Star Date:  April 2019
Bali - Ubud rice fields

     

 

Hello Dear Family & Friends!

 

"Matur suksma"
(Thank you - Balinese)

"Terima kasih"
Thank you - Bahasa Indonesia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Oh that magic feeling, Nowhere to go!"
(John Lennon - Beatles)

 

 

Meandering along a side street in the sleepy town of Vinales, C*ba, I met a lovely Australian traveler who had just fallen off a horse and broken her wrist.  She looked so upset and in pain.  Poor thing.  We discussed her medical treatment - which is good and free in C*ba, if not a bit outdated in some regards.  We got to know each other around the kitchen table, with her family at her Casa Particular.  Walking that afternoon I discovered a market and returned to her casa with flowers and a piece of pie, hoping it would ease the pain.  She went on to have the wrist re-broken and a plate put in it back in Australia - but all turned out well.  Thank goodness!  I thought of her yesterday as I scanned our page for C*ba. 

As these things happen over and over in our lives, this same traveler emailed us out of the 'clear blue' the next day; after a year of non communicating.  She had become restless with the normal life expected of her in Australia.  Selling most things she was taking the big leap into the unknown and traveling the world, without a return ticket.  We may even meet up in Asia!

I thought of her because when climbing a mountain recently I slipped on a loose rock near the summit.  Down I went, twisting my ankle in the process, narrowly escaping a 2000 ft fall into the abyss.  After an agonizing couple of hours I had to be carried by Sherpas down to base camp. 

Not!  But with all our crazy stunts and hikes and adventures on most every continent of the planet over the last 17 years, that could have been the case.  Could have happened when trekking up to Everest Base Camp in Tibet, or tracking wild mountain gorillas into the mountains of the Impenetrable Forest of Uganda or hiking into Machu Pichu in Peru or across the desert to the hidden city of Petra in the Jordanian Desert.  But no, down I went slipping down a step into a puddle of water.  What a shock!  Not quite so romantic a story, but in the end the pain is the same and a misdiagnosed break had me in excruciating pain for 2 weeks until another set of x-rays showed a broken Fibula of the ankle.  Bonus chipped bone and torn tendon!  Once put in a half cast I settled down to discovering what I was made of. 

As you may have figured from our webpage I am an active, on the go, hiking, moving type lady.  'Jalan Jalan' as they say in Bali.  Always have been. Always will be.  Born with a curious nature I have always been out there discovering, exploring, learning and enjoying.  Having been in numerous accidents during this process, like falling off a log into a river while backpacking, etc. I was used to the routine of recovery but this was my first broken bone - save a couple toes along the way.  Always it had made sense that it had happened, as I pushed the limits.  But just walking down a step, "Come On!"

And so there I was in bed, in agony and upset.  Just sleeping sent stabs of pain through my ankle, making for fitful nights.  Days were filled with the realization that I couldn't do a damn thing!  A pair of crutches from our friends at the local warung widened my territory from the bathroom to the bed and out to our lovely terrace.  It was there that I accepted my new 'twist of fate' and ankle .  If it had to be, how lucky I was to be in this beautiful little house with 12 windows in the bedroom and the front terrace looking out into the garden and over the brilliant green of the rice terraces.  It was as if Nature was urging me on.  Nature was reminding me to accept , let go, and heal.

I try to live a life of gratitude.  I can honestly say my cup is half full, rather than half empty.  A few days when I was discouraged and feeling like a caged animal, my cup was bone dry.  You must understand we live 1/4 mile down a narrow 4 ft wide motorcycle path out in the middle of the rice fields, on the outskirts of Ubud, in the hills above the ocean, on the small Indonesian island of Bali, surrounded by the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which is in S.E. Asia, which is a 4 hour flight from Bangkok and 20 hours from Honolulu.  That puts you in Hawaii, the most remote island in the world.  I guess that is how we like it!!!

Four days after the injury I had to take a motorcycle to the road to hop into a van to get to the hospital.  Not exactly handicap friendly, especially when a dog ran across the path and we ended up one inch from landing in the rice fields.

