Our last day in Candidasa was pretty relaxed, went for a bit of a walk to look at some gifts and lunch. The balance of the day was spent enjoying the pool and yours truly had a full body massage (not that full body...) ...it took 1 hour and cost 10 Cad.
Then time for cocktails and a stroll to Vincent's > our blowout dinner spot. Very nice resto with both an interior section and a fair number of tables in a tropical garden setting. In the background there was some not bad blues, r&b and soul tunes set down by Jim Larkin and Band > originally from San Francisco and performing for over fourty years.
The food was good, but certainly not exceptional ........I guess having a Euro menu and wine/spirits selection requires an uptick in price, still very reasonable by North American standards. In any event it was cool to see what looked like the local expat community out in force and to listen to some non balinese music.
...... and that's about it for Candidasa
Next morning we filled up on breakfast as we had planned a run and gun type of day. Rather than making a simple transfer to Ubud we chose to make it a 1 way tour day, thus making the best use of our time.
Wayan was right on time and we were off to the first attraction:
...the Pura Goa Loawah aka the Bat Cave Temple, was founded by a Hindu priest Mpu Kuturan, who was spreading the faith in Bali and established this temple in the 11th century. He apparently spent several nights here and found the sound of the bats to be hymn like, complementing the fragrance of the flowers of the surrounding trees adding to what was the a tranquil spot for meditation, as there is a black sand beach across from what now is a very busy coastline .
...and of course the bats, hundreds of them .....no need to explore the cave !!!
it is not an overly imposing temple but it is one of significant importance to the locals who frequent it as well as holidaying locals who stop here on their way to Candidasa and other towns in east Bali.
We lucked into a bit of a bonus here as there was a ceremony across the street from the temple on the beach .........a local village was present all dressed up conducting a sacred water ceremony > water used for the blessing of offerings etc. Holy water has to come from one of three sources: ocean, mountain, river there are of course somewhat complex guidelines as to which river (and part thereof) , mountain spring etc.
Another curious aspect was the mix of old and new.......a drone circling the ceremony, recording the event for posterity:
Next stop Klungkung or Seramapura as it is officially now known and the capital of the Klungkung Regency (Bali is divided into regencies similar to provinces).
We are to visit the Klungkung Palace erected in the 17th century but largely destroyed by the Dutch conquest of Bali in 1908. The royalty and their followers confronted the Dutch in a suicidal attack which killed most of them including men, women and children ....a pupatan. Klungkung was considered the most important of the nine Balinese kingdoms from the 17th century until its demise....it was a well known center for its arts, painting music and dance. However tere are only a few remnants the main gate, palace of justice and a floating pavilion.....
......another bonus event, as we came across a couple being photographed in their wedding garments.......they were quite happy for us to take a pic...
Then about a 40 minute drive to Sukawati... site of an Art market. This did not live up to expectations, as we had hoped to buy a bunch of items of a reasonable quality. However, the market comprised a building stuffed with stalls selling almost the same tacky tourist items ...rather tedious with the ladies yelling at us to buy their wares. The asking prices were wild .......almost a factor of six times by the time one finished "bargaining" and even that number was probably high......but you have to keep it real >> at the end you are often dickering over less than a dollar. There were other stalls on the side streets and another "wholesale" type of market which opens very early in the morning.....so perhaps we didn't get to the right places...
Rather gruelling process so we left and drove on towards Ubud stopping at Sari Amerta Batik Collection...really a large shop ...with a few token working ladies demonstrating the batik process:
This is similar to such ventures we visited in China....here the merchandise was of good quality and quite nice but not really of much use in Canada and relatively expensive. I think this geared more to Indonesians with cash in their pockets. No pics in the store...not allowed ...prevent stealing of designs??? in any event after a quick look around we moved on.
Then as we were passing the town of Mas (known for its carvers) Wayan suggested stop at a wood carving center....there were a few carvers there and a massive amount of items to buy. They carve in various wood: sandalwood and ebony being the high end with many other types matched to price points and purpose: crocodile tree, hibiscus, pine etc. It is interesting to compare our West Coast Native carvers against these fellows.....no contest > the degree of sophistication and skill puts our guys to shame, and at a fraction of the cost. In our normal way we dither and decide to defer. To be fair a nice piece of modest size would still be several hundred USD and would involve a fair bit of back and forth, even in this "store" setting. no pics left the camera in the car.
We pass on stopping at the silversmiths in the town of Celuk even though the products are of good quality and surprise, not too expensive (they will even produce to your design in a matter of a few hours). Then we arrive in Ubud and after a bit of searching find the Pesantian Villa and Warung. We are truly in the countryside, with rice fields surrounding us on all sides. We are met by the owner Chef Santika who welcomes us with a ginger/lime etc. concotion ...strage but refreshing......and after some freetime we (as the sole renters) have dinner prepared by the chef as evening falls on the countryside.....feels quite luxurious...private pool and chef...sort of!
We both order Babi Kecap > braised pork with a sweet soy sauce, veggies and salad ..... the tastiest meal of the trip YUMMY!! More about this foody goody stuff tomorrow......tasty dreams.....