Monkeys, Volcanos and Chocolate… May 27th 2019

Today we hired a private tour guide to take us to see some sights on the island. Kadek Sukarta was an amazing guide and we really got an inside feel to the people, the culture, the political tendencies and best of all, how the education system works here for his family and people in general.

Our goal of the day was the Volcanos so big in the news right now. There are two active Volcanos on Bali however one of them had a significant eruption on Friday, so that Volcano park was closed. The 2nd one is just emitting steam but unfortunately it wasn’t really perky when we were there. It was ominous to see the history of previous eruptions down it’s slopes, so I can’t say I didn’t have a moment or two to wonder if we might get a little surprise. Fortunately not… But we got some kick ass pics. Also to the right, was the erupting volcano, however shrouded in clouds, much of it turned dark from the eruption. For those of you that are trekkers, there are hikes up to the top of the crater, but they leave around 2am so that you can get to base camp by 4am and start the hike. NO CHANCE we are giving up the worlds greatest breakfast spread at this resort, so I guess those brave moments are not a go..

Additionally we got some super cool stops between multi family inhabited homes (very common and the norm), family painting artisans, and also some Balinese dance acts we didn’t really fully get until Kadek Sukarta explained the subtleties. Center of Bali is a thick and lush forest and was just breathtaking in so many places. We visited a monkey sanctuary, stunning tiered rice fields, and also our famed Bamboo Chocolate factory. I know you are shocked, but we came back with a few bags…

Finally here’s the deal. We spent many an hour driving in and thru numerous villages. The simplicity of life in 2 lane roads, full of stray dogs and lush hillsides, and ramshackle huts mixed in with ornate and magnificent resorts creates quite the dichotomy of life in Bali. Coupled with the descriptions by our guide of how education works as well as general economics to getting ahead, I marvel at the gift we are given of living in the US. Sure we might have this issue or that issue, but we have a huge head start over people in countries like Indonesia. Sometimes it is really good to just sit back and ponder that for a moment. As always, pictures to follow…

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