This chapter in our life was also hard on my companion and dear, helpful husband Joseph.  Having a mate that is disabled is difficult. Most people aren't natural nurses.  Acknowledging their help and any effort is important.  Maybe we learned how to ask for help, without demanding. Maybe we learned to not have so many requests.  Maybe we became less picky or critical.  Maybe we learned a bit of what is really important in life - on that scale from 1 -100.  It's a tough way to learn it but maybe our 'hard heads' needed just that!!

Friends.  What can I say?  When things got tough or pain unbearable there were 2 dear friends, angels in disguise, who always showed up for a visit.  Brigitte and Sterling, your bright lights dimmed any shadows.  Thank you.  And Barb, your surprise visit from Sumatra put a big smile on my face.  Love you all!

In Bali when an accident happens or a health issue arises, the first line of defense is a trip to the local village Balien, or Balinese medicine man.  Some are better than others.  Some are performing for tourists, riding on the shirttails of Ketut in "Eat, Pray, Love", while other obscure Baliens are genuine healers, as their grandfathers were before them.  Most work on the principal of pain pointing to illness in the body and so they set off with their small pointed sticks to uncover the real underlying problem.  One such healer is slender, sporting a long grey braid, 92 year old Chakoda Rai.  A wonderful impish smile greats you, a total diversion for what is to come.  Working on the pressure points of the body, he soon discovers what needs fixing and sets about doing just that.  Acupressure is applied to sore points on the feet and hands and a second round with that dreaded little magic stick reveals less pain.  (The leg was saved for after the bone healed /more later.)  My sore back was the focal point and I believe to this day that my back pain was less after his treatment.  True or not doesn't really matter.  When it come to pain, even temporary relief is worth any effort.  Experiencing this wonderful man and basking in the aura of  Chakoda Rai, complete with the impish grin, made the trip worthwhile.  Joseph enjoyed fooling around with him, a seemingly fun diversion for Chakoda Rai.  Smiles do heal.  Before giving us some homemade curcumin salve we were allowed to look at his sacred scripts, (lontars) in the temple.  Containing detailed knowledge of astronomy, anatomy,  phytotherapy, mantras (sacred healing prayers), mudras (sacred healing gestures) etc., these scripts are handed down from healer to healer for generations.  The words are stenciled onto special paper and then rubbed with charcoal so you can read them.  You cannot touch them; for their eyes only.  The lontars are blessed by the Priest, bound into a Venetian blind-type scroll and kept in special boxes.  And so the knowledge of the ancients is preserved.  

Valetines Day, the 'giorno dell'amore' was a whole lot different this year as Feb 13th was the day of my accident.  Needless to say there was no dancing this year!  Though we don't always agree, (cough, cough) I owe my success  in healing to him.  Thanks Joseph, you are a great husband and I Love You! Through thick or thin.  For your sake I hope I never have to repay the favor! 

Picture yourself in bed, without warning, NOW, for six weeks, eventually 3 months !  Yeah, but, you would say... I have so much to do, places to go, people to meet.  Once you get over the shock it's time to accept it and relax into one of those occasional rough places in life.  And it could have been much worse!  Finally I have time to read, meditate, and enjoy this day.  Even though I have lived a busy life I have always taken time to listen to the silence. This is just an extended version.

One of my jokes with my helpful juice and raw food delivery boys was my little swollen hotdog toes - I called them cocktail weenies.  He noticed, "No more hotdogs Ibu ".  (Ibu is a term of endearment - for Mother figure.) so healing was happening.  Early in the game I substituted "Doctor Google" for the lack of nearby professional care or physiotherapists.  I realized the problems immobilization causes and I continued to exercise plus ate only Joseph's tasty breakfast of fruit salad and one meal of healthy raw foods and juices.  Luckily in Ubud, the Yoga/Vegan capitol of Asia, I was able to have what I required to ensure quick healing delivered, with a smile, to my back terrace.

