Many visitors to the Island would avoid Nyepi like the plague - Bali's New Year Holiday where the island practically closes down. It is a day for reflection, where no travel is allowed, no talking, no eating and no electricity.
The airport is even closed for 24hours.
I thought we might kill time playing Words with Friends with each other over a Gin &Tonic (not strictly adhering to the Nyepi ethos) - but alas, no WiFi either. The TV & Radio stations don't even broadcast for the day.
So I finished my book (The Book Thief), and topped up the tan. Had a nap, a swim and flicked through the 5kgs of magazines we had brought between us. It was actually the most relaxing day by far of the 6 x days we were lucky enough to spend in Bali.
While it was a challenge for us to talk in whispers for the day, it was a terrific experience. The Nyepi parade the night before where the Ogah Ogahs scare off the evil spirits from Bali was certainly something to behold (note to self: don't take the kids - seriously scary floats. Check them out below).
And our wallets were also grateful of the 24hr reprieve.
Here are some photos capturing hand-made Balinese craftsmanship in it's purest form. Not for commercial benefit, but as a result of their devotion:
First up, Daily Offerings:
These are gifts to give pleasure to the Gods and to the Demons. They give good karma to those who prepare the offerings and they are prepared in the hope that the demons are kept happy and they go away. We spotted a few with Tiny Teddies, a Mentos or the odd cigarette thrown in. I'm sure the God's were grateful.
These splendid creations were in preparation for the Nyepi celebrations. My phone camera doesn't do them justice, but they were beautifully created by hand (and stapler) using banana leaves:
Some examples of Ogah Ogah's who are paraded around the town intended to bewilder the evil spirits so they go away and cease harming human beings at the Nyepi Eve Parade. (images from here)
Try resisting these adorable hand-made dolls. Sold to raise funds for the Street Kids of Bali, each one is different. I'll be offering these collector like dolls for sale in the find...found...forage shop very soon, to assist in the fundraising efforts of Bali's Orphanages:
How's this example of wood carving? Impressive! It was quite the centre-piece in Carga, Seminyak. Bang in the middle of what was also a spectacular serving counter, the palm tree, complete with coconuts had me in awe:
I had to take a photo of these mega fish in the Koi Pond at the entrance to Mozaic Beach Club. We had much smaller versions in our own Koi pond at the Villa in which we had to walk across to make our way from the pool.
And a handful of my other pics from a colourful week away....
From one of the Mr Zimi stores, I was swooning over these awesome powder-coated wooden stools. Obviously the greenery and the rustic pots set them off beautifully. And don't get me started on the mirror:
Look at these ladies in their traditional dress, carrying offerings in baskets balanced on their heads:
Old Mate giving us a wave as we marvelled at the impact Nemo & Angry Birds has had across the globe...
Mosaic style pebbles at the entrance to my "room" and as stepping stones throughout the garden. LOVE.
And finally, some mixed media artwork by the loos at Ku De Ta.
Hand-made loveliness can be found in all kinds of places!
I'm hatching a plan for the next trip.