Half an hour before sunset, Don gathers us all on the beach for a trek to a meditation spot. Someone drives Barbara there, as she can't negotiate the loose sand and tangles of beach growth with her wheelchair (which DID show up a couple days after we had arrived in Ubud). We walk along the beach for several hundred feet, then work our way inland, following a small trail through the low tangle of beach vegetation. We come to a level grassy area with widely spaced palm trees planted in rows. We approach a small area contained by a small stone wall around it. We stop here.

Don explains that the wall surrounds the local people's temple and is for Balinese villagers only. We will honor their power spot and their wishes that we not enter it. We will, however, set up our own power spot near theirs. So we place our sacred objects around Don's Tibetan bowl and spread ourselves out around this center in a wide circle.

Don speaks of the four directions, but I notice that he's referring to the north as the cold and the south as the warm. But here in Bali, since we're south of the equator, it's just the other way around. My left brain seems too tired to remember any of the rest of what Don says. We tone for a while. Then Don has us hold hands and start forming a slowly moving spiral inward to the center, then back out again. This seems soothing to me. We collect our sacred objects, but leave some palm leaves and twigs to mark the spot. Slowly, in twos and threes we make our way back to our rooms. The beds accept our grateful bodies after a long tiring, but fascinating day.


Early to rise for the day-long trip to East Java and Borobudur Temple. About three-fourths of us are going, but not Don! He says that everyone ought to see Borobudur once, but only once! Besides that, he says he's had his fill of Java. I wonder what he means and hope I've made the right decision to take this trip.

We wait at the airport for what seems like a long time. Eventually, getting the green light, we descend from the second floor "holding" rooms by way of outside balconies and stairs to the ground. We walk on the tarmac over to the Garuda Indonesia plane--no flyways here. I admire the airline's blue and turquoise logo. The Garuda bird, in Hindu mythology, carried one of the gods. We seem to be just about the only Caucasians on this jam-packed flight. Our Balinese guides say goodbye--we'll be met on Java by Indonesian guides in Yogyakarta. During the flight, all announcements are made in Indonesian and another language which we don't understand. Breakfast on Garuda wins hands down as the worst of any airline I've flown! I enjoy the scenery on the hour and a half flight.


As we deplane and walk across the tarmac, our Javanese guides escort us to our buses. Seems we'll be visiting another temple first, before we go to Borobudur. It's a long ride. Most people on Java are Buddhist, rather than Hindu, as in Bali. Bamboo scaffolding surrounds the main building of this temple and several other smaller ones. Earthquakes hit this area periodically and have for several centuries. Temples seem to always be in need of repairs. Looking around, I'm reminded of war-ravaged cities! Our guides tell us that this temple is about three-fourths rebuilt now, since the last earthquake.

The great contrast between the very dark gray temple stones and the sun-sparkling sandy soil makes it hard on the eyes--and camera auto exposures. I use the flash compensation button and hope details of the dark stones will show up okay.

We climb steps up one side of a smaller temple building and enter a midnight-black cave-like room. We can't see anything at all, having just come from the blindingly bright glare outside. Our flashlights reveal bits and pieces of a large stone. We recognize a seated Ganesha, the elephant god. I point my camera and shoot. I enter the other three rooms on the other three sides of this square building. Each room contains a dark granite statue of a different deity. I just point the camera and shoot, grateful that I have auto focus. I could never have focused manually, as there's just not enough light.

I ask one of our guides what's in one of the smaller raised and walled square platforms across the courtyard. Our guide says it's the bull upon which Shiva rode. Overwhelmed with a sudden urge to communicate with the bull (must be my Taurus nature calling), I hurry across the hot, dusty yard and climb the six or eight stone steps. A large reclining dark gray granite Brahmin bull greets me. His beauty lies in the simplicity of the carving. Here's a bull at peace with the world. I hurriedly snap a couple of pictures, then dash back down as I hear the call to board the buses.


We stop at a lovely bungalow-type hotel for lunch. They're been expecting us and very efficiently herd us into the dining room. We welcome the comparatively cool shade in the building as the sun bakes hot, hot, hot outside. Seated, we give our drink orders. Then we partake of a scrumptious buffet. We seem to be their only customers at this hour. What a contrast to that miserably inefficient round restaurant near Tanah Lot Temple we'd visited a few days ago!

After lunch, I shoot some musical instruments set up in a small stage-like area that's used for evening entertainment. I wish I could be here then. We have some time to wander around the lushly landscaped grounds. Such beauty everywhere we look puts our senses into overwhelm. Such a contrast to the starkly dusty hot temple we'd just visited.

On the buses for another long ride to Borobudur. I happen to glance out the window on the opposite side of the bus. Lo and behold, there's one of those well-defined lenticular clouds cuddling the tip of a distant volcano! This is the type of cloud that space ships are supposed to hide in. Grabbing my camera, I crawl over Joan and across the aisle to the opposite seat where John is sitting by himself. He's unexcited and unimpressed, but graciously moves so I can be in the window seat. I attempt three shots, but trees, poles and buildings get in the way as we pass them. I have a feeling I won't be able to show what I want to capture, so I don't waste any more film. I ask our guide about the mountain. He says it's called Mount Marapi. "Api" means "fire." This is an active volcano.

Go to Page 14

1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7 ~ 8 ~ 9 ~ 10 ~ 11
12 ~ 13 ~ 14 ~ 15 ~ 16 ~ 17 ~ 18 ~ 19

Tone By Tone Dot Net