Friday, December 16, 2005

Days by the beach

Alila Manggis is the beach-side counterpart to Alila Ubud. Or perhaps I should say "sea-side", since there's more of a rocky shore than a beach. Speaking to one of the staff, who has been here for 8 years, I found out that there used to be a beach here, but over the course of time, more and more rocks have been washed onshore by the waves, creating the rocky shoreline you see now. He believes the rocks come from the two rivers that empty into the bay which the beach faces.

The sound of the waves crashing onto the pebbles is one thing, but the sound they make as they pull back is a rustling, soft crackling noise that I found very soothing. I spent a good half hour squatting by the beach recording video of the waves: later, played back on a loop on the iBook, they provided the perfect backdrop to an afternoon nap.


K and I were delighted to make friends with our first cat in Bali (plenty of stray dogs in sight, but not a single cat spotted except this one), a slim dark-coated cat. One of the waiters told us that the cat had been with him as long as he had worked here, and he was only a little kitten then. It took hours of coaxing and teasing before we earned his trust (all this without the bribery of food either), but eventually he let us stroke him. K took some excellent photos of him (the net connection here is not too stable, so that pic will take some time to upload).

The daily rain has meant that we've not got any sun-tanning done at all. I've spent most of the time taking photographs, reading books on the Wars of the Roses, doing crosswords and Sudoku puzzles.

Gardener

I took these photos of the gardener as he cut a patch of the lawn by hand, with nothing but a sickle, a broom and a trash bag. It took him hours, but he cleared quite a patch by the end of it. I shot about 6-7 photos of him over the course of a few minutes, and overlaid them on each other to give a sense of his movement.

water lilies

The restaurant here is surrounded by a moat, filled with water lilies (or lotuses: I can't recall the difference - though given that this is Asia, they ought to be lotuses) and carp, and since we spend hours at breakfast, lunch and dinner (there being nothing much else to do) I've taken quite a few photos here. This one was composited from two shots, the left in normal colour, the right in infra-red.

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