Ella Fitzgerald sang:
“Am I blue?
Am I blue?
Ain’t these tears, in these eyes telling you?”
Yes, I am feeling slightly blue. Winter starts to get rather long in Wisconsin when it is -9F outside. On the other hand, I am going to be leaving on a jet plane in just a few weeks. Destination: Bali. Thinking about that puts me in a totally different frame of mind about blue!
See that boy in the blue shorts? He is making salt – the salt farm is between the Bali Sea and the Sea Communities Compound in Les Village. Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Ordinary table salt that is bought in the super market has been stripped of it’s companion elements and contains additives such as aluminum silicate to keep it powdery. Unrefined sea salt is a great choice of salt for flavor as well. Try the two side by side, and you will taste the difference. Take a few pounds home with you!
Mount Batur is a live volcano; the substantial lava field from the 1968 eruption is visible today, and the view from the top of the mountain at sunrise is incredible. Fifty degree Celsius mineral spring water heated by the volcano flows from an underground aquifer 637 meters below the surface, and the water runs untouched, direct from the source to the pools in Kintamani.
The therapeutic benefits of the mineral springs are said to include the alleviation of neuralgia, bruising, arthritis, stiffness of the muscles, and recovery from fatigue and other muscular complaints. Ahhhhhhhhhh.
Several species of fish and invertebrates live in symbiotic relationships with sea anemones, most famously the clownfish. Anemones are animals, not plants. You don’t want to touch one because they sting! You can see this beautiful animal when snorkeling in the sea near Les Village.
Anyone unfamiliar with the biology of the venomous Portuguese man-of-war would likely mistake it for a jellyfish. Not only is it not a jellyfish, it’s not even an “it,” but a “they.” The Portuguese man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together.
The man-of-war comprises four separate polyps. It gets its name from the uppermost polyp, a gas-filled bladder, or pneumatophore, which sits above the water and somewhat resembles an old warship at full sail. Man-of-wars are also known as bluebottles for the purple-blue color of their pneumatophores.
Man-of-wars are found, sometimes in groups of 1,000 or more, floating in warm waters throughout the world’s oceans. They have no independent means of propulsion and either drift on the currents or catch the wind with their pneumatophores. To avoid threats on the surface, they can deflate their air bags and briefly submerge.
Blue Lagoon, Padangbai, Bali – Where I snorkeled for the first time, and vowed to make the ocean – and Bali – my second home.
The Balinese love birds, and thus many are relegated to cages. But fortunately, there is the Bali Barat National Park, located on the north west tip of Bali. This reserve is the last site for the endangered Bali Myna. In the park one can visit the Bali Myna project release centre. Menjangan is a small island that belongs to the reserve. Here there are beautiful coral reefs and it’s a good spot to glimpse a Lemon-bellied White-eye. Eco Gallivant takes a trip to Menjangan for snorkeling, picnic lunch, and a day on a boat. Beautiful.
Every where you look, children are dancing. Look at this happy child in her blue t-shirt! When they are very young, Balinese children learn traditional music and dance, which is shaped by their culture’s use and value of music, beliefs, and practices concerning teaching and learning. Children’s music activities are important contributions to the life of Balinese communities. Eco Gallivant trekkers not only watch performance of traditional Balinese dance; we also also participate and learn to dance.
In Indonesia, the richest, most elaborate and vivid wooden sculpture and wood carving traditions can be found in Bali and Central Java. There are a number of art museums in Ubud that hold incredible collections of Balinese paintings and sculpture.
Fresh seafood, fragrant rice, birds of paradise gracing the table, and a chilled Balinese IPA: enjoyed at the base of a live volcano while listening to the lap of waves on the shore of the Bali Sea.
This is the life!