When driving around Bali to locate my next research interview (yes, I now drive), there are some interesting sites in the streets. I also take the opportunity in between researching and writing to take some time out and learn more about Indonesia and its culture:
During Xmas, 2014 David and I drove to Lovina located at the northern tip of Bali, a journey which takes about 4 hours. It was 7 hours before we arrived, because we got lost a couple of times and the traffic was heavy due to the local people going to ceremonies. Lovina has a beautiful beach and a lot less traffic, so it is therefore more relaxing. If you get up early enough (around 6am), you can also see the porpoises playing in the ocean. We visited a Buddhist temple and went to the refreshing hot springs on a cool day and made some new young friends. Playful monkeys scamper along the streets, where tourists gather.
The Bali Bird Park is worth seeing. The exotic birds - black cockatoos, colourful parrots, hornbills are very used to tourists. They sit contentedly on your shoulders, nibbling at your hair. There is also a bird of prey show where large eagles swoop across a field, at call. We liked the owls too. David really liked the owls.
Visiting places like Lovina and taking a trip to Turtle Island help to inspire my writing. This is because I gain a deeper insight into the Indonesian culture and it is an opportunity to interact with the locals. For example, one of the expatriates I interviewed for DragonFlyers financially supports the conservation of turtles on Turtle Island, South of Bali near Benoa Harbour. Through visiting Turtle Island myself, I better understood the value of his contributions to this worthwhile venture. I always keep a detailed journal when travelling, but don't worry too much about it at home. Adelaide is where I settled down and write from a distance, drawing on the insights I have gained whilst away.
David and I visited the Cave Temple at Nusa Penida. The island is not worth a visit as it is very scrubby and hot and not at all like a tropical island. However, the Cave Temple is absolutely amazing. Entrance is through a small opening in the cliff face and once inside the whole cave opens up like a football field. Be prepared for the approximately 300 steps to enter the temple opening. Photos illustrate more than words can say:
Whilst in Bali for four months between July and October, 2016 David and I visited some interesting places. We also went to a Kite Festival. On the way there we noticed some beautiful lacquered bird cages and tall poles. Apparently the locals take there birds there for some fresh air, which they may find hard to get in their humble dwellings: