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We Are Joined by Jenn

October 21, 2015

The last few weeks have been very special as our daughter Jennifer joined us to explore Bali, Java, and Kalimantan. We sailed ahead of our fellow rally boats to Lovina on Bali where we planned to leave Persephone and travel to Denpasar to meet Jenn. Unknowingly we arrived during the annual Lovina festival where all the local villages present music, dancing, and beautiful costumes. What a great first day in Lovina.

We were met the next day by our guide Kandia, possibly the best travel agent in Indonesia, who had arranged three days of touring Bali. We stopped at various Hindu temples (Hindu is the predominate religion in Bali) and waterfalls as we passed over the mountains heading south to the artisan province of Ubud. We made an impromptu stop at a rice “factory” that had never had a visitor before and purchased some black and red rice. That night we met Jenn at her hotel.

We started the next morning by visiting a coffee plantation perched on a hillside overlooking the rain forest. We tasted various coffees and teas including Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world and renowned for having transited the intestinal tracks of civets. Next we visited the Temple of the Babbling Spring that was packed with locals bringing offerings as part of the full moon ceremony. Next was the monkey forest where troupes of monkeys pestered us for handouts. Our guide had to pull her pockets inside out to show the monkeys there was no more food before they left us alone. We then stopped at a wood carving studio in Ubud and enjoyed coffee and tea with the owner while selecting a beautiful carving.

That night was spent at Kandia’s home-stay which is really a 10 room hotel. It so happens that Kandia is a Hindu priest and he offered to conduct a fire ceremony for us at his temple. He brought in his guru and we all sat around the fire and participated in the ceremony. It was a very memorable experience.

The following day consisted of site seeing as we travelled north back to Lovina and the boat where we enjoyed dinners and sun downers with fellow boaters. While in Lovina we attended the bull races and spent a day scuba diving.

We flew to Yogyakarta on Java for several days to see Borobudur and the amazing Hindu and Buddhist temples that have been destroyed by earth quakes and are being restored one stone at a time. Our guide Wulan is an expert on deciphering the stories depicted in the temple carvings which added greatly to the experience. In the evening we attended the outdoor Ramayana Ballet set against the backdrop of the lighted Borobudur temple. This is definitely a must-see if visiting Java. Each night was spent in a luxurious hotel with its inviting pool and delicious restaurants. After returning to Lovina we set sail for the little island of Karimum Jawa 280 miles to the west of Lovina. It didn’t take Jenn long to get into the night watch routine.

We had planned to visit Kumai on Kalimantan on the island of Borneo to see the orangutans, but rain forest fires created such a smoke problem that we had to cancel. In fact, the fires are so great as to cause limited visibility on the entire island as well as most of west Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. We skipped Kumai and headed for Ketapang on Kalimantan where visibility was about 1 km.

Ketapang is home to the aboriginal Indonesians and it could be an entirely different country for all we could tell. The customs, music, and dancing are distinctly different than other parts of Indonesia. We anchored in the river and were met at the dock by a priest who splashed milky water on our feet to offer protection from some undisclosed threat. We were then fed while watching local dancers.

Ours is the first sailing rally ever to visit Ketapang and the locals really rolled out the red carpet. They opened up the orangutan rehabilitation center which is normally closed to the public and set up boat rides deep into the rain forest. We attended a celebration at a nearby village where we saw men dancing with the heads of live chickens in their mouths before they bit off the heads and drank blood from the severed necks. THEN they served dinner. We witnessed a voodoo dance and watched a Chinese priest roll in glass shards, stand on knife edges, and drink battery acid after piercing his cheeks with skewers. These demonstrations were not for the faint of heart. Our stay culminated with dinner at the Regency’s compound with live music and dancing. Everyone was extremely helpful and we didn’t have to pay for anything. All they asked was that we speak well of Ketapang.

Jenn was scheduled to fly out at 06:30AM Saturday but all planes were grounded because of the smoke. She returned to Persephone while Gina from the Ministry of Tourism did a great job of rescheduling all of her flights back to the States. Her flight was finally cleared at 4:30PM so we dropped her off at the dock and quickly raised anchor just in time to clear the river bar. We are already missing Jenn.

