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Dazzling Fabrics From Bali’s Far East.

27 Dec

East Seraya Weavers cooperative

Indonesia is a primary destination for lovers of traditional textile arts.   The

Warm natural colors

country’s batik is justly famous worldwide, and its ikat weaving from the Eastern islands has been gaining favor.  This attention has spurred the revival of many local weaving traditions, now producing for  now are  a broader market.

The sizable  part Bali that lies  east of the tourist town of Candi Dasa, may not exist as far as the majority of visitors to the island are but has long been known to a smaller number of knowledgeable visitors for its diving spots, stunning mountain and marine scenery, along with low cost beach lodging, but as the area develops, other attractions arise.  Better transport and communications, and the dedication of some pioneering entrepreneurs have revived a local weaving tradition, providing employment for local women, and traditional product that with its natural materials, simple but striking motifs, and superb workmanship

When we met Sri of Kelompok Karya Sari Warna Alam/Natural dyers and Weavers Cooperative of Seraya Traditional Textil

Weavers work in an airy open space.

Organic indigo dye

Artisans at the recent ASEAN exhibition in Nusa Dua, where she was displaying kain bebali from Seraya, Kareng Asem Regency, East Bali,  the “textile lady”( kind of like a cat lady-you can’t have too many) half of this partnership immediately bought a small piece and scheduled a trip  to the workshop in  Seraya Timur on Bali’s scenic  eastern coast.

Kain Bebali is cloth with holds an important place in Balinese religious ritual.  As reported by Leslie Pullen in a short monograph, these cloths were one almost universally produced in Bali, but with the island turning to tourism and fuller  integration with the national and world economies, the tradition had nearly died out until NGOs such as Threads of Life, Cita Tenun  and and local entrepreneurs revived it by targeting a niche market of affluent Indonesians and knowledgeable foreigners,  in the process providing sustainable employment and production.

We drove through Candi Dasa, and not long before Jayapura turned on to the road to Jasi beach, which goes past the Kareng Asem water palace and joins the coast road that goes to Seraya and on to the the diving resorts of Bunutan, Amed and Tulamben.  The – no exaggeration or cliche here -a quite spectacular road abuts the slopes of Mt. Seraya and overlooks vistas of coconut plantations and the Lombok Strait with the island of Nusa Penida in the distance .

When we arrived, Sri was waiting to show us through the process, from raw material production to dyeing, weaving and

Indigo

finishing.  After first saying hello to the  women weavers who work in front, in an airy space with view out to sea, we climbed up to the the spinning and finishing area, the entire process separated from beginning to end by only a few meters.

What looked to us to be quite unremarkable plants growing untended were in fact some of the sources of the natural dyes the weavers sue exclusively,  indigo,  gold from pomegranates, brown and purple from mengkudu(indian mulberry) when mixed with lime, and a rich chocolate from pinang(betel nut).  The cooperative experiments constantly looking for new shades from natural sources.

Cotton grown both by the cooperative and local suppliers without pesticides or fertilizers is first ginned then spun into yarn thread.

Threads are dyed, the color fixed with vinegar, and then taken to the weavers, who produce traditional patterns.  Wastes  are organic and used for fertilizer.

After our tour, the textile lady went to the showroom, while I chatted with the weavers.  A few grand kid pics in my camera, shown around, produced big smiles and a relaxed shooting session.  My textile collector was somewhat miffed that a Jakarta customer had cleaned out most of the stock, but she

Locally grown cotton

Spinning yarn

managed to find something much to her liking.

 

We returned to Sanur thatd ay, but a full overnight or longer trip would include a stop and perhaps a bite at the guest house on Jasi beach, with a  stop in Seraya and then onto Bunutan or Amed for the night, returning by the inland road to Amlapura.  There are a couple of signs up for lodging in the Seraya area, but locals told us none were operating yet as of early December.  Best to have at least half a tank before leaving the Amlapura road.  During the rainy season their are sometimes washouts, and at any time,  road works can make passage difficult.

Exploring East Bali requires only a bit of adventurous spirit, and the rewards are great.  A bit of textile shopping will provide a lovely souvenir, and help the local women lead more secure lives as the earn their own money.

Prices start at Rp500,00 for a cotton scarf, Rp700,00 for silk, with full length kain gongforRp1-3,000,000.

