|The view of our private pool from the balcony in our villa|
We started with a Balinese breakfast of black rice pudding and banana pancakes overlooking Mt. Banur (an active volcano) and Bali's largest lake. Fortified with deliciousness, we got on mountain bikes for my favorite kind of biking (almost entirely downhill, "Mary Poppins style") winding down quiet village roads.
|On our bikes! Outside rice paddies where Deb almost got stuck in the mud|
|Deb and I in front of some terraced rice paddies|
Ken joined us very late thursday night for a very indulgent Friday in Ubud. Despite planning to sleep in, Deb and I woke up and were so excited by the farmers peacefully tilling the rice patties in our front yard and the beautiful weather that we couldn't go back to sleep. After some villa appreciation time, we headed into downtown to dine on jaffles (toasted sandwiches) and tofu satay, sitting on pillows at a private table in the middle of a beautiful, open temple area. After some shopping in the local markets (famous and featured in the book/film Eat Pray Love), we all got $8 hour long deep tissue massages. We left the spa, glistening like greased chickens with tousled hair and goofy grins- so relaxed!
After packing things up at the villa, we headed to a traditional Balinese cooking class which seemed to be in a compound where people lived. We started off with some ginger tea and a lesson on how to make an offering (like the ones that literally line the streets in front of every shop, restaurant, home... everywhere you look in Bali). Bali's a very spiritual and unique place. Indonesia has one of the world's largest Muslim populations but Bali's 80% Hindu. And we experienced first-hand the spontaneous celebrations that overtake the streets with a large parade, stopping traffic for miles.
|Preparing the offering, pre-cooking class|
We were planning to power nap during the ride to Kuta but our driver picked us up in a car playing Akon movie videos to prep us for entering the Aussie-party-land of the island. After unloading, we explored the town- found the beach, listened to some live music then checked out the famous "sky garden" 8-clubs-in-one-complex. If Aussie teenagers are your thing, we highly recommend it!
I think the beachy parts of our trip are going to have to wait for another entry- we woke up at 3:45 AM for an early flight. I interviewed an important faculty member earlier today which went surprisingly well. I didn't get too much information out of him but he loved me and wants me to come back next summer to develop an integrated math and physics course.
Check back soon for Bali, part 2! Part of the reason this trip was so cool was that the first part (mountainous, rice-paddy-Ubud-land) was so different than the second (surfer-snorkel-beach, bluest-water-you-ever saw), although both were positively amazeballs (amazing balls as Ken says). Good night!