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    Tropical Heat Tour: Bali Part 4

    Friday, July 6, 2012
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

    A sunlit temple on Jalon Hanoman in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    A Wayang Kulit performance at Oka Kartini in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    In the afternoon, I had lunch in the form of Sayur Urab at the Warung Taman Curry on Jalon Raya Ubud, the main East/West road through town. This open air joint is right on the sidewalk, but raised up a few feet, which makes it fun to watch the mass of motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks and tourists slowly amble by in a tight-knit, molasses-like traffic jam. I took another stroll South down Jalon Hanoman, this time to record video instead of photos in an attempt to slightly better convey the incredible feeling of walking down the severely cracked, and bombed out sidewalks in front ot the majestic, amazingly carved Balinese architecture. I also threw in some raw roadside scenes for good measure.

    The Dalang (puppet master) performs Wayang Kulit at Oka Kartini in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    A Wayang Kulit performance at Oka Kartini in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Nighttime means showtime, so I bought a ticket from a super sweet older lady to see Tirta Sari a mile or two away over in Peliatan. I’ve wanted to see them for a long time now, as they’re considered on of the best gamelan / dance troupes in the Ubud area. But, I missed the shuttle bus, so I had to exchange my ticket for a Wayang Kulit performance at Oka Kartini, which is a buttery hotel, art galley and Balinese arts workshop.

    A Wayang Kulit performance at Oka Kartini in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The gamelan players of the Wayang Kulit performance at Oka Kartini in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Much more than just a puppet show, Wayang Kulit is a serious part of the Balinese Hindu religion that greatly influences their everyday lives. Each performance–all night for locals or one hour for tourists–occurs in front of an oil lamp behind a screen, and is filled with deeply spiritual singing, humorous interludes and plenty of hyperactive drama that tells stories from the Hindu epic, the Ramayana.

    The whole crew at a Wayang Kulit performance at Oka Kartini in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Gado gado at Xl Shisha Lounge in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The puppets are beautiful, intricately cut works of art made out of buffalo hide leather and manipulated by wooden sticks. The puppet master, or dalang, is a highly revered and talented figure who operates the puppets, sings and beats hyper, erratic time against a box with a small wooden block held in his toes! Small gamelan metallophones supply the rest of the ringing, festive music. Wayang Kulit: another amazing and integral part of life on Bali.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

    2 responses to “Tropical Heat Tour: Bali Part 4”

    1. Poison Pie says:

      Okay, Garry, I am following your adventures on the Tropical Heat blog! Let’s see a picture of you in the traditional garb you bought.

    2. Grant Brittain says:

      Your writing makes me feel like I am there Garry. How is the camera working out?

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