Friday, November 30, 2012

Bali {day4}

Day 1  ::  Day 2  ::  Day 3

Our last day on the island was spent relaxing on the beach.

It was a beautifully hot day, perfect for the one day I planned to be on the beach all day.

I couldn't have asked for better company.

 You had to "rent" the chairs but it was totally worth it.  There were also people who would bring you cold drinks and others who walked around selling fresh fruit and a whole gamut of souvenirs.  By the time we left I was slightly tired of saying, "no, thank you" but it wasn't as bad as I expected based on what people had told me.

It was a great night to watch the sunset.

I'll leave you with my 2 favorite photos from the trip.

I cannot say enough great things about our trip.  The people were some of the friendliest & happiest I've ever met, the food was delicious, the beaches were luxurious, the scenery was beautiful.  Bali is high on my list of favorite places in the world and if you ever have the opportunity to visit, I encourage you to do so.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bali {day3}

Day 1  ::  Day 2  ::  Day 4

We spent the morning of day 3 attending a cooking class.  Just like the bike tour, we had taken a cooking class on another trip {in Taiwan} and now it's becoming a tradition when we travel.

Our 1st stop was Payangan market.

In America, Mc Donald's or Dunkin Donuts is where we stop for a "fast food" breakfast.  In Bali, the locals stop at the market for their "fast food".  Suckling pig is a popular dish in Bali where a pig is gutted then stuffed with spices and roasted over a fire for 4 hours.  This pig is sold with a side of rice as "fast food".

This adorable woman kept saying "cute" to us in Balinese while were visiting the market.  I think she's more deserving of the term!

Many stray animals "live" at the markets because they know scraps will be dropped or discarded for them to eat.  A cat walking across fresh produce in America would warrant a call to the Board of Health, in Bali, it's normal.

Unlike myself, Balinese LOVE them some chili peppers!
{I want to frame this in hang it in my kitchen}

If I lived in Bali, I'd probably be on a 1st name basis with this woman, we cook with a lot of onion and garlic at home.

Our guide, Sang, telling us about long beans

Jason loved the snake skin fruit.

This fruit was so fascinating to me!  Each mangosteen has an image of a flower on it.  The number of petals on the flower indicate how many pieces of fruit will be inside!

See?!?!  5 petals, 5 pieces of fruit!  How cool?  It tasted pretty good too!

This lady was making offerings that you can purchase so all you have to do is add the food portion from the food you cook.

Public transportation in Bali...we chose to take taxis everywhere we needed to go!

After we left the market, Sang took us to his family's compound where the cooking lesson took place.  Families in Bali live on compounds.  Each compound houses multiple generations. The eldest family members live in a building at the north of the compound and each family has a family temple that is located in the north east corner of their property.  When a couple is married, the wife leaves her family to live with the grooms family on their compound.  I'm sure Sang told us more, but this is all I remember right now.

This is not a good photo but I thought it was interesting enough to share.  These are rocks located on the left side of the entrance of Sang's grandparents house.  Under each rock is the placenta of male children that live on the compound and they make daily offerings here each day (I'm not sure at what age the offerings cease).  The placentas from female children are placed to the right side of the entrance.

This is a lumbung where rice is stored.  

Upon our arrival, we were served delicious fried bananas.

Most of the ingredients we used in our dishes

My handsome chef frying peanuts for our peanut satay!

Chopping shallots, peppers, garlic, turmeric and ginger

Making the peanut satay sauce.

The men cooking {there was a wonderful couple from Australia/Italy in the class with us}

Jason and I with our instructor and most of the food we cooked.

Sang and his mother showed us how the offerings are made each day.

Sang's momma making an offering to bless our food and the tools that were used to prepare the food.

She also showed us how to make fresh coconut oil and then sent a small bottle home with us as a gift.

