Farewell to Bali..for now…

Oh, Bali, why you gotta be so nice? So many things are so great about this island culture. We are fairly certain we will return. We met some incredible people here doing incredible things. I mentioned John and Cynthia Hardy in posts and wow, they are inspiring. We also saw gifted artisans in ceramic, textile, glass and carving of all sorts. We visited a great heritage group called Threads for Life who are working with weavers around the region to make sure the traditional methods of weaving artistry are not lost and that the skillful artisans who create them are compensated fairly and recognized for their talent. We met a representative of a new company called F-cubed that is working to create innovative solar methods of desalinating and distilling water. Wow. Inspiring.

We also saw unbelievable beauty and tasted yummy Indonesian tastes. We saw a temple on basically every corner. We witnessed ceremonies and processions to the temples where everyone is dressed beautifully and the women carry elaborate offerings on their heads. We travelled teeny tiny roads with more cars and scooters traveling on the same road than I thought possible. We passed miles and miles of statues along the road sides, hand carved and for sale by individual incredibly skilled artisans. We saw kites! We got in the Indian Ocean. We saw monkeys and birds and geckos and a really big bat! We saw surfers.a neighborhood temple, Ubud, Bali

tight fit in Ubud, Bali

awesome temple statue, Bali

signs in Sanur Beach, Bali

a neighborhood temple, Ubud, Bali

kids wishing us well as we leave the Bali Kite Festival

small road in a sweet art district in Ubud, Bali

paver in Ubud, Bali

Antonio Blanco museum

miles of statues line the road side on the way to Ubud

On the way to a Hindu temple ceremony

the road is filled with all kinds of transport, Ubud, Bali

Aly wanna cracker? Ubud, Bali

sharing the road in Ubud, Bali

Bali Kite Festival, Padang Galak, July 2012

offering spot at a seaside restaurant, Jimbaran Beach

fishing boats at Jimbaran Beach

Jimbaran Beach

Padang Padang Beach

Surfers at Blue Point, Uluwatu, Bali

Blue Point, Uluwatu, Bali

Blue Point, Uluwatu…my new favorite place

Here it is, my new favorite place…Blue Point Bay at Uluwatu. It’s a surfer’s paradise. In another life, I will be a surfer (or maybe a dolphin) but for now, I am content to sit amongst them and watch. Blue Point is basically in the side of a cliff. It’s a series of deep switchbacks and on each level there are tiny little shops, cliffside bars and food stops. Each spot you come to has to be the best view you’ve ever seen, and then you come to the next one and it’s even better.

We had lunch here and we watched surfing…BIG WAVE surfing…and I love loved it.

Blue Point Bay, Uluwatu, Bali

Here is one of our first views after walking down one level of switchbacks

Blue Point steps down to beach

Here is the lowest level, the scary steps down onto the beach

Blue Point Steps

Here is me after deciding I could not go down those steps. The very old local lady beside me offered to help me, but I declined.

Blue Point beach

The beach Aly saw upon reaching the bottom of the steps.

Offerings on the beach

Offerings on the beach

Blue Point View

We went back up the cliff about half way to get a good viewing spot for lunch. This is the view we decided on.

Surfing at Blue Point

We watched surfers for a really long time, like a few hours. I could have stayed there for the rest of our trip.

Surfer at Blue Point

Here’s a blown up version of the above pic so you can see what the dude is doing. This is real, big wave surfing. Even though they looked tiny from our viewpoint, we could still see what was going on, and knew this guy was catching a good wave.

surf photographer at Blue Point

But to see it for realz, you need to have a camera like this dude. There were a few camera viewing spots on the cliff, and there were shops selling the photos. They knew the surfers and when they saw them that would tell them, “I got a great shot of you out there today…come and see.”

the walk to the surf

The surfers really had to WANT to surf. There was a long uncomfortable walk on a rocky corally bed to get out there. No matter how tough they looked out in the surf, everyone looked fragile on the painful walk out and in.

Blue Point, Uluwatu, Bali

Thanks to our driver, I got to mark something off of my bucket list. I have seen big wave surfing in a gorgeous and fun location. I now have a new item on my bucket list tho…”Go Back to Blue Point.”

Padang Padang

One of my bucket list things to see has always been big wave, full tube surfing. I was hoping that this trip would offer me a glimpse of that either in Bali or Thailand. It just so happened that while we were driving to Uluwatu Temple, we saw signs for the Rip Curl Cup Surfing Competition which ran from July 15 – August 26 in Padang Padang. Wha? It’s July 15! YAY!

The tagline for the event is “It’s on when it’s on.” So this means that the event, which will actually be on one day, some time within this window. The forecasters will be on the lookout for a day that looks like it would have the “epic swell” and they call it, with the surfers having 24 hours to make it to Padang Padang for the event.

Padang Padang is a small beach at the bottom of a cliff, with many steps and a cavelike tunnel to get down to it.

Padang Padang Rip Curl Cup

From the bridge at the top of the cliff, here is Padang Padang Beach, with the Rip Curl Cup stage getting set up

Padang Padang Beach

There wasn’t much surfing going on when we arrived…the “epic swell” was definitely not today…but the beach was hoppin’

Padang Padang Beach

The beach is nestled into the cliffs, with lots of cliff overhangs that provide shade and shelter (assuming it’s not underwater:-)

Padang Padang

The water looks gorgeously blue-green and is completely clear when you stand in it. These are the beach colors I’ve been looking for!

Padang Padang

When the tide is down, there are many rocky nooks and crannies to explore

Padang Padang fishing

Apparently some good fishing too…this dude is done for the day.

Padang Padang offerings

The awesomeness of Bali’s Hindu culture…there are offerings everywhere, even on the beach.

Padang Padang

Just another little area to explore

Padang Padang

Well, didn’t see much surfing here, but it was still well worth the visit.