Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Uluwatu Temple: a Taste of Bali

How's your Sunday?

Sorting out files and photos to clear my desktop are tasks long overdue. As I did several days ago, I was reminded of photos of last year's travel to Bali when I attended a conference together with some colleagues in the hospital where I work. I remember featuring in a post (click here to view) The Tanah Lot Temple, a rock formation attraction where Miss Philippines-World 2013, Maegan Young, won the crown.  Sad to say, I wasn't able to make a sequel to that anymore. It's almost a year now and the next conference is scheduled before the end of this month. Oh, I'd better be going while the memories are still alive!

Here we go---

The Denpasar International Airport, formerly, Ngurah Rai International Airport, was noticeably still under renovation when we arrived in Bali (after Indonesia hosted  the 2013 Miss World Pageant), but that did not keep us from taking photos. 

Nunga, our driver, was already waiting with his placard!

What?! I suddenly became a doctor in Bali! This certainly  gave everybody a good laugh! A nice start eh?

A pose with all the delegates before leaving the Denpasar Airport
We were able to make arrangements with Nunga to bring us around while waiting for the 2:00 pm check-in time at the hotel. What could have been a better way of spending the time? Thanks to this brochure, deciding where to go was as easy as a-b-c!

But wait! First things first! We had to find a place to eat brunch as it was getting late.  That was no problem at all. 

Nunga brought us to the cozy Warung Nyoman where I had my first taste of Indonesian breakfast--- the famous Nasi Goreng. 
Does that make you crave for breakfast at this very moment?
Considered as one of the national dishes of Indonesia, it's a twist of fried rice with chicken and prawns mixed with veggies and spices, and topped with egg omelette. One serving is good for two! 

After having a taste of Balinese cuisine for breakfast, we heeded the call of nature before leaving the place. It was time to empty our bladder as we had to travel light and it was still a long day ahead!

Now, brace yourselves as I walk you around. Oh, make sure you already had a hearty meal as this might take some time! And please do bring an umbrella, okay?

First in our itinerary, as Nunga suggested,  to which we all agreed, was the Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu), a Balinese sea temple sitting on top of a cliff bank in the southern part of Bali. It is believed to be one of the nine temples protecting Bali from evil spirits.

While walking up the steps, I prayed that I would reach the top because it was scorching hot and I was starting to have migraine. The place was very high. Praises to God, for sustaining me all the way to the top, at the same time, avoiding the monkeys along the way. See, there was no sign of migraine and panting at all when I faced the camera... only smiles as I savored the view of the waters from above. It was simply breathtaking!  And was worth the climb afterall!

Here's another photo from the cliff overlooking the waters below

Taking a few bold steps at the edge of the cliff to get a real good view was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Patience is a virtue, indeed, as there were already a few tourists on queue. But we had to take pictures of each one of us on the very same spot. 

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the farthest point of the cliff where the temple stood. 
Take a closer look at the photo below. It's the small structure on the far left. 
You can zoom in to get a better and bigger view. 

We left the place awed by the beauty of God's creation in this part of the world. 

At the gate of the temple

Tourists were not allowed inside the worship area but it was open so I was able to take these shots.

Time to leave the place!

From the Uluwatu Temple, the next stop was another famous tourist attraction,  the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park. The GWK is located on the southern part of the island of Bali, east of Uluwatu, 15 minutes away from the Denpasar International Airport. GWK is a 240-hectare park that sits on the limestone plateau of Bukit Peninsula. This place was built in honor of the Hindu god, Vishnu, and his mount Garuda (the mythical King of Birds).

My companions were somewhat exhausted not only with the long climb at Uluwatu, but also with the heat during the long ride that most of them just preferred to stay at the Souvenir Shop located near the entrance of the park. That was as far as we went because it was not yet time for the viewing of the cultural show.

I was not able to take photos although I did get a shot of a very small part of the head of the 23-meter gigantic statue of Vishnu from afar. See the one on the lower right of the collage below. The full view of Vishnu and Garuda on the left, which were the main attraction in the park, were both taken from google.

The heat was gradually subsiding as we left the place and the nap during the ride from GWK to our next stop must have given everybody back the energy and the spirit to scout for souvenir items  at Krisna. 

One more ride and we finally found ourselves at  the hotel. Oh, how we longed to stretch our arms and legs! 

We were lodged at Ibis Styles Hotel Benoa. Would you be interested to go around the hotel? Sure you do? Well, I would gladly usher you around in another post. See you there!

Tired after the long walk in different places all in day one, aggravated by the migraine, I didn't have any trouble getting some sleep the moment I graced the very inviting and warm welcome offered by the hotel bed... after taking a dose of analgesic, of course!  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

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