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LaPau Restaurant, Sanur: Spicy Food and Hot Music

23 Nov

La Pau's open air plan makes it a comfortable place to hang out in any weather.

LaPau restaurant  may well be the only blues bar cum Padang restaurant in the world.(Although Indonesians like to joke that Neil Armstrong found a Padang Restaurant on the moon!). Padang cuisine is found all over the archipelago. Spicy and savory, it is an expatriate favorite.

Padang food: spicy, savory...and hearty!

Owner Metrus Munir

Owner Metrus Munir was born of West Sumatran parents in the oil town Pekanbaru in Sumatra’s Riau Province. There, he early own encountered foreigners and ocean going ships. After his parents moved to Jakarta, Metrus enjoyed exploring the city which then was a safe and still country-like place a kid could explore on foot and bicycle, Taking off on his own he often missed meals and soon learned to prepare his own food. He came from a family that new its way around the kitchen, his grandfather, grandmother and mother being his models . He cooks by eye, and feeling, not measure

Like many in the 80s and 90s when Indonesia was both booming and opening to the world, after graduating from the National Hotel Institute( “EnHai”) in Bandung. Metrus got involved in tourism, and as a guide, saw then remote( and still not well known) parts of the country such as the eastern islands of Sumba, Alora, Damar and Kei, sailing with well known outfits such as Society Expeditions. 

The birth of his son convinced hm to work closer to home, and he learned the restaurant trade in Sanur and Ubud,

before branching out on his own. Starting small, he supplied food to warung( the ubiquitous small open air food

stalls where most Indonesians will have at least a bite in the course of a day) Then he started his own place, late

night by default, because the rent was cheap in a parking lot after hours. Open from 10 in the evening til whenever,

his place quickly became a gathering place for night owls and especially musicians, the headquarters for a loosely

affiliated group calling itself Komunitas Street Jazz. In 2005, backed by friends, family and the community, Metrus

opened Lapau, which means a small eating place in his native Minang language.

Fresh Daily

 

Local artist at recent benefit held at Lapau for prison art program

Metrus may have suppressed his wanderlust, but he keeps in touch with the world by presiding over an eclectic clientele: foreigners of all types,  Balinese, Jakarta hipsters, and one-of-a kind local characters. Friday nights, the Mushroom Band, fronted by Janis Joplin( That’s what she calls herself! And she appears to

Imelda belts one

channel the long gone legend)) a vocalist who can really belt it out, plays classic rock and blues jams. Love the way they funkify “Cocaine!” Monday nights, long time local favorite, Tropical Transit, presents light jazz and ballads, often with a Latin flavor.

Tropical Transit finds their groove Mondays at Lapau

Music begins around nine.

La Pau incorporates some classic Indonesian design elements with its use of carved wood and marble colonial era topped tables. There is overflow seating in the gazebos in the garden. Grab some food, order a beer or soft drink, sit back and enjoy the music, and get to know the eclectic community that make LaPau such a fun place. With free wifi, Lapau is also a great spot for a quiet lunch and a bit of browsing, or catching up on work. Prices are very moderate!

On the Bypass in Sanur, LaPau is easy to find


In Search of Beaches

5 Oct
Black Sand Beach East of Sanur

Black Sand Beach East of Sanur

Bali has a reputation as a beachgoers’ paradise. This is something less than accurate.  Many of the beaches are rocky, or black volcanic sand, which is a job getting rid of when you get home.

The white sand beaches that most love are in fact rare here and the best of these, Kuta beach, first made popular by young backpackers back in the 70s, has long been overrun by local tourists. It is now fronted by a growing skyline of mid-rises in the current “minimalist” style, reminiscent of the malls and entertainment complexes sprouting up in the capital, Jakarta, which is a primary source of visitors to this “beach town” that hasn’t been such in decades.

 

While from a distance Kuta beach still presents a magnificent stretch of sand, annoying vendors, litter, and water quality problems( read: sewage flows) mean that is best left to the local tourists who come largely not to swim or sun but to take have their pictures taken and gawk at the exposed flesh of foreign women.

 

Petitinget

Far superior is Petitinget, a couple of kilometers the North. The larger area is called Canggu, ten years ago mostly rice fields, now spotted with villas vying for the diminishing “rice field view.” Here too, development is surging, with the tony and ultra cool( or ultra pretentious )W hotel dominates this stretch of beach, and other projects are building.

