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Bali, the Island of Wonders Part II - Balinese Hospitality

Updated: May 19


At 6 in the morning, Ania and I were already packed and waiting outside our accommodation because Putu would soon arrive to pick us up. Putu was our driver on the island. Before traveling to the island, I read a lot about transportation options, and it seemed like the best idea to hire a driver to show us around Bali. Many people in the 'Utazómajom' Facebook group recommended Putu, so we asked him, and I still believe it was one of the best decisions we made regarding our Bali trip.

The previous day, Putu asked us what if our next day didn’t go according to the planned itinerary, but he took us to his hometown and a Balinese ceremony instead. Of course, we were immediately interested in this idea

A few minutes past 6, Putu arrived. We put our backpacks in the trunk (yes, this trip was a true backpacking adventure - with 5 outfits) and we were on our way. We had only been on the island for a few days, but I simply couldn't grasp whether I could comprehend what was happening to me even after a week. We drove through the mountains, past the rice terraces.

When we arrived at the village, we parked the car by the main road and continued on foot into the green forest. Yes, because this footpath felt like stepping into a botanical garden, yet it was simply reality. The green color was so vibrant, and the colorful flowers shone through the background. It was like a scene from a fairytale. However, the view was quickly disrupted by the scattered trash in some places, which we sadly noticed.

It took us about 15-20 minutes to walk to Putu's house. Along the way, we saw working women and beautiful waterfalls. I couldn't help but think how incredible it was that there was life in the middle of nature.

At Putu's place, multiple generations live together. Grandparents, parents, siblings, and their grandchildren too. We met at least twelve people there for sure. Putu's daughter was not at home, but we got to meet his twins, who were born two months ago. We also met his brother's children, although they were a bit shy at first, but by the end, we became good friends. His wife immediately welcomed us. On the porch, they laid out a rug and offered us various delicacies - grilled meat with rice, pastries, fruits, coconut water. They showed us around the house. The kitchen is outside in the garden, but there is no light. They sleep on mattresses inside the house. They live modestly, but we experienced such hospitality that I may have never experienced before. After lunch, Putu played the guitar for us, we took a walk around the neighborhood, and one of the relatives even picked oranges for us from an orange tree.

Shortly after, we began preparing for the ceremony because we were not just observers. Putu's family provided us with traditional Balinese attire typically worn during ceremonies, and Putu's sister styled our hair according to local customs. When we were ready, it started to rain. We were in the rainy season, so there was a brief shower almost every day, usually lasting about 1-2 minutes. We rode back to the main road from the house on a scooter. It was probably the first and last time I rode a scooter in 15 years. I held onto the handle with one hand and held the umbrella in the other, concentrating not to fall.

There were many people at the ceremony. Such ceremonies consist of several parts. In the beginning, children, and later women danced. Ania and I watched and followed Putu's sister's steps during the ceremony, and we even lit incense. In the last three minutes of the ceremony, it started to rain heavily again, so we hurried under a covered area.

If we had consciously planned this day in advance and it hadn't been so spontaneous, I'm sure we wouldn't have enriched ourselves with such colorful and unforgettable experiences.

Ania, my friend, made a vlog about this day in Polish, but the atmosphere still comes across to the viewers.

You can watch her videos here:

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