Day 69/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. Day 2, Part 2, Bali.
What a day I'm having with computer issues trying to figure out how to work between an ipad and a laptop with only having 2 internet log ins available to me on the ship (i have a cell phone too). Yeesh, its frustrating. I've been working this afternoon to see what the issue is with my Procase keyboard for my Ipad as the home row on the left side of the keyboard will not work. I have no idea why not, so I was googling potential fixes and nothing is working. Then I tried to google how to get the Icloud photo sharing on my laptop to work, and it wouldn't work either. I've sent my son (the IT wizard) a note and he has not responded so hopefully he checks his phone at some point and can help me from Vancouver Island. In the meantime, tomorrow in Semarang I'm going to visit a mall with an electronics store to see if they can help with the IPAD Procase keyboard. It is so much easier working off an Apple device for me, than trying to deal with Windows and Apple!
So I am writing the words on the laptop, and then I'm going to sign into the Ipad and upload the photos into the Wix app from the ipad. A bit complicated, but it should do the trick for now. Richard calls me ‘techno wizard’ because I have no fear of this kind of stuff. I had to keep up with the ‘young ones’ on my team at the office when I worked up until 2 years ago, so this is easy peasy compared to the IT stuff we had to do when working from home during Covid.
After golf on Day 2 in Bali, our driver Sugar took us for a very long car ride through many different neighborhoods of Nusa Dua. I kept asking where we were and he kept saying we are still in Nusa Dua. We had asked Sugar to take us to a Temple and we kept passing temples but he said no we have to go to the big Hindu temple on the sea. We said "OK Sugar, You're in Charge".
We finally arrived at a gate at the end of a country road in Pacatu Village, Kuta South District of Badung, Bali and Sugar paid the entrance fee which was very nominal, to park the car. Sugar said we arrived at a great time at around 2pm, as most people come to the temple later in the day to see the traditional Kecak dance performance which is done every day at sunset on the cliff side.
I had changed into a modest sundress after golf which covered my knees, but I was given an orange coloured sash to wear around my waist. When I asked Sugar why I had to wear a sash, he said it was a form of respect for entering the temple. In reality, in Hindu culture, a sash around the waist is so that it covers up the naval which is considered to be a source of anger and jealousy when entering a temple The sash helps to have a clear and calm aura to limit the negative energy!
Richard was still wearing shorts after golf, so he was asked to put on a purple sarong to cover his legs up to enter the temple. What a funny purple skirt! Purple looks good on you Richard!!!!
We paid our admission to the temple and started to walk down the tree lined path to the large wall that was running along the sea. As we started down the path Sugar told me to take off my sunglasses and keep them in my purse, and do not take out my cell phone because the monkeys might steal it! Just as we walked past the path down to the sea, we heard someone scream behind us. I looked at Sugar and he said "Monkeys"!! Someone had something nipped off them by the monkeys. Yeesh, this was going to be interesting!
We walked along the rock wall of the 70 meter (230 foot cliff) that projects into the sea. In folklore, this rock is said to be a part of the petrified barque of Dewi Danu who was the goddess of water in Hindu folklore.
The red roofed area was the temple.
We could see that there were steps up to a structure at the top of a hill. After all of the walking and sweating we had done on on the golf course, the last thing we felt like doing was climbing more stairs, but we wanted to see the temple, so we started climbing!
The Uluwatu Temple localled known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu (meaning something of divine origin) is one of Bali's 9 key directional temples and one of the most spectacular temples on the entire island of Bali. The temple's unique feature is that it seems to hang between heaven and earth because of how high it sits upon the rocky cliffs. The temple came into being around the 10th century.
The temple is in the top corner of the photo.
The actual temple was gated and we were not allowed to enter, but since it was outdoors, we could still inside it.
A closer look inside the temple.
Beside the temple is the Uluwatu Monkey Forest and hundred's of monkeys live there. The monkeys are believed to guard the temple from bad influences and hordes of grey, long tailed macaque monkeys roam freely everywhere. The monkeys have freedom to roam everywhere and they were definitely everywhere the day we were there. We saw monkeys with people's reading glasses, which they were tearing apart; bracelets and we even saw this really destructive monkey taking apart a scooter seat and putting empty food rinds into the seat. I'm sure the owner of the motorbike will not be very happy when they return to see the seat on their bike totally destroyed by the monkey.
The seat of the motorbike is completely gone!
I got some great shots of the macaque monkeys. Here are some of my favorites:
The last photo is so funny…the look on that lazy monkey’s face is priceless!
I was really careful when taking photos to make sure I had two hands on my iphone and that Sugar was on the lookout for monkeys around me!
I had not brought my Fuji camera with me today since it was going to be too difficult to use it during golf. This photo I took with my Iphone and I think it is one of the best photos that epitomizes the Uluwatu Temple area.
This little monkey had crawled down into the bushes and I waited for him to jump back up onto the wall of the temple.
Sugar was a great photographer always wanting us to stop in front of important plaques or viewpoints to take our picture for posterity.
Richard is really rocking that sarong don’t you think? Maybe I should buy him one?
The temple name….
The temple area also has wedding venue areas along the cliffs which we did not walk to, but they would be very, very pretty spots for weddings with the Indian Ocean, the magnificent cliffs and the greenery all around!
We saw that to get back to where the car was parked, we had another huge hill to walk up, so we took our time walking. I saw that there were a few concessions open selling frozen ice cream treats, so Sugar and me indulged, while Richard decided he wanted to have a fresh cold coconut water instead to re-hydrate after the hot day we had been experiencing. The cold coconut water was delicious and gave us both energy for the next stop on our tour with Sugar!
