Early in 2019 we learned that Kerry’s cousin Ken was soon to wed and we would be receiving an invitation to the wedding. Later it was revealed that Kerry would play a part in the ceremony. The invitation arrived and to our surprise it would be conducted in Bali Indonesia. Bali was the place of choice for the wedding as the bride Yena lives there.
Bali has never been on our bucketlist as a place to visit for too many reasons to explain here. You may say “you never know until you have been there”. Well you could not be further from the truth. We knew exactly what to expect. But duty and family overrode our choices.
We subsequently learned that friends Frank and Rosie Walsh were travelling to Bali on the same dates for a break so we decided that we would not just go for the wedding but spend sometime on the island (we could not justify spending the airfare for a weekend). So we did some planning booked our accomodation through the Accor Vacations Club and forgot about it until September 2019 when we boarded our flight.
Now Bali is good for Ken who lives in Perth to shoot straight up there but from Brisee it is a trek so we felt washed out on arrival. Our journey to the hotel was draining but the hotel (which was actually a resort) proved to be a surprise. Bali lies quite close to the equator and the weather is hot and humid so windows are not opened and rooms become musty – that is the tropics. so the first thing we did was to open the place up and then took a walk whilst the tropical air waffted through. The resort is at Nusa Dua. The pictures below are the reception one of the many ponds throughout the resort and one of the walks through the resort.
The resort is in an enclave of western hotels with Hindu shrines and decorations spotted throughout in a tropical bushland so as to make you feel like you are somewhere different but familiar at the same time. The familiarity is somewhat destroyed by each hotel having a guardhouse where each incoming vehicle is checked and examined for possible bomb threats. These guard houses became familiar and reassuring. Below is the shrine in the front yard of the resort and one of the sculptures to be found throughout the area.
There are a number of resorts in this enclave along with clusters of shops and each bit of a shop has an offering at the front door, a shrine inside the shop with a major shrine in the square in the centre of the shops. Some of the local rats and mice could be seen helping themselves to the food offerings to the Gods.
After visiting the shops we travelled what seemed forever across the causeway to the place where the wedding rehearsals were being held to meet the bride Yena and the groom Ken plus Uncle Barry. Kerry also had to be briefed on her role in the Buddhist ceremony. After a quick rehearsal we returned to the resort as the wedding was planned for the following day.
Bright and early next morning we prepared for the ceremony which was late afternoon – one has to prepare fully for such a ceremony including loolling about in the swimming pool for hours to soften and cleanse the skin. After repeating the trip on the causeway and through the rabbit warren of tiny streets we arrived. The wedding was to be held in the court yard of a hotel and we were one the first to arrive with the setting still being prepared. When Ken and Yena arrived a very happy Yena greeted us. Uncle Barry was his usual laid back individual and Kerry was quick to cuddle up to him. The altar made up of a table with flowers candles and incense was a simple affair with a glorious ring of flowers behind it. the ceremony started when Ken and Yena made their way to the altar where they were met by the Buddhist priest who performed the ceremony. Kerry’s role involved lighting the candle of wisdom, one of 5 candles on the altar. Yena’s parents sat in the front row with us and they also lit a candle which represented love.
As soon as the ceremony was completed the festivities began and went well into the night. A banquet of Balinese dishes was offered but the heat and sweat made it hard to feel like eating. And it was still hot and sweaty by the close around 10.00pm.
The next day commenced with a swim in the pool the weather remain hot and steamy. We had planned that we would catch up with Frank and Rosie but the pool was essential start to the day.