 

Still, the beach is white, and the water appears clean, with a magnificent vista of surf and sea back towards Kuta and the airport. A nice extra is cluster of funky restaurants close t shore just North of W. While W reflects the latest design craze ”minimalism,” producing glassy and metal affairs that, while sometimes elegant, have no organic design elements tying them to the island on which they stand.

 

These small, locally run places, on the other had, are built with traditional materials, and are the kind of beach hangout that brought people to Bali in the first place. Our favorite is La Cantina, which despite the name, doesn’t have Mexican food, but a good menu of local favorites and some western dishes. Light lunches are around Usd 2, fresh fish grills 5-7.  Petitnget is quite dog

Petitinget Sunset

friendly and you will see many out having a run, and one or two sleeping under the tables at La Cantina.

Dog Friendly

 

 

 

In the opposite direction on the Bukit Peninsula, that holds the high end Nusa Dua development, there area a number of beaches. These, once secret to the the surfing crowd, are under increasing pressure, and some such as Dreamland, have been disfigured by mega developments that completely overshadow the natural feature that purportedly anchors them. If you want to see megalomania and conspicuous display of ill gotten gains – the development is owned by the disgraced former President’s son, Tommy Suharto – go there.  Otherwise, give it a miss.

 

Padang Padang, also on Bukit was to me by a number of my students when I taught back I Java. Should have known: Indonesians very often have entirely different ideas than westerners when they are looking for outdoor attractions In fact h more indoor the outdoor, the better,  as far as they are concerned.   We went by on a recent Sunday excursion in search of a new bit of sea shore during the holiday, and the huge parking lot, tour buses, and highway lined with cars with Jakarta plates meant, keep going. Driving back northward, we assuaged our disappointment with an excellent Thai lunch.

 

Years ago we had careened around the area off road at times in a wobbly Suzuki Jimmy, and found a nice beach, with some peasant simple restaurants, Rastafarian beach boys, and cold beer. It wasn’t a great swimming beach as there was a low reef, mostly rocks with some coral stretching out a ways, and some seaweed farming going on, but it had a great vista.

 

Balangan- North end

Remembering this we set off to find it again, fairly certain that it was Balangan Beach. This part of the peninsula is far less developed, and a side road took us into open country, and finally a decent to the sea , azure in the late afternoon sunshine.  In the intervening seven or eight years the place had acquired a parking lot. And a very gaudy sign board. Here too development seemed in the offing, but the nearly empty lot wasn’t a bad sign.

 

A  short, but careful climb down a concrete stairway in ill repair  and we were in a lovely enclosed cove.  The simple warung had grown considerably, with a solid stretch of places, some on concrete footings. The sand was clan and soft, just moist enough to cool the feet.

 

Swimming is problematical because of the shelving reef, but surfers do find there way out from the southern point of the cove. At high tide, non surfers can cool off in the many open spaces within the reef, and explore them for inter-tidal life when the water recedes.

Tidepools

 

Balangan South End

A pleasant stroll and a sunset with a new moon rising, then a cold beer at a bamboo built café. There is simple accommodation, with a predominantly surfer clientele, Count on the wave riders to find a good beach, cheap flops and eats – and cold beer!

 

New Moon at Balangan

 

 

So, is there at least one perfect beach – white sad, good swimming, not to developed, on Bali?

Yes, but we won’t tell you where it is. Those in the know call it “Hidden Beach.”

 

A little bit a drive from the main road, first on pavement through a couple of villages and past rice fields with aviw of distant mountains, then down a rutted dirt track to a crescent of sand enclosed by two bluffs.

 

Hidden Beach Kids

Hidden Beach Kids

When we first find it many years ago there was only one intermittently open drinks stand on the beach. Now some simple, locally owned restaurants can fix you up with a beach lounge and umbrella, a fried rice or fish grill, soft drinks and beer. There are a number of these stretching along the shore, but we keep going to the same one, because even after a year or two away, they recognize us. It’s that kind of place. There is no accommodation, but the restaurants will clear some floor space for you.

 

A large, Korean financed development has been proposed fro this place, but the locals have so far managed to fight it off.

 

It's hard to find - and hard to leave - HIdden Beach!

Sound good? If you want it, you will find it.

