The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 15, Alila Manggis Resort

Sunday, March 15 - Day 40 - Alila Manggis Resort

The AC, despite the 23C restriction, gets the room down to 69F (20.5C) and we promise not to report the lapse to anyone.  The bed is comfortable and we sleep quite well. Carolyn has threatened bodily injury to anyone who wakes her so Dick is VERY quite as he dresses and leaves the room about 7AM with his laptop, camera chips and chip reader. 

He sets up in the open air lobby and begins to work on a Fedx problem with the delivery of new electrical plug adapters to our hotel in Bangkok.  For some reason they were unable to deliver on time, as there is money due for something and the hotel would not accept the delivery.  He gets on the Fedx website and asks for a resolution based on having received specific, approved delivery instructions from the hotel in Bangkok.  Fedx acknowledges his email and hopefully that will solve the problem before we get there on March 18.  By 9AM when Carolyn appears, Dick is into his third, large cup of coffee and has written one day of this blog in addition to addressing the Fedx issue.

It was pleasantly cool at 7AM but by 9AM it has begun to warm up and Dick is beginning to glow.  Breakfast is juice, breads and eggs fixed in several different ways.  More importantly, the view from our table is beautiful and we enjoy our meal very much.

Carolyn arranges for a car and driver/guide to take us to the weaving village of Tenganan Pegringsingan.  It cost $20K IDR to get in the gate, all of $1.51.  This village is over 1,000 years old and has very unique customs.  Villagers must marry within the village or leave if they do not.  The real estate is communally owned and if someone dies without an heir, the village gets the house and assigns it to a new owner/family.  The village is known for its weavers and that is the reason we are here.

We stroll through the village with our guide, Pudi, who seems to know many of the people and who gives us a running commentary.  Other than people talking on cell phones and the occasional motorbike, we seem to be walking through a stone age village.  Everything is made from black, volcanic rock and carved wood.  Doors are rare with hanging cloth a more common door covering.  The people are smiling and mostly welcoming to tourists although tourists or outsiders of any sort have only been allowed into the village in the relatively recent past. Several generations of a family live in compounds behind ornate doorways. The family compounds face a common ground that has the temple, meeting hall and other community necessities like the water pump.

Pudi leads us to the back of the long, narrow village enclosure and up many levels, by way of stone ramps and the occasional concrete stair, to Morinda Art.  The Alila Manggis helps support the villager's crafts using many pieces in the hotel from the small woven drink coasters to the beautiful cloth framed for wall art. Our guide knows the artist but we can also see the quality of the work. The couple inside patiently explain the process of producing the weaving known as “Greingsing (No Sick) - Double Ikat.” The pieces, of varying lengths and widths in a three color pattern, are used for ceremonial dress by both the men and women and the costume pieces are passed down from parent to child.  It takes four years to make a skein of yarn with which to make one of the weavings. Everything is back by hand and all natural including the dyes.  Talk about labor intensive! Then it takes another 5 or so years for the colors in the design to fully develop especially the yellow. it and the red are the two colors that fail most often. The lady, who is the artist, is either the wife or sister-in-law of the man but the highest quality work they show was produced by her mother-in-law, his mother many years ago.  The young artist modestly explains, when asked, that she is not yet capable of producing the highest quality work; maybe in another ten years or so, she says.
With our usual exquisite taste, we (Carolyn) immediately spots an older piece made by the mother-in-law some ten years ago.  It is long and narrow and perfect for a table runner.  (Be sure to put glass over it, never wash and cool press only!)  We ask the price and there are not that many zeros on the calculator keyboard!  Oh, that’s right, we are talking about Indonesian Rhupia (IDR)!  Ok, so if there are 13,000 rhupia in a US dollar, how many dollars is .................?  Still ouch but doable for our big purchase of the trip but we do not have anywhere near that much cash. 

“Not to worry, we take credit card,” says the man! 

“Deal!  And, by the way, how much is this smaller, high quality piece?  Did your mother do this one too?”

“Yes, my Mother made.”

“So, how much for both?, replies the shopper?

“Make you special deal for both and throw in these carved wall hangers for both pieces!”

And so, international trade is increased.  We make new friends in a strange society in a far away land and the man comes out with a WIFI CARD SWIPE MACHINE AND HAND HELD CALCULATOR!  To business!

Pleased with our purchase of this highly collectible fabric, we take a different route back toward the village entrance and our car.  Along the way we sample red, “Hairy Fruit,” photograph the buildings, the fighting cocks in their cages, tiny chicks following their mother about and generally enjoy the place.

Back in the car, refreshed by a bottle of water and a cold towel from an ice chest in  the back, we head back to Alila Manggis.  We have been gone all of two hours and the charge is only $18US per hour for the car and driver/guide.  Dick tips Pudi the equivalent of $18US and he seems thrilled.  Well worth the price of admission.

We get a light lunch, Carolyn a Balinese coconut and noodle soup, Dick a mixed meat sate, and we enjoy the little cake we were too tired to eat last night. Then we piddle away the afternoon working on this blog and reading.  The heat and humidity are zapping!  Rain develops over the central mountains but all we hear is the thunder.


Dinner is the special three course meal. The hotel is known for its chef and cooking school. The plan we chose for our stay in Bali included two nights at each of the Alila resorts with a special dinner at Manggis and a spa treatment at Ubud...there they are known for their body and soul approach. We both have a sate starter. Carolyn a chicken main course and Dick has a Balinese dish which are both good. We finish with banana fritters and ice cream. We are really enjoying the Balinese food which is surprising to Carolyn because she not in the past. The chef working around her allergy so that really is helping. Back in the room, we are asleep in no time. 

1 comment:

  1. We met briefly on the QE at cruise critic and the sewing group - we boarded in SFO, too. Now that we are home, I'm catching up on some blogs. You are doing the kind of trip I would like to do - several land stops with cruises as part of the transportation. I am loving reading the blog.