Arriving in Bali

We arrived in Bali on Saturday 13th March, 8.00pm local time. When we got off the plane, and went through to passport control, we realised that we had to pay 25 US$ each to get a visa on arrival for Bali. We planned on getting our local currency out at the airport, from an ATM. We asked for an ATM, but they were after security, so we had to leave our passports, and go through to the ATM. I went to draw out money from my card, but the machine was saying card restricted! Paul then tried his card, but he was also unable to take money out.

We decided to try and find a phone, to try and ring our banks, as our cards may of been blocked. We found a phone box, but the only way of paying for the call, was with a Credit Card, but our cards weren’t working! So we went to ask for help. We explained the situation, and told them we needed to phone our banks at home, as our cards weren’t working. They kept directing us to a phone box, that takes card! Finally they understood and took us to the office. We were told that the phones can’t call internationally, so they had to get someone from our airline, Air Asia, to come and help us. There was nothing they could do either, they had no way of us calling outside of the country.

I decided after several attempts to take money out, to try one more time. Luckily this time it worked! Otherwise, maybe we would be in the airport still!:)

We got a Pre-Paid taxi from the airport, to our hotel in Sanur. This is about a 20 Minute journey, and cost 95,000 IDR (7 Euros). 1 Euro is 12,000 IDR. We had to take 1.5 Million IDR out, which  I guess makes us Millionaires! Shame it’s only here!

We are staying in a place called Prima Cottage in Sanur. It is a lovely cottage, with a beautiful garden and a swimming pool. We are fairly close to Sanur beach, about a 10 minute walk.

Yesterday we went for a walk along Sanur beach. We walked North East along the beach. The beaches are black sand beaches, due to it being a volcanic area. The first part of our journey had nice paths, but the further we got from Sanur, these disappeared, so we had to walk on the sands, and cross the numerous small rivers, by wading knee-deep. It was a nice walk, I would just recommend you leaving yourself plenty time to get back before sunset!

Today is the Eve of the Hindu New Year. The Bhuta Yajna Ritual is performed on this day in order to vanquish the negative elements and create balance with God, Mankind, and Nature. Devout Hindu Balinese villages usually make ogoh-ogoh, demonic statues made of bamboo and paper symbolizing negative elements or malevolent spirits. After the ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village, the Ngrupuk ritual takes place, which involves burning the ogoh-ogoh. 

Ogoh-Ogoh

Ogoh-Ogoh

 On New Years Day (16th March 2010) all of Bali, including tourists observe a Day Of Silence! This includes:

  • Amati Geni: No fire/Artificial Light
  • Amati Karya: No working
  • Amati Lelunganan: No traveling
  • Amati Lelanguan: Fasting (Hindus) and no revelry/self-entertainment
  • We thought we would be able to at least leave the hotel, however this is not allowed. Poilce Patrol the streets, to enforce this. It should be an interesting day, and certainly a challenge for me!

    We will post more about the cellerbrations of today, later.

    Ruth and Paul

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