Jim Sebenius in Kuala Lumpur for business and government executives, it was time leave him behind for some R&R in Bali. Our superb guide and driver, Gede Suardana (more about him below), led us through some great places, including Klungkung. Here we viewed the Kertha Gose (Hall of Justice), which served as a kind of Supreme Court in the old days. If I were a guilty defendant, I might be pretty nervous in viewing the artwork in the frieze of the building. No, these are not photos of political life in Washington, DC. They are scenes from Bima's travels in the afterlife, witnessing the torment of evildoers.
At the nearby Museum Semarajayan, we found an unexpected treat, painting and scultpures from the Italian artist Emilio Ambron, who spent many years in Bali. After he died, his wife followed his wishes and sent his entire personal collection to be housed in Klungkung. The artwork is lovely. Here are two samples:
But the highlight had to be a mountain bike ride with Gede from the top of a mountain near Mt. Agung (above) through the forest and then down through rice paddies. We started with a breakfast of local treats.
Counterclockwise from lower left: laipes, klopon, lak-lak, banana, lak-lak, pisang rae. They are all variants on panang leaf, palm syrup, coconut, and other local ingredient. This was accompanied by local coffee made with ginger-infused water. Raring to go, we headed down the mountain.
If you are planning a trip to Bali, you can get in touch with Gede Suardana by email at culik_driver [at] yahoo [dot] com. His mobile phone is +62-81-2391-8247. Address is Rai Pasti Tailor, Monkey Forest Street, Ubud, Bali.
* With apologies to Rogers and Hammerstein, in the musical South Pacific!