Dance with life - time for a slow dance! The Tao of Toad.  Outside my kitchen window is my new pet, Toad.  Every morning when I open the window, my trusty less than rambunctious friend is waiting.  Like a dial on a compass his direction may have changed overnight but that's about it.  Toad is as on schedule as gas after beans.  He is a constant reminder of the reason we have chosen to take a break from our traveling to far off corners of the globe and to spend a few months every year in our little house in the rice fields of Bali.  To simply be here.  To enjoy the moments of each day.  To soak in the Nature; the birds, flowers, insects, plants, trees, clouds and beautiful blue skies.  To converse with the dragonfly who lands on me daily or George the tokay gecko who chirps his greeting. To play Mozart to our waiting audience of song birds in the trees, who sing along loudly or listen to the sweet dove who reminds us that no matter what we are faced with in life, "It's O.K.".  To savor the ripening tomatoes on my salad, right off the vine from my garden, to drink the healing juices and turmeric 'jamu' delivered to my door, to play with watercolors, to listen to 'Mists of Avalon' or Jon Young's 'Nature Mentoring' while immersed in the glory of Nature.  To have time to finally listen to documentaries or look at books or research health from Joseph's great library.  To have time to enjoy the day together with my husband, "Oh that magic feeling,  Nowhere to go!" To creatively explore the Kama Sutra of a broken ankle in a cast.  To rejoice as the rain waters the rice fields and the rainbows paint the sky.  To bask in the sun and marvel at the serenity of the full moon and fireflies or 'kunang kunang' in the rice fields by night.   Although life has thrown a twist of fate or ankle into this year's stay, I was simply here, healing in more ways than I will ever realize.  'Santai', relax into life.

I was forced, with this challenge to re-explore TRUST, an old lesson of mine.  There is a magic that comes from yielding to life, allowing life.  Allowing yourself time in life, to just Be, is a true gift!  And thus I quieted myself, listened, connected, and gave thanks.  Blessings come in all forms.

And so it goes.........................................Next Bali, a tour around the whole island.  Until then let's remember to take time from our busy schedules to DO NOTHING once in a while.  Oh that Magic Feeling, Nowhere to Go!  Take care and Thanks for writing, keep those emails coming!

 

 

 

Love, Light & Laughter, 

 
xoxoox  Nancy & Joseph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel notes:

 

1 US Dollar = 14,122  Indonesian Rupiah  IDR

 

Ubud:

Abu and Made's Homestay:
Take a walk down Sunset Lane, past Gauri's Restaurant, right at end of path past Three Dewis.  Then just past Ibu Dayus on the right, first gate below,  Abu and Made's Homestay.  Great people, new units, good prices, great pool.  Currently construction but within a few months this place will be perfect!


Angadda Homestay:
Bamboo forest, rushing river, in the middle of Ubud!  Take the alley next to Tino's Market (red sign) across from the Lotus Cafe on the busy Main Rd.  Once you step through the stone gate (right side) of the family compound you have discovered a whole new world.  Experience Balinese family life first hand while friendly Grandma Wayan and young Dad Kodek, Ani and Chica help you with any of your needs.  Stepping on to the balcony of your room transports you to another world - cool bamboo and rushing water drown out the busyness of the central area of Ubud.  (Doubles 150,000r/night - less for one week or more /or for no breakfast.  Hot water, simple, basic but clean rooms. Free wi-fi. 
Email: anggada.h@gmail.com  Phone:  (0361) 970854

Contact Nyoman for help finding a rental, or driver or getting fresh coconuts daily, a tour local or island wide, or just about anything.  He will take you on his motorbike for the going rate or go get something for you.  A great guy, helpful, wonderful smile, and honest.  Call or email him for anything you need.  Tell him Nancy & Joseph recommended him.
phone # 081 999 021 295

For a true Bali experience our friends Dan & Sri rent out their magnificent villa.  They have also have built a beautiful apartment next to their home, in the countryside 10 miles from Ubud.  If you want to splurge a little, at the same time getting excellent value for your money, give Dan a call or email him for details. 
phone: 62 0361 8627186
link:  tirtaasriubud@blogspot.com
email: drogersbali@hotmail.com 
He prefers long term stays but will pick you up in Ubud for a stay of 3 nights or longer.  It is easy/not expensive to call a car to drive you where you need to go.

