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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nyepi Eve, Dream Beach, Mushroom Beach, Scootering and a Broken Bridge.

We rented a scooter from a random local who approached us in front of Mushroom Beach last night and decided on 70,000 rupiah ($7) a day.  The only thing is, it was before we had decided where we were going to be staying, and we never decided when we would leave it when we were finished.  I guess that's just Island life for ya.  He'll eventually find it, I guess!  We headed for the bridge this morning, excited to scoot over to Nusa Cennigan Island, only to find out that a cyclone demolished it 2 weeks ago!  Oooouuuuurrrr briddddggggeee.  Such a bummer.

But the rest of the day made up for the broken bridge!  :)  We road the scooter back towards Mushroom Beach, but stopped here at one of our favorite views on the island... 

... before ordering lunch here on the beach! 

 1 Mie Goreng ($2.50) and 1 hamburger ($3.00).  Gotta love the prices around these parts, and the fact that you can see the beach reflected in your husband's glasses at lunch!

Nusa Lembongan is a Hindu Island, so seeing offerings like these laid out all over restaurants, small shops and hotels are common place!

We did a little swimming at Mushroom Beach, but Dream Beach has our hearts and we were eager to get back over there to see how it had changed since we were there last!  The view looking out to the water was EXACTLY how we remembered it!

This pic's for you, Sam McElwain!

Sadly, or not so saldy, depending on how you look at it, the bungalows at Dream Beach have gone from charming and rustic to fancy schmancy, and they've even added a pool, where if you pay $5.00, you can swim and rent a beach chair for the whole day.  We opted for the FREE soft white sand! 

Since it was Nyepi Eve, we knew there would be a BIG night time parade in town and that we needed to get back to that side of the island before it started... otherwise we'd be stuck!  So, we jumped on the scooter and drove through the 1st little town (on the inner area of the island) where we were asked to stop our scooter while this parade of towns people walked from the Hindu temple on the hill down through the village, doing blessings to the gods and carrying their special offerings baskets of only the most pristine fruit, all along the way. 

It was definitely a sight to behold. It's a very holy ceremony for them and while it seemed eerie at times, it was a really cool thing to witness!

We made it back to our hotel just in time to take a quick shower, say hello to "the kids" (a group of 5 German high school graduates who we've become friends with.  LOVE THEM!)  Here are Marie and Larissa...

... and walked along the hillside path and into town to catch the festivities!  

The hill to the left is where our hotel is.

Literally the whole town shut down for a prayer ceremony around the temple area.

...and all of the locals came out in their best Hindu clothing and gathered around the temple... spilling out into the streets.

They would, in unison, push the smoke from their personal incense sticks up into the air, then grab a wildflower and hold it tightly in their hands, say a prayer, and then tuck the flower into the back of their head pieces.

The ceremony at the temple went on for hours, I think.  The whole center of town was shut down, so Aaron and I walked the back roads in search of a closer view of the temple, where all of the cool stuff was happening (cultural dances, etc).  Instead we came upon the Ogoh Ogoh monsters, waiting for their big debut at tonight's parade!  These are ALL handmade with foam, by locals in the village, and are more than 20 feet tall.  Talk about artistry.  I'll explain what they're for in my next post about the Tawur Kesanga (Nyepi parade). 

This was my best attempt at a colorful Nyepi Eve outfit!  

We went into town a little too early for the parade, so we walked back along the water to our hotel at sunset to put our bags down and change... We were told it would be best to both wear a sarong around our waist if we were planning to attend the parade. :)

So, after dark, we walked back over into town, BOTH wearing sarongs, tied like long skirts around our waists, to witness one of the most interesting, colorful, exciting, traditional, and cultural events that either of us has ever seen in our 4 years of traveling Asia. 

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