After a day of relaxing at our resort, early the next day we woke up to the harsh waves hitting the rocks and the bright light shining into our room. We were due to meet our private tour guide and driver to take us on our first day of adventures around Bali.
We started the day watching a show of Balinese dancing. It was more of a theatrical performance with a storyline portrayed through dance movements and music. Balinese dance is a tradition that takes part of religious and artistic expression among the Balinese people. The dance is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive. The dancers expressed their stories through bodily gestures, especially their hands and fingers, which we found very entertaining!
The next stops were visiting a selection of different small shops and workshops of cultural and artistic creations the Balinese people are famous for creating. We saw how the beautiful and delicate silk scarves are handmade, trying them and looking through their endless fabrics and materials ranging of all different colours and designs-anything you can think of we found there.
Next stop was beautiful paintings. We saw artists painting from memory some of the most extraordinary scenes. How they memorize the exact location of people and objects onto the painting is beyond me. They are very talented artists.
Later on in the afternoon the sights and wonders of Bali emerged. We visited the Mount Batur Volcano. Some people do the hike in the early hours of the morning to catch the sunrise, which we can only imagine is just as beautiful as seeing the volcano during the day. It is still active and is located in the North West of Bali, so better for us that we took the car!
On our way to the rice fields we had a coffee stop and visited the coffee plantation called OKA Agriculture.
Have you heard of Kopi Luwak coffee? It is the most rare and expensive coffee in the world. Lucky for us it is produced in Indonesia.
This special coffee is made from the beans of coffee berries that have been eaten by the Asian Pal Civet then passed through its digestive tract. After gathering, thorough washing (!!), sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness than other coffees around the world, such as Greek coffee that I am used to.
We were also served complimentary teas and coffees along with the famous coffee itself. Coconut Coffee was my favourite. We were sure to visit the shop after and bring back some delicacies, among which was also chili chocolate.
One of the most anticipated attractions we were excited to see was the rice fields. Bali has beautiful sense of rice paddies, landscaped across the island. The one we went to, was spread down before us. We entered a maze of rice terraces and slopes across the valley.
In 2012 the Balinese Subak system of water irrigation fell under the protection of UNESCO making the rice fields of Bali a World Heritage Site. Rice is concerned to be one of the most important crops for the Balinese and traditionally it has been viewed as a gift from the Gods that needs to be honoured. Rice is a key ingredient to the Balinese cuisine, the cycle of rice planting, irrigation, maintaining and harvesting is a key part of the traditional Balinese life.
This was definitely one of the greatest privileges that we have experienced so far in Bali. More adventures to come soon.