Organic produce:
Satvika Bhoga:
An excellent health food store in Sanur (they also deliver to Ubud 2 times a week).  Contact Hira or Deepok by email for details:  email: satvikabhoga@gmail.com
Fair honest and high quality control for organic produce, all with a smile.

Satvika Bhoga Organic & Healthy Products Shop is open daily 8am - 8pm
Jl. Hang Tuah no 9 Sanur, Denpasar
tel. 0361 783 6741 dan 284 055

Sari Organik:
Complete selection of organic fruit and vegetables.  Shop down from Alchemy Restaurant in Penestanan.  Best to stop by or order by phone #0361 780 1839

Just past the Yoga Barn turn off is Pizza Bagus (JL Raya Penggosekan) a tasty restaurant serving organic meals and juices.  Next door is a small health food store with unique items.  They are home to the excellent organic market - direct from the farmers.  Saturday 8-2  and across the street, under the tree on Wed 8-1pm.  Support this up and coming organic movement.

Spas/Massage:

Beji Ayu Spa
Down alley, kittycorner, from the playing field in town.
Good massage with warm showers.  120,000rp  #62 361-970796

Moksha Spa - total quiet seclusion and good massage at a great price.  When coming off JL Bisma on Sunset Lane (Across from Guardian Pharmacy) you come to a T.  Left is Guari's Restaurant; right is Moksha Spa and Villas.

Address: Sunset Lane No. 3A Ubud, Jl. Bisma, Ubud, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571

Phone: 0812-3895-0160   110,000 rp Balinese massage


Ubud Bodyworks, 25 Hanoman St.
Ask for Astri for massage.  Relaxing to have a strong massage, then a sandalwood scrub, hot flower petal bath (175,000r).  Followed by a cup of ginger tea, papaya and tamarind chutney in the quiet courtyard.
phone ahead:  62 361 975 720

Star Child:
Lotus Lane off of Monkey Forest
# 085237791477 Great relaxing massage amid sacred geometry shop for only 70,000r/hr)  Sister company of the mesmerizing Starship 22 Sacred Geometry store near Gautama  Jl Dewi Sita No 22 
Sacred geometry is a pure language that transcends your religion and cultural beliefs. Transmitting harmonious patterns of frequency, which resonate with our original human blueprint. This innate language exists beyond the reach of philosophy, past belief or disbelief and transcends levels of awareness.

Balinese Sacred Geometry:
When Bali Hindus, plan to erect anything from a small shrine to an elaborate temple, they first perform a simple geometric construction on the ground, establishing where east and west lies and constructing a square from that point. Their final construction is brought to life with prayers and religious observances.
People experience many different feelings when looking at the patterns of geometry glasswork and jewellery. There are secrets behind the ancient symbols, which can be traced way back in Asian and Egyptian history. Some of the wonderful artisans of Bali have begun to incorporate these beautiful sacred geometry designs into their craft.

Immigration:

Visa Komang Suwini Bali Budha  (2-5 Mon-Fri.)  Just stop by komangsuwini@yahoo.com
6281338644857 and +6285238100169

Good prices, reliable, must allow 10 full days to extend or renew a visa.   Best for longer stays to get a 2 month visa before arrival - then you may extend 4 months before leaving.  Or get a 6 month or yearly social visa.  Best deal is a one year retirement (7.5 million p.p.) visa if appropriate. 

Komang works out of Bali Buda every afternoon.  The little extra they charge is worth not having to go to Denpasar 1-4 times.  Only once per year.

Neighbors Tour company
Pt. Gedong Sari Tour & Travel.  Although we haven't used this company it is owned by our neighbor, Wayan and he says he has good tours phone# 973370

Healers:

Chakoda Rai - over 90, sees people once in a while.  When seeking a healer please ask around.  A few are great, a lot aren't authentic.