 

Bali has a reputation as  a beachgoers’ paradise.   This is something less than accurate.  The white sand beaches that most love are in fact rare here and the best of these, Kuta beach, first made popular by young  backpackers back in the 70s, has long been  overrun  by local tourists.  It is now fronted by a growing skyline of mid-rises in the current “minimalist” style, reminiscent of the malls and entertainment complexes sprouting up in the capital, Jakarta, which is a primary source of visitors to this “beach town” that hasn’t been such in decades.

While from a distance Kuta beach still presents a magnificent stretch of sand, annoying vendors, litter, and water quality problems( read: sewage flows) mean that is best left to the local tourists who come largely not to swim or sun but to take  have their pictures taken and gawk at the exposed flesh of foreign women.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2063731,00.html

Far superior is Petitinget, a couple of kilometers the North. The larger area is called Canggu, ten years ago mostly rice fields,  now spotted with villas vying for the diminishing “rice field view.”  Here too, development is surging, with the tony and ultra cool( or ultra pretentious )W hotel dominates this stretch of beach, and other projects are building.

Still, the beach is white, and the water appears clean, with a magnificent vista of surf and sea back towards Kuta and the airport.  A nice extra is cluster of funky restaurants  close t shore just North of W.  While W reflects the latest design craze ”minimalism,” producing glassy and metal affairs that, while sometimes elegant, have no organic design elements tying them to the island on which they stand,

These small, locally run places, on the other had, are built with  traditional materials, and are the kind of beach hangout that brought people to Bali in the first place.  Our favorite is La Cantina, which despite the name, doesn’t have Mexican food, but a good menu of local favorites and some western dishes.  Light lunches are around Usd 2, fresh fish grills 5-7

In the opposite direction on the Bukit Peninsula, that holds the high end Nusa Dua development, there area a number of beaches.  These, once secret to the the surfing crowd, are under increasing pressure, and some such as   Dreamland, have been disfigured by mega developments that completely overshadow the natural  feature that purportedly anchors them.  If you want to see megalomania and conspicuous display of ill gotten gains – the development is owned by the disgraced former President’s son, Tommy Suharto – go there.  Otherwise, give it a miss,

Padang Padang, also on Bukit was to me by a number of my students when I taught back I Java.  Should have known:  Indonesians very often have entirely different ideas than westerners when they are looking for outdoor attractions  In fact h more indoor the outdoor, the better,, a s far as they are concerned.   We went by on a recent Sunday excursion  in search of a new bit of sea shore during the holiday, and the huge parking blot, tour buses, and highway lined with cars with Jakarta plates meant, keep going.  Driving back northward, we assuaged our disappointment with an excellent Thai lunch.

Years ago we had careened around the area off road at times in a wobbly Suzuki Jimmy, and found a nice beach, with some peasant simple restaurants, Rastafarian beach boys, and cold beer.  It wasn’t a great swimming beach as there was a low reef, mostly rocks with some coral stretching out  a ways, and some seaweed farming going on, but it had a great vista.

Remembering this we set off to fid it again, fairly certain that it was Blambangan Beach.  This part of he peninsula is far less developed, and a side road took us into open country, and finally a decent to the see , azure in the late afternoon sunshine.  In the intervening seven or eight years the place had acquired a parking lot. And a very gaudy sign board. Here too development seemed in the offing, but th nearly empty lot wasn’t at bad sign.

A short descent down a concrete stairway in ill repair at th opposite end of the  beach where we had climbed down before, and we were in a lovely enclosed cove.  The simple warung had grown considerably, with a solid stretch of places, some on concrete footings.  The sand was clan and soft, just moist enough to cool the feet.

Swimming is problematical because of the shelving reef, but surfers do find there way out from the southern point of the cove.  At high tide, non surfers can cool off in the many open spaces within the reef, and explore them for inter-tidal life when the water recedes.

A pleasant stroll and a sunset with a new moon rising, then a cold beer at a bamboo built café.  There is simple accommodation, with a predominantly surfer clientele,  Count on the wave riders to find a good beach, cheap flops and eats  – and cold beer!

So is there at least one perfect beach – white sad, good swimming, not to developed, on Bali?

Yes, but we won’t tell you where it is.  Those in the know call it “Hidden Beach.”

A little bit a drive from the main road, first on pavement through a couple of villages and past rice fields with aviw of distant mountains, then down a rutted dirt track to a crescent of sand enclosed by two bluffs.

