The closures were sparked by eruptions at Mount Raung and Mount Gamalama. Nature continually reminds us we are not in charge of the planet.
Raung has been rumbling for weeks, which led to airport closures last week including at tourist hotspot Bali.
Volcanic ash can be dangerous for airplanes as it can get sucked into engines and melts, which could then turn into a kind of molten glass that coats the inside of engines and affects fuel flow and shut off the engines. The Bali airport has since reopened. Source: BBC.
Safely encased in my English study, I was thinking this morning about the trip I took to Bali with my mother back in the 80s as her companion. A culture of contrasts remains in my mind—grace and respect vying with clamor and aggressive sales pitches.
We arrived at Denpasar International Airport from Australia late one night, and a coach whisked us off to a shared room in the complex at the Bali Hyatt Hotel, now under renovation.
Our transport took us along dusty roadways amid many pedestrians to the local market. The smell of rot and death came from one of the stalls, which our guide explained to be the normal odour of a large fruit called durian. All around us children screamed enticements and tugged at our clothes. Men and women shouted above them, each offering their wares. Although we politely declined, the locals didn't desist with their pestering at any time while we were on the street. In each shop, one corner contained flowers and offerings to their deity. I bought a banana, knowing the fruit was safely encased in its skin. We'd been warned not to eat anything unless it had been properly cooked, and not to drink tap water because it might cause a tummy upset.
Back at the hotel, peace enclosed us again as we walked along the tree lined path to the main building for our evening meal. Not wanting hot food in the tropical air, I chose salad and cold fish. Everything was so different from the food back home and I wanted to try it all at some stage. The sweet smell of Bali roasted coffee I got to know so well lingered in the air.
The music of Bali is extremely complex and vibrant. The music serves religious beliefs, accompanying dances or wayang theaters. The traditional Balinese orchestra, known as gamelan, is composed of various forms of percussions, with notes overlapping and criss crossing among the various kinds. There is a number of string and woodwind instruments, but most of the players sit behind various kinds of metallophones, gongs, and xylophones. Source: Bali & Indonesia.
After a couple of days touring beside rice paddies, the charm of the people delighted me. When we spoke, the women were most taken with the fact that I was daughter number one. I guess that had special significance to them. Long processions passed us, women wearing tight wraps and carrying flowers and offerings. Each one bowed to me as if I was special.
Up in the mountains, where men carved wooden articles so beautifully, my stomach erupted with pain and discomfort and I longed to return to the relative privacy of our hotel. I felt weak when we reached our room and collapsed on the bed. That didn't last long because I had to drag myself to the toilet over and over again with diarrhoea. Of course, I didn't feel like eating. Mother called the doctor who diagnosed Bali Belly and handed me some tablets. I spent our last week on the island lying flat on my back, leaving poor Mother to cope on her own. The smell of the coffee sickened me, as did the heat and the thought of foreign food. The salad must have been washed in tap water, which caused my illness. I lost a lot of weight during my confinement.
When our Qantas aeroplane flight took off, I'd never seen anything so good as the cheerful male flight attendant with an Aussie accent, who handed out plain biscuits and good Australian cheese.
Have you ever had a nasty experience abroad?