Offerings and Pura Tanah Lot
If you’re into shopping, Bali is a great place for that. There are several blocks of stores in Seminyak, where we are staying, along with lots of restaurants and night clubs with live music for dancing. They certainly cater to a young crowd ready to party the night away.
We went to Kuta today, another beachfront town about 20 minutes by taxi ($5) which is a little more bustling and busy. Shopping goes for blocks and blocks in severa l directions and seems endless. Girls could keep very busy here! The majority of it is inexpensive beach trinkets, similar to what you might find in Lahaina, Hawaii. There are also familiar mall stores like Ralph Lauren and Billabong, along with a lot of good restaurants. If you like a little more action in your surroundings, Kuta would be a good place to stay. This is a major destination for the Australians who come here to surf all day, and late night party.
Its pretty easy to see how one (me) could mistake a house for a temple. Everyone has to have a least 3 temples in their yard, one each for the gods of fire, water, and flowers, the three gods they believe rule the world and keep it in balance. The bigger your family, the more temples you have to have. Balinese families could have as many as 10 children, but after 1985, the government limited families to two children. When the do the twice daily offerings, there are always flowers, lit incense (fire), topped with a sprinkling of holy water.
A typical yard must have at least 3 of these altar temples. (This time I stayed outside the fence – lol!
This afternoon, a driver took us to Tanah Lot, a rock formation off the coast and home to the Tanah Lot Temple, which means “land in the sea.” It was built at the request of a priest in the 15th century who felt that this was the place to worship the Balinese sea gods. Poisonous sea snakes at the base protect the temple from evil spirits. There are a total of seven sea temples in Bali. It was high tide so we could not walk to it…maybe next time.We went just before sunset, and it was beautiful to watch the colors change over this picturesque site. Chuck mostly watched the surfers…this is also a great surf spot with beautiful clear water.