Indonesian Cooking Class, Visit to Tenganan Bali Aga Village, and Farewell Dinner
Candi Dasa Travel Blog› entry 18 of 23 › view all entries
It's another busy day ahead -- and our last night together as a group. We started with a light breakfast at 7 with tea, coffee and toast with tomatoes, avocados and cheese grilled to perfection. It was quite nice. Part of our group went for a market tour -- I opted to do another ride on this morning. I was joined by KC, Francoise, and Jundre. Our drivers all came along on the ride too -- for the first time. It was great to have them all along with us. We did a 15 mile ride through a couple of really charming villages. Nothing too hilly or strenuous on this ride.
After the ride, I showered and had a little more pool time with Jundre. Irika came back from the market trip -- she had bought me a Balinese hat for the party that night.
The hotel offered an Indonesian cooking class taught by the head chef (Wayan, naturally). We made two salsas and a peanut sauce as a start using mortars and pestles. The mortar and pestle is a real must for authentic Indonesian cooking. We learned to make chiken satay, banana leaf wrapped fish, chicken with coconut milk and orange juice, and pork with tomato juice and curry. We also learned how to make traditional Indonesian fried rice -- called 'Nasi Goreng' as our side dish. Each of us had our own hot plate and cooking area (and apron), and we had to make all of the dishes except the chicken in coconut milk and the pork dish. I got to make the chicken dish, and Cecilia did the pork dish.
That afternoon, we shuttled to the Tenganan Bali Aga Village. The Bali Aga are known as the 'original Balinese' people -- those who were here before the Hindu and Moslem invasions. It's a walled village of about 300 people. The village is a closed society -- in that you must marry within the community -- or leave.
The people of the village are great weavers of cloth and baskets. The cloth that is woven here is called double-ikat weave-- as it is the same on the front and back of the cloth. It's truly beautiful and unique -- I bought a table runner of the material that is really superb. I also got a couple of hand carved masks here, woven placemats (cured in smoke so they won't rot -- and they smell wonderful), and an artwork of Borung, one of the major gods here. It was really a fun place to shop, and you feel good about buying here, as it supports this unique village economically.
For our last night together, we had a great farewell dinner at the Alilla Mangiss. Most of us dressed in native garb -- I wore a silk shirt I had purchased earlier in the trip, my fish sarong and the hat Irika got me at the market today. We started with Arak Attacks again, and then went out to watch a pre-dinner show that was arranged for us. We sat on the lawn of the hotel property -- and watched a special dance made up of all male performers. It was called the Fire Dance, starring a Good Monkey and a Bad Monkey. Cute young boys about 7-9 years old ran around at the beginning of the performance with torches, while the older men chanted in rhythm. It was quite animated. The real action started when the Good Monkey and the Bad Monkey started flinging fireballs at each other! The lawn started blazing as the fire balls crashed around the actors! Definitely not something that would be approved in the US by EPA or OSHA regulators!! When the Good Monkey finally defeated the Bad Monkey, he spat on the Bad Monkey's genitalia and then tied it up with rope and lit it on fire! Not sure the the significance of that!!
Our farewell dinner was also out on the lawn under paper Chinese lanterns.
We had a white elephant gift exchange among all the Backroads guests -- and I ended up with a bottle of sweet soy sauce and regular soy sauce as my gift. I also got a prize for knowing the names of all the support crew -- (Wayan Narta, Anom, Made and Pak Bandi) -- it was a great book of traditional Balinese stories.