Candidasa

Slight delay in writing up the blog … mainly because I’ve been strapped for time now that I’ve *unretired* and am working at Murdoch Uni.

Candidasa, from my research, translates (albeit roughly) as Temple and ten, the Goddess Hariti is portrayed surrounded by 10 children. So women who have not been blessed with children bring offerings to the Goddess Hariti to beseech her intervention. Not only fertility but prosperity as well. I didn’t photograph the statue in the main street of Candidasa of Hariti surrounded by 10 children so that means I’ll have to go back soon and take that photo!

The Gedong Gandhi Ashram is the most peaceful place. A short walk from our hotel we take a sharp turn right behind a building (no sign-posts here) and we are in another world. Bali is full of these amazing, even mysterious, portals from one world to another. So, we walk through and there are palm trees, grazing cattle, the ocean, and a Yoga pavilion.

Yoga Pavilion

The first morning, Uki takes us through a lovely sequence of asana based around the Warrior or Hero postures.

Uki

The second (and final morning at Candidasa) Kawi leads us through a more vigorous class. This is Yoga, always something for everyone! Kawi’s class also included Warrior.

We stayed at the Candidasa Beach Resort Hotel and when I walked out of my room (more like a bungalow) this is what I could see

Walking down the path toward the ocean and the swimming pools (two) and restaurant right on the ocean wall. The hotel was originally built as a 5 star but was out of use after the Bali bombings decimated the tourist trade. When I was here in 2009 the hotel was closed. When we arrived at the hotel the phrase “faded glory” came to mind. The hotel is comfortable and the service is good. The building itself is fairly rundown and the electrics could use some repair! I had serious doubts about the electrical system when I plugged in the fridge and a flame shot out! The plumbing is also a bit suss.

We ate breakfast at the hotel each morning (banana pancakes, a plate of fresh tropical fruit followed by perfectly cooked eggs, Bali kopi and toast). Oh my! In the evening we ate at Puspa’s Warung and I can’t recommend that enough.

Walking down to Puspa’s Warung one evening we came upon a couple of security guards burying a dead ginger kitten in a patch of earth next to the road. So many cats in Bali.

Early on the second morning I found hundreds of tiny brown frogs hopping around on the path on the path outside my room. At first I thought they were leaves but on closer inspection discovered these teeny weeny little frogs!

Using Candidasa as a base, we took a day trip to Amed on the North Easterly coast and had another memorable meal on the beach front there (gado gado – I’d say 9/10). The road up through the mountain pass is … interesting with many hairpin bends and so much traffic. The scooter and motor bikes fill up every gap in the traffic. On the way I saw a man with a big pink pig on a leash walking through the forest on the side of the main road. Pork (babi) is a favourite in Bali. I don’t eat it so can’t really comment. I saw a dead dog by the road – the first one I’ve seen which is amazing as there are dogs everywhere, even sleeping on the road.

At Puspa’s Warung I had a delicious bean and coconut dish, highly spiced and well seasoned. In Aussie currency it was under $5.00 I ate it all. Yum yum.

From Candidasa, Gede picked us up and took us, via Singaraja, to Lovina Beach. Maybe this is my favourite place in Bali? This is Gede

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Candidasa

Bali Yoga Retreat

Hurry up and wait.

Many journeys begin waiting at the airport and this one was no different. I have long been a subscriber to the philosophy “Hurry up and wait” which, my sister reminded me, was something that Mum used to abide by. So, on a cold morning at the beginning of June, I write in my notebook: Waiting at the airport, Saturday 12.55pm. Sod’s law says, “The earlier you arrive at the airport, the likelihood of the flight being delayed, increases”. However, I’ve discovered that all the years that I thought I was afraid of flying I was, in fact, stressing out about airports and getting there in time so as not to miss my flight; hence, hurry up and wait.

The Garuda flight was delayed because of dreadful weather in Perth. In fact, after takeoff, we were buffeted around to such an extent that we had to remain seated for some time (no toilet breaks or anything) and the meal was served much later than expected. The Garuda flight attendants were, as always courteous, friendly and efficient.

Perth went on to have some terrible storms on Sunday and much damage was done. Lucky me, then, to be swanning around in beautiful Bali, eating exotic and spicy food, having 1 or 2 Yoga classes every day and exploring some less visited parts of the island.

Morning on the second day started with our first Yoga class in (or should that be ‘on’) the roof garden of the hotel. Michele led us through some chanting, pranayama and asanas and finished up with an inspirational meditation.

On the roof garden

After breakfast we (Michele, Robbie and I) set about exploring Legian. Having no sense of direction whatsoever, Michele’s knowledge of the by-ways and back-ways soon had me totally confused. The moment we walked out of the Hotel Vilarisi into the gang (laneway) I was lost! First call was a money changer and then some shopping. I had forgotten the ins-and-outs of bargaining and a couple of stall holders made some money out of me! The way I look at it is this, sometimes the value being haggled over, when translated into Aussie currency, is about $2 or less. Anyway, I was happy and so were they.

After lunch Gede (pronounced G’day – like the West Aussie greeting) picked us up and took us through to Candidasa, further east along the coast. Lovely Candidasa and the Ashram Gandhi.

Bali Yoga Retreat