Whe we first find it many years ago there was only one intermittently open drinks stand on the beach.  Now some simple, locally owned restaurants can fix you up with a beach lounge and umbrella, a fried rice or fish grill, soft drinks and beer.  There are a number of these stretching along the shore, but we keep going to the same one, because even after a year or two away, they recognize us.  It’s that kind of place.  There is no accommodation, but the restaurants will clear some floor space for you.

A large, Korean financed development has been proposed fro this place, but the locals have so far managed to fight it off.

Sound good?  If you want it, you will find it,

Stairway to Heaven, Bali Style

13 Sep

August 18, 2011 –

The Soul Freed through Fire

A tower of flame, sooty smoke, and a surge of heat.  The crowd roars in awe and the mortal remains of  Anak Agung Niang Rai, mother of Gianyar Regent, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati,  begin their final journey.

The Balinese cremate their dead, and the higher the status and wealth of the deceased, the bigger the show.  In all my time in Bali – scores of trips and longer stays over a span of nearly five decades, I had never witnessed one.

My first trip to Bali  was in 1964.  I couldn’t possibly count the times I‘ve landed at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport since then.  In all this time, I had never witnessed a ngaben, the Balinese cremation ceremony.  In ‘64, there was one, but we arrived late – no net or cell phones, and precious few phones, period .  At other times, I chased rumors of ngaben, but was always too early or too late,

Work kept me from attending some big events in recent years, but now that I have relocate to Bali, I finally got my chance.  This time I had the time and the place at the  Pura(temple) right in Central Ubud, a place I knew well.  Ubud is the artistic center of Bali, and while it has become a favorite destination, with tour buses sometimes causing gridlock down town, Balinese culture remains central to the lives – and livelihoods – of those who live there.

I got off to an early start( for me) but even by 7:30 the roads were pretty full.  Those coming to Bali looking for a verdant paradise of rice fields should know that both urban areas, and regional centers are built up, and the roads between them see a fair amount of traffic  The favorite mode of transport is the motorcycle, and a strong economy and aggressive credit terms have put one in the hand so most families here,  There were torrents of them, through which I plowed steadily, and slowly, and a bit grumpily as I thought about the good old days.

A wrong turn, and I suddenly found myself in the countryside, with no more than a single vehicle visible in either direction,  and sometimes none at all.   Women laying out morning offerings, uniformed school kids skipping off to school.
Bali is still out there; it always is.

After vectoring in on nameless roads via dead reckoning, I found m self in a familiar spot and got a good parking place not far from the Temple.  Feeling quite pleased with myself, I walked towards the  town center, finding that the soccer field in town had been turned into a parking lot even closer to the action. Oh well, my parking was free.

Balnese Gamelan

Monkey Forest road brought me to the temple and it was thronged already.  A Gamelan – the metallophone orchestras seen all over Southeast Asia and in their most sophisticated form in Indonesia – was playing in the banjar, the reopen community space attached to the temple, as dignitaries, and locals, although at times they seemed outnumbered by tourists, looked on as the priest performed rituals that I have been too lazy to research. I was there for the spectacle, not the theology..

The body  was at the top of a  multi-tiered tower(called wada) ,

Wada detail: Frightening faces scare demons away

connected at its summit to a giant cantilevered wooden structure painted white, quite reminiscent of one of the roller coasters at Great America in Valencia California.  Sometime earlier, men had carried the shrouded body to the top of the tower.

Next to this was a giant black bull, paper and gauze on a wooden structure.  The bull, used by brahmins, the highest caste, would be burnt along with remains at the end of the ceremony.   As it seemed no one knew when the action  would begin – the date had been chosen by astrologers, and they would provide the kick off time for the procession as well, -I sat down in a café facing the temple for an ice tea.  Ubud may be overrun with tourists in the view of some, but I thought the array of nationalities and cacophony of languages, with various strains of English, and also French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Flemish discernible, was pretty good entertainment in itself, and certainly good business for the locals.   Many of the foreign women had chosen to wear Balinese dress.  Some looked, well, odd; others were stunning.

Mom goes Balinese

Seeing many thirsty people hoping for a table, I retreated to a back street for breakfast.  A couple of bucks  and change for coffee, toast and eggs Benedict.  Another reason people come to Bali: the absolute genius of the locals for F&B of all types.

