The dawn chorus warms up about 5 a.m. and comes to full voice at 6--roosters galore plus occasional dog barks form a background for soft coos coming from the hotel grounds. We enjoy Nature's tropical serenade as we wash, dress and try to figure out where we're going to stash our stuff.

In an outdoor raised pavilion covered with a thatched roof--like all the buildings in the hotel-bungalow complex, two Balinese waiters serve our breakfast. I choose a fruit bowl--bananas, pineapples, papaya and red grapes, plus some very strong Balinese tea. We can also order eggs fixed in a variety of ways and white bread toast. I'm always disappointed at being served white bread in exotic lands where I'd much rather eat the native breads.

After breakfast Don comes along, rounding up the 6 of us staying here. After a very brief briefing, Don, Joan and I plus Michael who's manifested himself from the Puri Saran, walk over to the Temple Puri Saraswati that's next to the Puri Saraswati. We sit on the temple steps, not being properly attired to enter the temple itself, and contemplate the lovely large square lotus pond in front of the temple.

Then the four of us recite the Master's Affirmation which Don had just given us. Next we tone for a few minutes to draw in the energies and hold them sacredly enveloping the entire group. Don charges us with keeping these energies intact for the whole group for the rest of our sojourn in Bali. I feel a large energy cone come over us. This cone stays over us as we attend to daily activities. Whenever I remember it, I feel it still over us!

At 11 a.m., the group gathers on the veranda of Puri Saran for our morning session. Don says that the Prince has given us his permission to use his veranda during our stay in Ubud. I think Don is speaking figuratively, but find out later that there really IS a Prince and that this Puri Saran is his home! He's converted some of the buildings on the palace grounds into a hotel. I guess even a prince of Bali needs some extra income.

Using a small ornate table we find on the veranda, we set up an altar on which Don places his ceremonial gong bowl, incense, tiny ceramic fish whistles and other stuff. The rest of us place our sacred objects, which Don had asked us to bring with us, around Don's. I place my large smoky quartz record keeper crystal under the table and a small quartz on the top.

After Don's introductory lecture, we tone as a group for about 10 minutes. Next, Don blows one of the fish whistles, then passes it to each of us to blow it in turn and "name" ourselves! I name myself "Serendipity." No two toots on the whistle sound the same, as Don points out, telling us that clues to our personalities are hidden in our approach to whistle blowing! One final toning session and then we break for lunch.

Joan and I choose spinach samosas with yogurt and some absolutely divine Bali tea at the Lotus Café, a small restaurant right next to our Puri Saraswati and with a view of the temple's lotus pond. After lunch we embark on a brief shopping tour on Monkey Forest Road, which runs from Bali's main street right opposite the Puri Saran and goes down to the Monkey Forest. This forest is a wooded ravine about a mile or so downhill. My first purchase: an ikat-dyed cotton sarong displaying subtle rainbow colors that play on a black background.

It's hot and humid out, so we trot back to our room rather than continue down the road. It's reorganization time! We move stuff from one suitcase to another, from the shelf to the hangers and vice versa. I try to organize my camera bag so it holds my 35mm Nikon SLR camera, film, the minicam, batteries, tapes, lenses, and purse essentials so I'll have only one bag to keep track of--and lug! We both experience mass mental confusion, so we flop on our beds for a while.

At 2:30 p.m., however, we haul our tired bodies out to meet the group on Monkey Forest Road. Off in the hot, hot heat we go, marching slowly down the road, past the shops, past the end of the road and onto a dusty path to the trees and welcome SHADE. Here we encounter some wonderful street vendors with all sorts of trinkets to try to tantalize our tourists' eyes into parting with some of our cash. We actually see a small group of peaceful monkeys sitting along the trail accepting peanut offerings. The dirt path leads up out of the ravine to open fields of rice paddies. It's hotter up here, so we turn back, plunging into the shaded ravine and running the gauntlet of the vendors who've been lying in wait, knowing we'd have to return sooner or later.

Out of the cooler ravine, which was still pretty hot, onto the dusty sun-baked road, Joan and I trudge slowly up the hill. It seems to have gotten steeper and steeper in the heat! Taking our time, we poke around in some of the small shops lining both sides of the road. We wonder how the sales people can stand trying to do business in this sweltering environment. Guess they're used to it. I purchase a blue and green ikat sarong woven of silk and cotton, a green and white batik scarf to go with it, and a black and white scarf for my black sarong.

Finally back at Puri Saraswati we decide the swimming pool looks cool and inviting. No one is using it, either. We change and Joan bravely plunges in gasping aloud. The water is shockingly cool and I have to immerse my overheated body by stages. Chicken that I am. Since I've never learned to swim, Joan says she'll teach me to float on my back tomorrow. We're too tired to do anything more right now.

So to bed for an hour. At 6:30 p.m. can we arise? No! Only with a good deal of mental struggle can we finally pry our bodies out of bed. Too late now for supper, we munch pollen energy bars and scramble off to meet the group at Puri Saran where we board minivans for a dance performance in the next town down the road.

Here is a website with a few photos of Puri Saren, scenes I did not shoot.

Also, here is a street map of Ubud - locate the Jalan Raya Ubud, main road, which goes across the upper part of the map. Look for Ubud Palace (Puri Saran). Then to the left of that locate the Lotus Cafe and Puri Saraswati. The Jalan Monkey Forest road goes south immediately across Jalan Raya Ubud road from the Palace.

Go to Page 3

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

Tone By Tone Dot Net