When we had arrived in Bali we had seen this very large statue at the top of the hill from the ship and we did not know what the heck it was. We asked Sugar if it was a temple and he told us it was a statue at the GWK Cultural Park, so we asked if we could go there. So our next stop was to the 60 hectare Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Badung.
Garuda first burst forth from one of these eggs it is believed. These statues were small in comparison to the one we were going to see!
There is no real way to describe the Cultural Park. It is just a really large place with some small statues and huge statues, and lots and lots of hills and walking! Sugar parked the car and then we jumped on a shuttle train from the parking lot to the entrance to GWK Cultural Park.
Sugar, our driver on the shuttle train.
Sugar told us to wait in line for tickets to get into the park. The line up did not look that long, but it seemed to take 45 minutes just to buy us tickets to enter the park. I could see people entering the park near the ticket area and they were being whisked away in golf carts. But did we get those tickets? No! Richard bought the walking tour tickets, so we entered through a different entrance and had to walk up a big hill, past shops, coffee shops and restaurants until we finally reached the entrance to the GWP (entrance for walkers that is)!
Happy to have somewhere to sit for a minute! It was very hot outside still!
We had to keep walking up steps and more steps and then down steps through these huge blasted out cliffs. We saw schoolchildren and other groups who were visiting the GWP as we continued walking and walking to get closer to the huge statue.
Still not at the big statue yet….
Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue is designed to be Indonesia's tallest statue. GWK was inspired by a story from Hindu mythology about the search for Amitra (the elixir of life). According to that story, Garuda agreed to be ridden by Lord Visnu in return for the right to use the elixir to liberate his enslaved mother. The statue itself is not without controversy and religious authorities in Bali complained that the massive size of the statue might disrupt the spiritual balance of the Island and that its commercial nature was inappropriate. The statue is 246 feet tall and 213 feet wide. It sits atop a pedestal to bring the total height of the monument to 397 feet which is nearly 98 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. The structure is about as tall as a 21 foot building. It weights 4000 tonnes and the statue is made of copper and brass sheeting with a stainless steel frame. The statue was completed in 2018. The G20 were hosted by the President of Indonesia at the park's Lotus Pond for the welcoming cultural dinner.
Remember how I said we would figure out what that statue was that we saw from the ship sailing into Bali?
Now we know what the statue is all about!
When we rounded the corner and saw that we had another hill to climb to get to the actual base of the statue, I could not do it. My feet were aching so badly and Richard's back and knee were bothering him, so we elected not to walk any closer to the statue. The heat had not abated and it was still 30C with very high humidity. The sweat was rolling down my back and I said "I'm out". Done.
We still had to walk all the way down the hill, to the trolley pick up area, to get back to Sugar's car. Luckily, there was an air conditioned souvenir shop to walk through on the trip back to the car.
When we got back to Sugar's car, we thought about what we wanted to do next. I was pretty bagged and sweaty and did not feel like going out for dinner. We had thought about meeting Peter at his club, which has a restaurant, for dinner, but we were just too tired, hot and sweaty. We were up very early for golf, so with the heat, we were so tired, we just asked Sugar if we could visit a grocery store on our way back to the ship.
We were now in rush hour traffic and what a crazy place it is to drive in rush hour traffic! There were scooters coming at us from all directions. I do not know how Sugar managed to avoid hitting a scooter with so many scooters on the road.
We saw one scooter ahead of us that had been built out with a propane tank on the side, and a case which had some lettering on it. We asked Sugar what it was and he said the guy was selling hot meatballs from the back of his scooter. We did not stop and get some, but lots of other people were stopped at roadside vendors buying dimsum, meat balls and other foods to take home for dinner.
We finally arrived at Lotte Supermarket after about a 30 minute drive, which was located pretty close to where the Viking Neptune was docked. Sugar came in with us, as it was a membership warehouse concept similar to Sam's Club or Costco! When we entered we saw washers and dryers, large massaging recliner chairs and all sorts of storage and organization goods. Walking around the grocery store part of Lotte was very interesting. Because I could not read the labels, I really was not sure what was inside the jars and packages. It was really worth the stop, but they did not sell what I wanted which was coconut milk yogurt. I had just finished the coconut milk yogurt which we had bought in Australia and I was really hoping to replenish, but I will have to try somewhere else instead. We did buy a huge container of Skippy peanut butter so between the Australian peanut butter and the Skippy, we should have enough to last us for the rest of the trip. I really love peanut butter and the ship's peanut butter is NOT GOOD at all. It is more like some kind of weird peanut, oily paste. UGH...
Richard picked up a bottle of Chenin Blanc wine that was produced in Bali. He has yet to try it, so we will see how it is. He is missing his buttery chardonnay wines that he can pick up so easily back in Canada and the USA..
Sugar dropped us at the Neptune around 6:30pm and we couldn't wait to take our 3rd shower of the day. Before we showered though we ordered room service. The room service menu has the best spaghetti Bolognese, Caesar salad and we also ask for the Manfredi's bread selection to go with the meal. Perfect. A meal in the cabin, while we watched the Balinese cultural dancers and musicians who were playing in the Star Theatre, on our stateroom tv.
We had a very early bedtime as we still had one more day in Bali and we needed to rest after such a very busy, interesting day in Bali. We certainly know how to 'cram' in a lot of one place in a day. It is a bit of a whirlwind sometimes, but I would much rather be seeing and doing as much as we are doing, than sitting on a bus, watching the countryside go by on an excursion, where we have no control over where we are going or what we are seeing! It definitely pays to have a local guide take you around and Sugar was an excellent driver and guide and his admission to the temple and the cultural centre were complimentary since he brought us as tourists. Now if only we had a Sugar in every country?!!