Indonesian Jamu is a unique system of traditional herbal medicine that can be consumed on a daily basis for both disease prevention and treatment of serious illness. 

Jamu: bladder infection: kumis kucing leaf or beetle nut leaf tea.  Turmeric jamu - great for the immune system and even Bali Belly.

Hospital/ Dentists:
Kasih Ibu Hospital, has a good international clinic.  In Kuta (200,000 to 300,000 for a half day return trip by taxi)  Alarm center: 361 223 036.
Take the  Bus Parwista down then a taxi or to get home you can take the bus from Jimbaran then get off at the Batubulan terminal.  Local bemos 30,000 per person shared.  By a couple extra seats and go sooner.

Bali Royal Hospital in Denpasar.  Dr Wein - good orthopedic surgeon.

Ubud Health Care Jl Sukma 37
Dr Krisna
# 0821 8888 2273

A reliable, trustworthy clinic of a doctors in Ubud.  If you call they will pick you up.
 

Tirta Usada Homeopathic Clinic - At the Ibah Hotel right before the bridge.  Tjok Gede - Prince of Ubud, great, talented homeopath.  homeopathybali@yahoo.com

Dr Diana  Sayan Aesthetic Institute
In the Mansion Resort
+62 361 972 648
Great, careful dentist.  Prices a little higher but she does excellent work.

Restaurants:
My favorite Seeds of Life:  Gautama St.
Raw, healthy, vegan food and deserts.  The best juice in town.  Such friendly helpful staff and the owner, Ben, interesting to talk to.  Try a juice, a raw pizza slice with salad or lasagna and top it off with a chocolate torte or raspberry cheesecake.  Guilt free. Say Hi to Adi, Ketut, Sari, Wayan and the gang from us!

Just down the street: Warung Siam for good Thai food

Further down JL Gautama, Soma's, Johnny and staff share coconuts, juice, salads or entrees with you in a relaxing courtyard away from the traffic.

Fried crap.  We saw this on a menu - I hope they meant fried crab.

Poopies Juice Bar on Jl Bisma.  I think they meant to put Poppies on the sign.  It's all about marketing.  Didn't last long.........

 

 

Yoga Barn: (pet name the yogurt barn)
On the circuit for worldwide yoga enthusiasts.  Classes $10 but they have free community classes 5:30-6:30 nightly. They have peaceful grounds, treatments and a restaurant (with the BEST organic buffet every Sunday 12-2 70,000r)  First go to the free form dancing from 11-12:30.  Lively, pulsing, with a quiet spiritual wind down.  Clear the cobwebs then refuel on the buffet as you visit with new friends from around the globe!  A great Sunday tradition.

Another Absolute Must:
Sari Organik:
Turn right up the hill about 200 meters past Cafe Lotus on the Main Road JL Raya in Ubud.  Watch for small signs.  At turn follow the small middle path which leads out into the rice fields.  The 800 metre walk through the lush green fields is spectacular. Arriving at the open air restaurant you have your choice of fresh organic entrees and juices from their own farm.  A couple good restaurants have popped up along the path also.

Dayu's:
Sugriwa Street - one over from Haneman, great organic food.  Large portions, unique recipes.
 

Bali Buda:  Restaurant and health food store.  Great food and juices - most comprehensive store in town. Bali Buddha down the Main Road, turn right, across from the Post Office.  Great organic menu and small bakery and health food store.  Another wonderful place to chill and hang out with like minded people.  They deliver.

Down to Earth:  A bit more pricey in the cafe and store but a good selection and may have what the other stores do not.

