|View of Mount Kinabalu in the distance from our dive boat in Kota Kinabalu
Album of all bali photos
Laura -- After leaving the jungle, we headed back to Kota Kinabalu for 3 fun days of diving. We'll post more about the diving once we get home and can easily see the videos and photos.
We caught a flight from there to Bali, Indonesia and headed straight to Ubud for about five days. The first place we stayed was right beside the Monkey Forest. So naturally, we spent an afternoon there. The monkeys seemed to particularly enjoy climbing on Jerome. There were all sizes and personalities and we spent several hours watching them. Here's a couple of them:
More monkey videos in my YouTube playlist.
The next day we took a cooking class at Paon Bali. It began with a market visit where we learned about and tasted the different fruits from the area, such as mangosteens (our favorite) and salak. Then we were put to work - slicing, dicing, and grinding ingredients. Puspa the head chef led us in cooking nine traditional dishes! If you're curious, here's an online copy of the recipes. At the end we got to eat our spoils, and it was a very tasty feast!
|Market selling the ingredients to prepare the traditional balinese offerings that are put out every day.
|Mangosteens - our delicious! Our favorite 'exotic' fruit.
|Salak (aka snake fruit). Kind of dry and apple-y
|Laura, crushing the ingredients to make the basic yellow sauce
|Jerome, crushing peanuts to make peanut sauce
|Our finished meal
|Tracing the outline with wax
|Laura adding a border to her batik
|Laura's batik - Finished with the wax and ready to color
|Jerome's batik - finished with the wax and ready to color
Choosing colours was interesting. There were about 15 colours to choose from, but they didn't all paint on with the colour they'd be in the end. So the pictures looked weird. For example the green dye paints on a dark purple, and then in the chemical setting process turns green. And the reds painted on very faint, but deepened with sun and water exposure. There was a colour wheel to use to figure out what the colours should end up like.
It took a long time but we eventually covered the whole cloth. They had to dry and then were ready for the magic. It was so neat putting them in the setting bath and seeing all the colours change! A few rinses in hot and cold water, and we were done! A very fun and productive day.
|Laura's completed batik
|Jerome's batik before setting
|Jerome's batik after setting -- note the color changes!
Our last day in Ubud was a bit of a splurge. We'd found this hotel, the Royal Kamuela Villa, with these beautiful villas and decided to stay for one night. We had a private pool, a king sized bed, a bathroom the size of the bedroom. It included afternoon tea, bedtime chocolates and a welcome foot massage. It was heavenly!
That night we also decided to go fancy for dinner and tried Locavore, which had really great food!
|Best dish was this bloody mary sorbet with tomato consomme. Warm soup, cold bloody mary sorbet, super flavorful.
|Slow braised oxtail / pan-fried gnocchis / green asparagus & sorrel veloute / egg plant puree / wood sorrel leaves
In Amed we stayed in a very cute, very efficiently run guesthouse called Geria Geri Shanti. It was also a dive shop, and we spent 5 days there, completing 12 dives, including our first night dives which was very interesting. Other highlights included diving with huge Manta rays and seeing our first Pygmy seahorses!
There's a lot more pictures in our album!