By the time I reached the temple again the Tower and  bull had been moved out to the street.  It was around noon, and the

Police worked hard to keep the surging crowd safe as Balinese move close for blessings.

crowds were thick and expectant.  Crowds have a life of their own, and this one first , buzzed, then murmured, and finally roared as Balinese men in black with checkered sarongs gave a collective shout, shouldered their burdens,  lifted the two structures and began a headlong rush forward, moving fifty meters or so before they set it down.

Women bearing offerings - eternal Bali!

A file of gorgeously dressed women in Balinese sarongs and the lacy louses cabled kebaya, offerings balanced on their heads took up the forward position, and marchers carrying gamelan instruments and rolling the larger ones on wheels took the lead and struck up.  Balinese music is highly percussive, and although not melodic in the western sense, is not dissonant either.  It makes for fine marching music.  The crowd surged around the tower as Brahmins  strewed blossoms and sprinkled holy water in great torrents on the ecstatic Balinese – and foreigners equally enthusiastic.

Then followed a young boy and a girl, gorgeously dressed, each enthroned among blossoms, and carried carefully by a number of men.

This young girl stared ahead, never moving as she was carried through the crowd.

At the next halt there was more ritual with clouds of incense and prayers in Sanskrit.  I also noticed that men on the towers were engaged in animated  walkie-talkie conversations, and were on their cells as well.  It looked to be along stop and when I had my fill of photos, I departed again in search of refreshment,  This will be a consistent theme, for Ubud can provide any thing in the way of food, from tasty back packer’s rice dishes to quality bistro meals..

Gratuitous pretty girls...but are pretty girls ever gratuitous?

A cold beer, calamari with garlic mayonnaise, and catch up on email,  Face book and Twitter via wifi, then refreshed, back to the road, where the procession had just turned a corner to the open ground where the cremation would take place.

The cremation ground was much like a fairground

Savvy visitors and enterprising vendors of snacks, balloons, toys for the kiddies, and oddly, pencils and school exercise books, had already taken up station.  Here was another white stairway to heaven.

Then there was a bit a of a snag.  The bull and the tower had to mate up so that  the lady’s remains could be carried down from the tower via the stairway and set upon the Bull, whose back had been opened to receive the corpse. Apparently this had to be a seamless move without the corpse bearers touching solid ground,  After a number of tries it was apparent that someone had gotten the dimensions wrong.  The two simply could not meet, so tape measures and then  a chainsaw were brought to bear.

Indonesian fried rice always hits the spot.

It looked to be a lengthy and complicated operation so – yes, yet again – I crossed the street for refreshment,  Fried rice and a beer in a simple eatery, filled with young people.  Shaved heads, dreadlocks, accents of the US( Northern California for sure) England, and Australia.  I put in my earphones but left the pod off and happily eavesdropped.  Young people having a look about, finding themselves, perhaps.  Talk of India.  Second, no third generation of the hippie trail, but this time cellphones for calls home, and credit cards.  And yoga and massage instead of dope.  Beer is still popular, I was glad to see.

The event was good business for many

Back at the field, they had gotten things together and were easing the muslin wrapped corpse down the stairway.   Then they hoisted it up onto the bull, where priests chanted nonstop and various dignitaries, family members and guests came to pray. More interesting to me was the crowd – mischievous local kids playing monkey bars on the structures, vendors working the tourists, children of all nations climbing trees.

Kids love trees

Kids love trees

The end was close but there would still be a wait as there was quite a queue of people paying respects,  so I found a seat on some steps across the way, and yes, a snack – sate lilit, ground meat shaped onto bamboo skewers and grilled.  Delicious, with chili sauce.

Spicy pork "sate lilit"

Somehow a sense of something about to happen reached me and I sprinted back to the site just as a man ignited a blow torch, t then set a spurt of flame to the bull.  In a near explosion it was consumed in flame within seconds.

Spongebob sure gets around!

It would be a wonderful climax if that were all there was, but it takes some hours to reduce a human body to ash and bone fragments,  When the outer shell had burnt away, the lady‘s body still remained, and the blow torch man set in for a long session, flaming things again and again as the heat died down,.

Watching the end of one life, towards the end of theirs, but still enjoying being here

It was quite a walk back to the car, but when I reached it just after dark, and drove out of town the traffic had vanished, and sweepers were collecting rubbish. Thumbs  up for crowd management, food and beverage, spectacle, and above of to the Balinese who maintain their culture, and make it easy and fun for the rest of us to enjoy it.