Ok, so it must be around lunchtime? I’m still collecting gorgeous patterns but yes, I’m feeling peckish.
We find ourselves at the Tepi Sawah Restaurant in Ubud, noted for fried duck on the menu.
Very good it is too, though the lady sitting opposite me isn’t so keen. Not that she says much.
The satay chicken is divine and served in individual little barbecues, each with a few hot coals in the base, keeping everything piping hot.
The setting is idyllic and we could stay the rest of the day, but yes, there’s just ten minutes before we must move on.
That’s ten minutes in a little shop, then. Where someone is busy creating something with their hands.
The young shop assistant is stitching together pieces of dry bamboo leaf to create decorations for temple offerings. She smiles shyly as she explains how to make them to me.
It was interesting to drive back through Ubud, a tourist town made even more popular in the recent “Eat, Pray, Love” film and now overwhelmed by visitors. At last, two women carrying traditional woven boxes of goods on their heads were close by and we were driving slowly enough to finally be able to capture an image of this posture-friendly way of bringing the shopping home!
Next stop, the Neka Art Museum. Right up my street and possibly offering enough details of interest for a whole blog post later. For now, though, have a glimpse at a corner of traditional Balinese painting
and a similar area of the more modern works on display
From here, we drove through small villages and at last, I took a half decent photo of a penjor
Imagine, streets with these either side, swaying in the breeze. Delightful.
Let’s see, where were we? In a woodcarving workshop where the work and craftsmanship were first rate, the subject matter perhaps not exactly to our taste and the abundant smell was of Kiwi boot polish.
Last stop of the day was a batik workshop – now we’re talking! Behind the shop (because the work part of it was a simple demonstration by two ladies of rather impressive ability to draw freehand using a djanting, it must be said) was a traditional Balinese home, including a small temple where the family could worship.
A display of old metal batik stamps made an effective screen, though as always, I found myself questioning just how much of the fabric inside the shop was created by hand – very little, I suspect.
Though these pieces of work in progress by the two ladies was very impressive indeed and showed what could be achieved, given time and expertise – neither of which is a very cost effective commodity, even here in Bali.
Inside the shop, where we mooched for twenty minutes or so, enjoying the air conditioned atmosphere in the late afternoon, there was plenty of fabric but mostly machine made, printed examples of “batik style”, as well as a few puppets with rather interesting faces.
Charming, for sure, and definitely very decorative but once again, we reminded ourselves that it’s possible to like something without needing to bring it home with us and moved right along. It was time for home. It had been a long day, we had seen and learned a great deal about Bali and the people who live here and visited some very interesting places. What’s more, we’re here again tomorrow!
In the theatre, instead of the normal ship’s entertainment, a local dance group came to give us a flavour of the Balinese culture. Colourful and graceful, these charming performers won us all over with their lovely traditional dances.
But, for today, that was more than an elegant sufficiency!