21 October, 2010

The 2010 Ubud Writers Festival ...and into the wild blue Bali of Beyond

Marie relaxes after enjoying a special Balinese Mushroom Milkshake.
No, not at Kuta Beach, but at the Ubud Writers Festival in Bali.

 Sometimes I need to remind myself sternly that we do actually live here in Thailand. But only 3 weeks after our return from a month in Burma, we flapped off to Bali for the Ubud Writers Festival and some undeserved R&R. 

More of that shortly, but first a brief report on events back home here in Chiangmai:

Our pet vine (Srilankan Strangling Spinach) is aggressively colonising the balcony view, obviously enjoying the onset of the monsoon season.
In fact, Chiangmai's floods were unusually deep this year... damned lucky the camera was waterproof:

Marie models some of the latest fashions from the local Warrarot Flea Market:

And so to Bali. Here's the usual eye-massaging landscape of rice paddy terraces:

...and Marie demonstrates how to anticipate the arrival of a dish of Beef Rendang, a particularly apposite choice as this happened to be the district of Rendang. While waiting, she reached out with her marker pen and sketched in the outline of the volcano in the distance (Gunung Agung) as you might see it on a clear day. It killed 2,000 people in its last eruption in 1963, including the entire family of one of our taxi-drivers:

The Pura Besakih (Hindu) temple is to Bali what St Pauls is to London. It was a wet day but hey, what's a few drops of water?

Bali insisted on presenting an array exotic old cars. There's a bit of expatriate money floating around, methinks:

And so to Ubud, that den of Literary Iniquity nestling among the mountainous landscape of central Bali. Here's a local man taking a bath in one of the many streams, just as we were walking to the opening session:

Many more photos, together with comments about the festival, are available by clicking here.