Lovina festival

Lovina festival

Lovina festival

Lovina festival

Lovina festival

Lovina festival

Lovina festival

Lovina festival

Gitgit Falls on Bali

Gitgit Falls on Bali

Lake Temple on Bali

Lake Temple on Bali

Rice paddies on Bali

Rice paddies on Bali

Rice "factory"

Rice “factory”

Rice factory manager prepares some black rice for us.

Rice factory manager prepares some black rice for us.

Aggressive monkeys at the Monkey Forest

Aggressive monkeys at the Monkey Forest

Sandie wears a live fruit bat

Sandie wears a live fruit bat

Pura Tanah Lot Temple on Bali

Pura Tanah Lot Temple on Bali

Barong dance on Bali

Barong dance on Bali

Lunch with our guide Kandia

Lunch with our guide Kandia

Jennifer working on the perfect coffee roast

Jennifer working on the perfect coffee roast

Coffee & tea tasting while brewing Kopi Luwak

Coffee & tea tasting while brewing Kopi Luwak

Temple of the Babbling Spring on Bali

Temple of the Babbling Spring on Bali

Fire ceremony at Kandia's temple

Fire ceremony at Kandia’s temple

Kandia and his guru who performed the fire ceremony

Kandia and his guru who performed the fire ceremony

Family portrait at the monkey forest

Family portrait at the monkey forest

Gunung Kawi shrines carved into the cliffs on Bali

Gunung Kawi shrines carved into the cliffs on Bali

Jenn tries her hand at bull racing in Lovina

Jenn tries her hand at bull racing in Lovina

Jenn & Sandie scuba diving at Menjangan Is. national park

Jenn & Sandie scuba diving at Menjangan Is. national park

Hindu temple at Borobudur

Hindu temple at Borobudur

Ramayana Ballet at Borobudur

Ramayana Ballet at Borobudur

Our guide Wulan deciphers the temple carvings

Our guide Wulan deciphers the temple carvings

Buddhist temple at Borobudur

Buddhist temple at Borobudur

A woman applies wax during the manufacture of Batik fabric

A woman applies wax during the manufacture of Batik fabric

Wonderful pool at the hotel

Wonderful pool at the hotel

Jenn hitches a ride ashore on a local boat

Jenn hitches a ride ashore on a local boat

Welcoming ceremony on the dock at Ketapang

Welcoming ceremony on the dock at Ketapang

Persephone anchored in the river at Ketapang

Persephone anchored in the river at Ketapang

Young dancers at Ketapang

Young dancers at Ketapang

A young orangutang is cared for at the rehabilitation center

A young orangutang is cared for at the rehabilitation center

A wild monkey sneaks some of Jenn's lunch

A wild monkey sneaks some of Jenn’s lunch

We were treated like royalty at Ketapang

We were treated like royalty at Ketapang

Our caravan was stopped as locals flooded the street to see the "yachties"

Our caravan was stopped as locals flooded the street to see the “yachties”

Cultural experience at a local village

Cultural experience at a local village

It started with drinking a libation from a horn

It started with drinking a libation from a horn

Then it got crazy (chicken head in the mouth)

Then it got crazy (chicken head in the mouth)

Jenn is a mediocre blow gunner

Jenn is a mediocre blow gunner

This is a drinking bong filled with potent arak

This is a drinking bong filled with potent arak

Dancers in Ketapang

Dancers in Ketapang

Dancers in Ketapang

Dancers in Ketapang

Chinese priest skewers his cheeks before rolling in glass and drinking battery acid

Chinese priest skewers his cheeks before rolling in glass and drinking battery acid

From → Travel

2 Comments
  1. It’s so amazing viewing the incredible world through your eyes. We still enjoy imagining and seeing pictures of every detail of your posts, with the possible exception of the paragraph with the chickens! 😉 Thanks for taking the time to write such wonderful accounts of your travels and including so many awesome pictures! All the best, Elizabeth and Alan

  2. Randi Bolton permalink

    You guys are definitely NOT in Kansas anymore! Great photos and stories and really nice that Jenn had a chance to join you in such an amazing place. I hope the sailing is as fabulous as the adventures on land.

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