Central Bali- Ubud

We escaped the tourist town of Kuta for a few days and got lost in Ubud. Two days turned into four as we kept calling the front desk on our supposed checkout date to add one more night. Here is where we slept in, indulged in complete relaxation with 2 hour massages (complete with thunderstorms, birds, crickets, rivers running wild..... and not via a disc in the stereo...actually, I was convinced this is where they record those soothing CDs), found ourselves participating in Balinese ceremonies, meeting even more amazing people, riding elephants and rafting. Oh, and something life changing occured... but we'll get to that in a post or two!

The priest contemplating before the ceremony:

Traditional attire for ceremonies:

Just to give you an idea of how serious they take their relationship with the gods and their ancestors, this ceremony took place because there were renovations to the restaurant on the grounds. They believe that the new building needs to be blessed before opening for business in order for good luck and prosperity to follow. We were told the hotel next door never prayed and their statues were empty. That hotel closed down after the death of one of their guests.

It took about one hour to set up the offerings. Ceremony length: one hour.

We walked around to four statues throughout the hotel to give offerings to each.

Our new Balinese family! Yola with her daughter and husband.

No smoky filters or lens fog..... Enter the incense...

Yes, that is/was a bird.

The river valley that our hotel overlooked:

The spa at the hotel:

The deluxe room for a little more than what a Super 8 might cost here...

One of the most beautiful locations I have ever experienced:

Sean and our friend Belman, who graciously showed us so much of Bali!

Meet elephants? Yes, please!