Alchemy Restaurant- Penestanan - up the hill from the Bridge, #0361971981  Best organic salad bar in town.  Only 60,000r

Dewa's Warung - JLGautama
Unfortunately the foreigners this visit have begun doing at Dewas what they wouldn't dream of doing back home - smoking like chimneys right at the large shared tables, right while their table mates are eating.  We gave up and found other smoke free environments.  Too bad - great place.
The best local food in town - friendly family run business.  Fresh tasty food - over 20 vegetarian items.  Say hi to Mama from us!!  Try the fern with fresh coconut, rice and tempe with fresh tomato sauce - or any of the curries.  You can eat the salad here.  They have widened their place since 3 years ago.  It's fun to sit at one of 2 large tables with travelers from all over.  One night we Hawaiians were sharing a meal with 2 girls from Sri Lanka, a couple from Germany, a woman from Australia, 2 girls from Hong Kong, a South African and a man from the Czech Republic.  What more needs saying?

The Elephant Restaurant - great food, spectacular grounds, just past the bridge on the right side, going out of town .

Gauri's Restaurant:
# 085 6319 3648 (Kadek also rents vans at a fair price)

Down the path on Sunset Lane off of Jl Bisma.  Kadek, Dewi and Gauri are the young family who offer tasty food at a good price. Even when I was cooking we would stop by there for coconuts on our nightly walk through the rice fields.
We attended Kadek and Dewi's wedding, met new baby Gauri, and then the blessing (Ula ping) of their newly renovated Restaurant.  It's fun to return to a place and make connections.

Places to check out:

Don't miss Campuhan Ridge!!!.  Get a taxi to the top of the hiking road then path.(50,000tp from town)  Total hiking time down about half an hour but take your time, enjoy the view, stop for a coconut, have a relaxing lunch, check out the temple at the bottom.

Monkey Forest Sanctuary:  a must see.  Those monkeys are real characters.  30,000 r p.p.

Bali Safari Park (Gianyar):
Long ago on a remote hillside, between the mountain and the sea, in Bali lived a small village of people who loved Nature.  They considered all the wild animals and plants to be their friends.  With few people the tigers and other animals lived side by side in peace with the villagers.  The 40 hectare park tries to relive this legend.  About $40 p.p. so pricey but it was amazingly impressive considering how far from Africa it is!

When the taxi drivers or dance performance touts ask you to buy while walking down the street, just say: "Suda" - already  They seem satisfied without further discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The brilliant green of the surrounding
rice fields.

 


Wayan is close to 80, strong, wiry, working
the fields daily.

 


The ducks quack and gossip all day long!

 


A fun part of the rice cycle is when these
noisy neighbors race single file
down the path at high speed.

 


"Puff head" kept a close eye for intruders.

 


Rice fields to the East.

 


Rice fields to the South.

 


Stunning large egret.

 


Silently checking for food.

 


This lovely terrace was where I spent
most of my days.

 


Off to the doctor for a check up!

 


Luckily I had planted my garden in pots
and had time to tend them and watch
them grow.

 


This amazing dragonfly would land on me
daily, sometimes staying for
10 minutes or so.

 


The Tao of Toad.

 


George, the tokay gecko, is over a foot
long, and a frequent visitor.

 


Blending in.

 


What a creative cocoon.  Like humans,
this poor creature was carrying so much
baggage through life.  Simplify and Fly!

 


Entangled in Love.

 


92 year old Chakoda Rai, one of Bali's
 true healers or balien.

 


Smiles are healing!

 


Ducks come in all shapes and sizes
and colors.

 


Our neighbors and friends, Made
and Abu.

 


Daily I created a flower offering
from the garden's fallen blossoms.

 


A comfortable bed to spend 3 months in.

 


Our Christmas tree.

 


Treasures collected from artists in villages
around the world.

 


From 2 large houses down to a few worldly
possessions.

 


Christmas with friends!

 


Taking Bunny for a walk, when I could
still walk that is.

 


Our good friend Dan, in his artistic villa.

 


Lunch with friends from all over the world.
Ubud is a very international place.

 


Dramatic storm clouds.

 


Followed by rain and always a rainbow.

 


One of our typical vegan meals out
on the terrace.

 


Sunset over the rice fields. Good night!

 

 

 

 

 
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