Tag Archives: Bali

The Jungle Boys of Sekumpul

26 May

After attending a mass cremation ceremony of more than 250 bodies in Sudaji, Bali,* we were so extremely hot that we needed some cooling off. We decided to go to the Sekumpul waterfalls. The seven different waterfalls are beautifully set in a lush gorge of unspoiled jungle.

On the way to the falls we met these boys. Abandoned by their mother they are now being taken care of by their two young sisters and other villagers. Zan Zan, a friend of us, who lives in a village near the boys, had taught them some Indonesian songs in order for them to earn some extra change.

* A post of this mass cremation will follow soon

Nyepi, a day of silence in Bali

21 May

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After our hectic travels through Africa and India the Bali bug has hit us hard. So there is some delay in almost everything, including our regular posts. We will try to improve on our discipline and publish our post regularly and a little bit more on time.

Nyepi is a Day of Silence to mark the Balinese New Year. For the religious it used to meditate, contemplate and fast. For most people the day also means quality time with their family. The whole island is shut down including all sea and airports. Everybody is supposed to stay in their homes and excessive noise and the use of light is strictly prohibited. The day starts at 6 am and will last for 24 hours.

The night before Nyepi the Balinese people will parade through the streets carrying the Ogoh-Ogoh. Every community will make one or more devilish creatures from paper mache which represent numerous evil spirits. Standing in the middle of the parade some of these creatures seem to come alive. The idea of the parade is to attract the evil spirits to the island before Bali will shut down completely so the evil spirits are tricked to believe that the island is completely empty and hopefully leave empty handed.

Like most parades this one is also marked with lots of alcohol and probably drug consumption. The youth carrying the large creatures are getting more reckless by the minute. Thus standing on the sidewalk taking pictures is proving to be a risky business. After a couple of hours of craziness, some drunk Ogoh-Ogoh carriers start to have enough courage to include me in the festivities. Before long I was being presented to the evil spirits as a delicious white offering.

Besides all the religious and cultural motives of this day, it is a great way to relieve the environment of the non stop stress of human wear and tear. An extreme version, but in my view much better implemented than the global initiative ‘Earth Hour’.

 

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The Shine Villas Umulas, Bali

19 Mar

In my previous post I shortly mentioned ‘The Shine Villas’ ; The two stunning luxury villas in Bali that are owned by friends of ours. A spontaneous project what he started two years ago what turned out in two extraordinary beautiful villas that offer all luxury and beauty you expect from Bali.

Luckily the Hotelschool wasn’t for nothing after all as I am now helping my friend to get the villas ready for rental, hire and train the staff and do some sales and marketing to make sure as many guests as possible get to enjoy these stunning villas in magical Bali.

These two villas are mind blowing, luxurious and have a great location nearby Seminyak. Besides the fact that the staff is lovely and kind, they are also now very well trained to maintain the villas clean and beautiful, but most of all ready to take very good care of you and your freshly prepared breakfast in the morning.

Please see our website http://www.theshinevillas.com for some more information on the villas, location and prices. When you or your friends are interested, please contact me directly, as I would love to make you a special deal and welcome you in The Shine Villas.

Yes we are ……

6 Mar

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STILL ALIVE!!!

I realise that our last update was more than three months ago and that probably most of you have already forgotten about us. But since we have a lovely little guestroom awaiting you in Bali, we guessed we could bother you guys again with an update on our lives 😉

We have uploaded some new pictures and there are already written stories about Whale Sharks and India waiting on the Ipad, but lets inform you first about our Bali experience.

“What are you going to do in Asia? , Where are going to live? , How are you going to make some money over there!? , What is your plan? , What the fuck you guys think you are doing?!” – Were the standard questions we had to answer the last year after announcing us leaving. Everytime when people confronted us with these obvious questions we ignored them with a casual smile, by shrugging our shoulders and answering semi relaxed ” Euhhhh…. dunno… to be honest….”.
Friends who were determined to find out if we had seriously lost our mind and kept asking, were comforted with the answer: “We will make up our minds during the trip. By the time we have arrived on Bali we will have a fabulous plan. The trip will open our eyes and mind and will give us a ground breaking idea for a 4 hour work week on the beach and lots of dollars on the bank…”. Yeah right, sounds cool, but during our trip there was a lot of time for beautiful views, outrageous nature, extraordinay adventures and lots of cold beers, but no spare minute left for any future planning. So when on the 7th of December our plane landed on Bali, reality suddenly hit us hard.

While still landing, Manengu and I looked at eachother suddenly not so happy and relaxed anymore. Why did it feel so different this time to arrive on the magical, tropical, holiday island Bali!? Why were all the Aussies in the plane so excited and were we almost longing for some extra hours in the plane?! Because time was almost up and we still had no fucking clue of what we were going to do….

As we were not ready for the touristy and western life yet, we decided to find a house in the stunning surroundings of Ubud. Endless rice padi’s, silence and yoga was what we desired. If we feel the urge to go out one night, we can always take a taxi to the night life of Seminyak. And again….. yeah right, sounds cool, but no. When you are living the stressfull life in Amsterdam there are often moments you think that a life with silence, yoga, no nightlife and no crazy deadlines will make you happy. But after 7 months being surrounded by the middle of nowhere, having all the time of the world and after one week of green rice padi’s, going to bed at nine and practising our lotus posture, we went absolutely nuts! Some things you just cannot change. Before we knew it we had moved our stuff to Seminyak and were out and about in all bars every night, socialising, networking and testing the cold beer again. When you actually want to start a life somewhere, rice padi’s will not do the trick. At least not for us.

Bali is luckily an easy going Island where meeting great people is not a difficulty. Every night a party or dinner where you meet new people again. Especially meeting Jochem and Carolina was a blessing. People who take such good care of you and with who you actually connect, do make the difference. And while checking out the bars and Arak Madu, several job opportunities came along already. Me being a big control freak was again confronted with the fact that things also often turn out well, when not everything is exactly planned and scheduled.

From the 22nd of December the reunion started. Several close friends came to visit Bali for spending their Christmas and New Years with us and maybe also just a little bit for sun, beach and cultural beauty 😉 . Great to be surrounded by my friends again, to have the girly talks and snuggles. A relief to have actual conversations again as during traveling you often don’t get much further than introducing yourself, discussing where you have been and where you are going next.

When friends were leaving, other friends and family were arriving. While helping Jochem setting up The Shine Villas, doing sight seeing and parties with new and old friends and still living from our backpack, we still had no place to live. Moving from guesthouse to friends and from friends back to guesthouses, the first signs of stress started to appear. I was longing for one place, my own bed, clean sheets, a bathroom I did not have to share and some new underwear. But luckily our patience got rewarded with a cute little house in Umalas with a little pool overlooking the rice padi’s. Only 5 minutes from Seminyak and beach in a local Balinese street. But most important we have two bedrooms, so we cannot wait for your visit when we are back on Bali in May after visiting family and friends in Holland and Spain in April 🙂

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