Today was a day of long bus travel, but our eyes were glued to the goings on outside of our bus windows.
Kite flying is pretty much considered to be a Balinese Sport --- there are Kite Teams…and I’m not talking about small kites like we would fly on a beach – many of these kites are bigger than a mini van, and take a team of 8 to 10 to get them up into the sky to fly. Everywhere you look in the sky there are kites flying overhead, which lends a very much “festival” atmosphere to our days of driving.
Teams wear their colors proudly – Blue, Yellow, Red, and Black have been seen…..there will be a truck loaded with team members holding onto the kite mounted on the top rack of the truck to get it to its destination spot. The rest of the team members are all on motor bikes, a kind of kite entourage that demands attention when they pass by. I hope to post some picture of this…so far I’ve not been lucky, I’m either sitting on the wrong side of the bus, or by the time I get my camera out, they’ve passed us!
We watched for kite teams all of the way up to Tirtta Gangaa Water Palace where we toured the grounds. Mawa has made our history lessons very interesting, and told us about a devastating volcano eruption that happened in this area in 1963 and wiped out a good portion of the surrounding area. Many people lost lives, homes and loved ones because there was no advance warning of this mountain blowing its top ---
As to the water palace itself ---Tirta Gangga literally means “water from the Ganges” and it is a site of some reverence for the Hindu Balinese. The name refers to the water palace built here in 1946 by the King of Karangasem. It is though widely used to refer to the general area which includes the water palace and some particularly stunning rural areas around.
Here part of our group takes in the sights and snaps pictures of the unbelieveable beauty:
Flowers and bridges and fountains and giant koi fish. Pure enchantment!
Michael from Lincoln, NE poses amidst the statues!
Water burbles from countless fountains, some in animal shapes….some towering with many tiers.
Feeding the many koi quickly becomes an entertaining activity!
Mary draws the attention of a whole school of koi with a simple piece of bread ---
Storm clouds threaten, but they do no damage. We were back on the bus before sprinkles started to fall, and they were soon past. The temps in the higher elevations are pleasant and cooler than down by the shore where we are in Nusa Dua. I love the reflections in the water.
Locals and tourists enjoy a swim in the public swimming section. Seeing all the inner tubes floating around reminds me of summers swimming at the lake when I was growing up. Children’s squeals of delight are the same in EVERY language!
Mawa is on hand to explain to us the folklore of the statues….this one having two sets of human feet – two in the front…..
And two behind!
I loved the serenity of this place. I saw families picnicking, young lovers walking hand in hand. Families frolicking in the water. People wandering solo ---or reading a book on a bench under a flowering tree.
And when we were done, we loaded back up onto the bus and headed to our next destination ---
On the way to the bus I snapped this photo of a collection of bird cages, all with singing birds! The Balinese seem to be enamored with caged birds –they are everywhere in all sizes and shapes of cages.
More to write later – it’s time for bed for me! Tomorrow is another early day, we are meeting Mawa at 8 am to head to the Coffee and Clove plantation. Another long bus ride…with plenty of time for hexagons as we stare out the windows fascinated with the scenery.
And tomorrow at 7:30pm – a treat for myself! I’ve scheduled a Balinese Massage!