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

Bali Kite Festival

We have left Ubud and are spending our last few days in Bali in Sanur Beach. The transition was a bit tough, going from an artisan hippie-expat enclave to resort-town Bali Style. We HAD to see the ocean if we’re going to Bali though, right? Well, the ocean is, indeed, beautiful and we have a great view of it right from our room, but the real reason we chose Sanur as opposed to any number of potentially more interesting beaches is the Bali Kite Festival. We found info about it by accident while researching Bali and figured we NEEDED to see it.

Once we arrived in Sanur, we asked folks at our hotel about the festival, the easiest way to ge there, the best time to go, etc. No one had ANY information and they looked at us blankly as if they’d never heard of it before. Uh oh…maybe this thing is not “all that.” So, we went with our expectations lowered considerably…what were we going to see? Probably not much.

Bali Kite Festival

WOOOHOOO! This is what we saw after walking up the rise from the parking lot, in a giant ocean-front field.

We got to the festival towards the end of the day, so a lot of the artistic kites had left already and they were doing competitions of skillful flying with one particular kind of kite. Each kite in this competition is represented by a team, usually put together from a neighborhood. There are about 20 people who get the kite up into the air and back down again. There is also a music and cheering group, made up of another 20+ people. One of the requirements of each of these teams is that they have a music or noisemaker group.

Taking the kite to the Flying grounds

Taking the kite to the flying grounds

Bali Kite Team

These teams are serious!

Team noisemakers

Team noisemakers

Bali Kite Festival Team Flags

Each team at the festival also needs a flag to represent them.

In the air, the kites look big. On the ground, they are massive!

Bali Kite Festival Team

A team of 20+ people work to bring a kite down.

Bali Kite Festival

The kite coming down.

If you are near one of these teams while they are working, get ready to run – fast – out of the way.

Bali Kite Festival Team

Bali Kite Festival Team

Working hard to get the kite up in the air

Peanut man at the Bali Kite Festival

You can’t have a festival without peanuts!


…and corn!

Bali Kite Festival

The Bali Kite Festival was a great thing to see! I wish we could have seen more, but even this amount makes me excited to bring something like this to the NC coast – Get ready!