Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Water Palace

Our last day in Ubud saw us do some serious power shopping (batik and ikat were the big winners) and then hit up this pretty water palace, which is tucked in between the shops and restaurants on one of the main drags:

Pura Taman Saraswati is a temple devoted to Dewi Saraswati, the goddess of learning, literature and the arts.  It's surrounded by large ponds filled with blooming lotus flowers... beautiful:

It has another one of those super elaborate doorways:

In front of which the girls enjoyed posing:


C is for cookie... and Chrissy:

Eileen got a little cheeky with this dragon:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jakarta Flood Update

Floods still haven't hit our immediate neighborhood, but we're not venturing too far, as more rain is still coming today and over the weekend and flood waters are still rushing all around us.  Flood waters reached almost 2 meters high in some areas... crazy.

Here are some more photos from around the city that I found:
Source: http://metro.news.viva.co.id
Source: http://images.solopos.com
Source: http://www.indonesiarayanews.com

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jakarta Update: It's Wet. Really Wet.

Dudes... since we got back to Jakarta, it has rained basically non-stop.  And by "rained," I mean poured.  Torrential.  Hour after hour...   Hard to tell from looking at my video above, but you can definitely hear it.  

The city is a mess: flooding everywhere is inundating people's homes, closing roads, stopping trains, causing landslides and generally wreaking havoc on life.  Check out some photos here and video here.  Some of Tim's employees took 4 hours to get to work, some didn't make it at all (stuck at the train station, unable to get to the office or home), most are battling endless roof leaks (like us... we've got buckets catching rain throughout the apartment).  Sigh.  It's pretty insane.

UPDATE: Holy crap, now the Indonesian President's palace is flooded, as well as the Hotel Indonesia Circle (Bundaran HI), right where I used to work (remember the photos I took of the protests at this circle earlier this year?):

photo from Jakarta Globe
 We are doing ok still, and avoiding flooded areas.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Elephant Cave: Goa Gajah

Whilst in Ubud, we took an afternoon trip out of town to check out Goa Gajah, the Elephant Cave.  

In front of the cave is one of Bali's many fountains/pools/bathing areas, complete with clothed statues pouring out water:

Maggie contemplates entering the mouth of the demon:


Eileen captured these cute kids hanging out outside the temple... one happy to ham it up, one who was not impressed:

We got a chance to watch this woman preparing and delivering an offering into the belly of the beast, which is full of banten (offerings) and incense smoke:

Is this the elephant after which the temple is named?  Not sure...

Next to the Elephant Cave itself is set of steep stairs leading down into a small, lush gorge that has several waterfalls and the ruins of an old temple:

There were also some pretty impressive trees down in the gorge:

We liked this dude's shirt... authentic diggitty.

We climbed out of the gorge, along some windy paths, ultimately leading to a bright green rice paddy and some trinket stands selling masks depicting the mildly threatening but a good god, Barong, but of course: