we headed out for dinner at the restaurant which Ross had organised. It was a moonlight dinner at the hotel for the full moon festival and the tables were lit with candlelight and there were flowers and a red carpet all set up. The kids had their own table and we all enjoyed our dinner under the stars and the bats :P

The moonlight festival dinner was:
Entree: Calamari
Main: Chicken and Rice dish
Dessert: Banana Fritters.

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