Wednesday Wander – Sanur, Bali

sanurThe winter weather has been pretty cold and dismal of late, so I thought I’d wander to an island paradise, at least in spirit. This is Sanur, on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Sanur is located on the opposite side of the island from busy Kuta and, as I remember it, is a much more relaxed sort of place. The beaches are long, the water shimmering, the view one of purple mountains and a cloud-hung volcano. We didn’t stay at Sanur – rather, we were staying in another part of the island but, on the day we visited, red-sailed boats dotted the water, the sun shone, and the wind off the water was warm.

Apart from being Bali’s oldest beach resort area, Sanur is also home to the oldest Balinese artifact, a pillar in the Blanjong Temple inscribed with the story of a Javanese king who visited the island in the tenth century. I didn’t get to see the temple, but plan to visit next time I’m lucky enough to wander to this lush green island.

balinese-figure-1Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!

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Wednesday Wander – Breakfast on the Beach

It’s been a busy week. Lots of different things going on at home, at work and in the dojo. All good things, just things that took preparation and focus and time. So I haven’t really done much writing at all these past few days, other than a few blog comments here and there. Today is the first time in a while I’ve sat down with the express purpose of writing.

And I need to write. Because I, in a moment of masochism, signed up once more to do Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m back in the world of Silver and Black, working on fleshing out more of my vampire novel. And it’s turning out to be an interesting world. Set very slightly in the future, and quite different than the one we have now. Different for humans, that is. So I’m keen to head back there and get some more words on the page.

But, as I say, it’s been a busy week. So, for my Wednesday Wander, I’m going to take a very short vacation, and invite you all to join me for breakfast on the beach in Bali. I took this photo the last time I was there, while sitting on our hotel terrace eating breakfast. To me, it seems to sum up all that is wonderful about a holiday. I can hear the ocean and feel the warm breeze every time I look at it. So please, won’t you join me? Pull up a chair, place your order, and relax.

Breakfast in Bali

What more is there to say, really?

Thank you for joining me on a slightly different Wednesday Wander this week – see you next time!


Wednesday Wander – Balinese Rice Terraces

Bali Terraces 2I’ve taken a Wednesday Wander to Bali before, to a temple based around a sacred spring. This time I’m visiting the Tegallalang rice terraces, carved like beautiful sculpture into the lush green hillsides.

Bali Terraces 1The rice terraces are irrigated using a traditional Balinese cooperative system which, according to tradition, was taught to the Balinese by a holy man in the eighth century. Located near Ubud, the terraces can be viewed from the side of the road winding up through the hills. When we stopped, the air was damp and heavy with heat, the rains that arrived like clockwork around dinner time each evening just starting to build. We stood there for a while, trying to take in the scale of the terraces rising up the hillsides, imagining the amount of work it must have taken to create them. If you look, you can just glimpse someone standing at the top of one of the terraces – that will give you an idea of how vast they are.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


Wednesday Wander – Balinese Temple

For this week’s Wednesday Wander, I’m travelling through space and time to a temple I visited the first time I went to Bali, sixteen years ago.We had arranged a driver while there and one day, when we told him we’d like to see a temple, he suggested that, rather than see one of the more popular tourist temples, he could take us to the one near his village.

Before entering the temple, we were given cloth sashes to wear around our waists, plus my husband had to put on my sarong so his legs were covered (luckily I was already wearing a long skirt).

Bali temple 1 The temple was built to honour a sacred spring – you can just see the small dark opening at the base of the rock wall where it comes out. This shrine is in the middle of a fenced enclosure where no-one is permitted and, as you can see, the water is crystal clear.

Bali temple 3But the really cool part was that the water was then channelled from the enclosure into two separate bathing pools, one for men and one for women (this is the women’s pool, above). From these pools, the water ran out to the river, where people washed their clothes. So in many ways the spring was venerated for its usefulness, thanks for a gift of water.

Our driver then took us down through the nearby monkey forest to where the older parts of the temple were, including several pools no longer in use. The monkeys were tame enough that you could feed them with ripe banana, if you wanted, but did not approach us otherwise. The river snaked through into a vine-hung gorge where a stone bridge shaped like a dragon marked the crossing – the whole thing had a bit of an Indiana Jones feel.

Bali temple 2Bali back then felt still a bit wild, not quite so touristy as it is now (though not the jungle filled island my grandfather visited in 1947). I have been again since, in 2009. It is still a magical place, the people gentle and welcoming, the lush foliage and ancient temple shrines an interesting contrast to the restaurants, shops and villas. This temple visit is one of my stand-out memories of my first trip there – I hope to visit again one day.

Thank you for taking a Wednesday Wander with me 🙂