All of the food was delicious, easy to prepare and healthy!  After we filled our bellies we spent the afternoon/evening relaxing on the beach but I'm including those photos with day 4 so this doesn't get out of control.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bali {day2}

Day 1  ::  Day 3  ::  Day 4

Day 2 we scheduled a bicycle tour.  We did a bike tour in Australia {how is that all I wrote about Australia?!?!?  I thought for sure I gave the land down under a proper spot on this blog but apparently not and now all my photos form the trip are gone with my hard drive so I guess that's all it'll ever be} and LOVED it so when I saw this on TA I knew it was something we had to do in Bali.

The tour started out by stopping at a coffee plantation of sorts.  We started with a sampler of basic Balinese coffees and teas.  We had ginseng, coconut, moccacinno, vanilla, and plain coffee, lemon grass {my favorite}, rice, ginger and rosella tea and hot cocoa.  I don't like coffee or tea but I tried each of them and actually loved the lemon grass tea.  It tasted like hot lemonade!

 After the sampler we learned the process of making Luwak coffee
Luwak coffee is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been consumed and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet. {you can see the "log" here in the jar}
 You can read more about it on the internet if you're interested but I won't go into any more details than that.  The beans are washed, dried in the sun, roasted and brewed.  We could pay for a sample but we both passed.  Apparently it's one of the most expensive coffees in the world and we had the chance to sample it for about $5 US but we just couldn't bring ourselves to try it!

We did try some fruits that were new to us, passion fruit and snake skin fruit or salak.  Although the snake skin fruit looked appalling it actually tasted pretty good once you removed skin.

All around the area were these flowers on the passion fruit plants and I sort of became obsessed with them.
they're so purple and large and fun!

From there we headed up to the top of a volcano and had a late breakfast before setting off on the bikes.  I was slightly irritated when the bike portion of the tour stated.  Since we started at the top and were working our way down the mountain we spent most of our time riding the brakes and mine were TERRIBLY LOUD!  I couldn't hear most of what the guide was saying over the screeching coming from my brakes!

 The scenery quickly took over and my irritation melted away in awe of God's beauty

We stopped briefly to see a temple

 and a local village

this was on the outside of someone's house, I want it hanging in my house!  The detail in the design and architecture in Bali were out of this world, unlike anything I've ever seen anywhere!

Then we stopped at  Pura Kehen, one of the largest temples in Bali

more gorgeous stone work

All along our ride, the local people would stop what they were doing, wave and yell, "HELLO!".  It was amazing to see so many happy, friendly people in one place.  Every single person we encountered on our trip was incredibly warm and friendly.  Every where we went people would ask us our names and were we're from and REMEMBER!  I still haven't figured out their trick to memorizing so many names!

{it was really hard to ride a bike and take a decent photo at the same time but if you look closely to the left of the bikers, you can see a mother and her children waving to us}
ha ha!  There were stray/wild dogs all over Bali and this one decided to chase after Jason.  I had no idea this was happening, I just randomly decided to fire off some shots while the camera was hanging behind my back and this is what I caught.  When I saw the photo I laughed out loud.  I had no idea this had happened!

Along the route we took, there were many people selling chickens on the side of the road in these cages.  I told Jason we need to invest in some of these for when we retire and have some land and are raising animals.

Our final stop was working rice fields

It was harvest season

And we were permitted to "help"

I look like a complete dork here but someone made a joke about shaking my hips while I shook the rice and who am I to deny the people a good laugh at my expense?

The process is in a slightly different order than it's done here in Japan.  One of my students told me that it used to be done in the order that it's done in Bali but with new technology they are able to do it faster with the use of machines that change the order of the steps.

This is completely random but after dinner that night (a fabulous dinner that consisted of an appetizer, lamb for him and shrimp main dish for me and 6 BOGO cocktails for $40US) we walked along the beach and Jason was chasing crabs like a little kid.  He finally caught one {actually it caught him by grabbing onto the cocktail stirrer he was flicking at it} and was excessively proud of himself.

I love this man and his willingness/encouragement to go on these incredible vacations with me!