What comes to your mind when you think of Bali? For me it was beautiful women and pristine beaches. Maybe because of my grandmother’s old National Geographic magazines and Bali bras.


Bali is poor. It’s a little like Tijuana in that everyone is selling something, there is trash everywhere, you could step in a deep hole and break a leg, and you can’t drink the water. Traffic is atrocious with thousands of exhaust-blackening motorcycles. We saw families of four on motorcycles, little kids squashed in between mom and dad. They can only have two children per family today because the population was getting out of control. The island is volcanic and the landscape is lush with tropical trees and rice paddies.


Being very close to the equator the weather is incredibly hot and humid, with two seasons: Wet and dry. It’s like a sauna here. The religion is Hindu, with gods like Ganesh and Vishnu represented in their statuary.


There is also a strong Chinese influence in their heritage, so there are Buddhas by the thousands. I slipped unseen inside an open-air temple and took photos. I thought these were pews of some sort, but they’re musical instruments.IMG_8294

These umbrellas reminded me of Thailand. And New Orleans.IMG_8296

And then the skies opened up. IMG_8317

We visited a batik factory. These are stamps you may recognize. Sorry for the blur, it was dark and the flash made it worse. 


Tools of the trade of the batik worker.IMG_8333

One dollah! One dollah! One dollah!

I hope you enjoyed your little visit to Bali.

In other news, we are doing fine. The only bummer is it’s too hot to exercise. We have two sea days and then we’ll be in Singapore. 


  1. Must have been a bit of an eye-opener; all of that lushness mixed in with extreme poverty. Sailing on:)

  2. Indonesia is very 3rd world, IMHO. No zoning anywhere. It was a place I was happy to leave.

  3. I love the textures and richness of this area. The batik factory was interesting and yes I do recognize those patterns!


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