I chose to go to Bali to experience Balinese New Year celebrations, I didn’t want to do the usual Bali tourist stuff so I chose a spa hotel, which was delightful. Aside from spa treatments the resort offered an early morning walk to watch the sun rise. I had this lovely staff member who drew the short straw to get up at 4.30 to take me to watch this wonder. These photos were taken with a cheap phone camera, but hopefully will give you some inspiration.
31 March 2017
I went for an early morning walk to the beach to see the sun rise, with a guide from the resort.
The sand is black at Sunar beach, and it was still quite dark as we walked along the beach path, coming across the occasional local, looming from the gloom, out for their morning walk or to go beachcombing.
It was quite cloudy, which I feel, made it more atmospheric, although on the way there I was slightly worried that I may have got up at 4.30 to look at dark clouds. The sun, however, did not disappoint.
What a wondrous spectacle, such diversity of colour and shape, constantly changing the skyscape, and then, it’s all over, in less than an hour.
On the walk back to the resort, we stopped for a breakfast picnic. Rice cakes with palm sugar, which were still warm and quite delicious, and a steamed rice and banana cake, wrapped up in a banana leaf, which wasn’t so good, dry and stodgy. My guide had also brought flasks of bajigur, a local hot drink, made with coconut milk, ginger, palm sugar and spices, this was also delicious, and very sweet.
It was daylight when we walked back through the village, I saw some interesting stone figures, some of them decorated for the new year, and all along the road were offerings to the gods, which also filled the air with wisps of incense.
The resort over looks rice fields and as I’ve dined each day or lazed around in the grounds, I have watched the farmers prepare the ground and then plant rice, (apart from Nyepi day). I took photos of the rice fields the day I arrived, not realising that in a matter of days the view would be transformed. The farmer has a rhythm to his rice planting and it is mesmerising to watch him fill the patchwork squares of watery mud with seedlings. Here are the before and after shots of their efforts.
A quick word on the creatures here. The reception is open air, and as one is sitting there, small lizards crawl across the walls catching insects. The fish in the pond have a habit of leaping out of the water to catch insects and occasionally they leap too hard and land on the grass. Large dragon flies zoom around and a couple of times landed on me, and I was taking photos of the lilies in the pond when I was photo bombed by a bee.
It has been a very relaxing stay, the staff and the whole vibe here, is quite lovely.
I mentioned earlier that I saw ‘offerings’ when I was walking back through the village. I also saw these dotted around the grounds of the resort, little baskets filled with flowers and an incense stick, they are Canang Sari. Canang Sari is derived from the Balinese words, sari means essence and canang means a small palm-leaf basket as a tray. Canang Sari are freshly made every day, and offered as a symbol of thankfulness to the Hindu god, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, to give thanks for the peace given to the world. Making the baskets every morning is seen as part of the ritual of giving thanks, the flowers are also placed in a particular order.