All the shrines were decorated.
All the streets were decorated.
In Bali, the first week in September brought the Galangan Festival when the ancestral spirits, good and bad, return to earth. Distinctly Balinese decorations welcomed the kind ones, incense and protective statues discouraged the malevolent ones.
Bali is colorful any time: big green plants such as banana, bright flowers like heliconias and spectacular sprays of orchids, painted and decorated buildings.
Visitors intent on the beach or pool can stay cool. In the shade with a breeze, the temperature was always nice. Walking through gardens, as we did, we were unpleasantly hot and sweaty much of the time. Since it was the result of the humidity and the air temperature, there was nothing to do about it, we just persevered.
It was worth being overheated: the plants and gardens were lovely. The Temperate Zone gardener dreams of abundant water and sun to produce sprays of delicate
orchids in browns and reds...of planting heliconias to see a three
foot inflorescence with flowers that open for months...of pots on the veranda
with nearly three-foot crown-of-thorns plants or intensely purple bougainvilleas (post on Bougainvillea).
|Bougainvillea and Balinese butterfly|
This tour began with tragedy, however. The dynamic designer of Balinese gardens who was to have met with us on the tour, Made Wijaya (about him), died unexpectedly in the week before the tour. His spirit was with us throughout the tour, in many ways.
Beyond the towns, Bali was agricultural, raising rice. Their seasons are wet and wetter, so the rice is grown continuously, with crops at different stages simultaneously.
It's an island: there are coasts--many with fine beaches--all around.
Bali was gorgeous!
Comments and corrections welcome.
Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist
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