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Kintamani Volcano with Carol

Kintamani Volcano with Carol

We did the tourist route and visited Kintamani Volcano. We were lucky to enjoy this beautiful view because it rained a couple hours later and was socked in with fog.

mountain batur hike ani carol

Batur Mountain on a hike with Carol in the pouring rain

Next, we drove to the bottom of Mt. Batur to hike up the volcano. As soon as we started our hike, it began dumping rain. And I mean torrential downpour! It was no use trying to stay dry, so we chose to keep climbing. Huge blessing that the rain stopped and the sky cleared as we approached the top so we could take in the views. And once we got back down to the bottom, we went and soaked in a mineral hot spring to warm up.

jeep

our jeep

I had to put a photo of the back of our jeep in here. Our rain soaked clothes are hung up to dry, and we’re stocked up with 2 huge Montong durians. Our jeep smelled of durian from the outside. Good thing Carol and our driver both love durian as much as I do.

bug

a pretty bug

Check out this pretty bug. Does anyone know what type of insect this is?

gazpacho

Gazpacho

I was thrilled to find an amazing vegan and raw food soup on the menu at the St. Regis, a 6 star resort in Nusa Dua. This wasn’t just any gazpacho…it was green, and topped with a deliciously refreshing Bloody Mary Sorbet.

the ocean at Nusa Dua

the ocean at Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua is a resort area at the south eastern end of Bali. This beach is full of white sand, and the water is the most amazing turquoise I’ve ever seen. My photo doesn’t even begin to capture the color of the ocean.

Ani Chris Carol at Nusa Dua

Ani Chris Carol at Nusa Dua

2 friends met up with me in Bali. Chris, the surfer, is my best friend from freshman year in college. That was a long time ago! And Carol’s my drum and bass dancing ballerina who keeps me up dancing late at night back in LA. The best of friends, sunshine, blue ocean, and hot weather. These are the main ingredients fueling my bliss.

sunrise

my first sunrise on Bali

I woke up super early, and it was still dark outside. I quickly threw on clothes and headed to the beach to catch my first sunrise on Bali. This was also my first sunrise of this new decade.

I was surprised at how many Balinese and young children were up and about so early in the day. Many were sitting on the water’s edge already, waiting for the sun to come up.

heart tree

a heart shaped tree

Soon after sunrise, I came upon this heart shaped tree. I took this as a sign for all good things to come today on this Island of the Gods.

shell

a tiny shell

Later, I found this tiny shell on the beach. It reminded me of how easily I get caught up in work when I’m back at home, and how easy it is to miss something so beautiful along my path. I have to remember to stop and smell the roses more frequently when I return to America.

Another thought that came to mind was that no matter how big something good or bad is, it’s all relative. In the grand scheme of life, everything changes and passes away anyways. So there’s no need to feel attached to things. I’ve got to remember to keep my eyes open to find bliss in the tiniest of places in every moment.

petrol

reusing glass bottles for petrol in Bali

I love how the Balinese reuse litter glass bottles to hold petrol. At first I wondered if this could be dangerous. What if someone drank a bottle by accident? I guess that’s why they display the bottles on a special stand along with a funnel (you can see it in the photo on the bottom shelf).

Growing up in a Korean home in New York, I was taught to use less and to reuse things whenever possible. Like using prepared food containers, instead of buying bright plastic Tupperware, to store our left overs. Korean moms are notorious for saving plastic bags, and reusing them until they fall apart. I think this comes from the fact that Korea wasn’t always a 1st world country, and when my folks were growing up, resources and even food were scarce. So, it was important to make the best use of everything available, and never to waste.

grocery in Bali

grocery in Bali

It’s rainy season in Bali, so it downpours buckets of rain for 20 minutes to a couple hours almost every day. It’s warm, so I don’t mind it. On my first rainy day, I decided to visit a local grocery store, where I found a new fruit called salak. It grows on palm trees.

selak

salak fruit

This is salak. It has a brown snakeskin that’s really thin. You peel it away to find what looks like garlic cloves inside. These pods of fruit contain a small seed, and taste sweet and tart at the same time.

selak peeled

peeled salak fruit

The meat of the salak fruit is not juicy, but rather dry and firm. It has a texture similar to a pear, but not as firm and crisp, smoother in texture, and dry. Interesting texture and delicious flavor.

rambutan

rambutan fruit

This brightly colored, hairy fruit is a rambutan. I love lychees, and the rambutan is very similar in texture and flavor. Rambutan is very cheap in Bali. I  bought a big bag for about 50 cents. The rambutan, even at the grocery store, is always covered in crawling ants. I guess this means there’s no pesticides on the fruit, a good thing.

Here in hot, muggy Bali, I live off fresh tropical fruits (durian, salak, rambutan, mango, papaya, pineapple, and banana), and enjoy only occasional greens when I find them. Back home in the States, I had been cutting back on my sugar intake over the past several months. I was concerned about eating so much fruit. But, my body is thriving on this raw food fruit diet. Combined with swims in the warm ocean, walking everywhere, and the sunshine, all this fruit is making my body leaner. I like this effect.

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