Pescado Arrives

During one of the numerous meetings with our architects it was casually mentioned that they’re designing a restaurant in Pererenan, not far from where our retreat will be. I found it back in May:

I immediately liked the look, and I was also told it will be serving Spanish food. I thought oh tapas that will be great!

In June I finally met Jose, the Brazilian entrepreneur behind Pescado:

The rumors were true about Spanish food, but it wasn’t going to be a tapas place. Jose was bringing a chef from Spain, who will train local chefs for at least two months in the intricacies of Spanish cooking. Wow!

The results, on display at the soft opening on Sunday, July 22 was over-the-top delicious!

Getting ready for the crowds.

Jose and his business partner’s niece.

And the happy crowd.

Please visit Pescado when you’re in the Canggu area. It will be worth your while, especially if you like fish.

Joyful Bali Breezes

The windy season starts in July and continues until September / October here in Bali. Especially along the beaches, and primarily in the afternoon, the breezes are gifts that keep on giving.

If you’re Balinese, it certainly doesn’t mean chilling out at a sandy, overpriced bar. If you have the time, it means grabbing your friends and setting a kite skywards.

On this particular day, a kite festival was taking place at Munggu Beach, just west of Pererenan Beach.

We hit the tail-end of the festival, just as a team was leaving the scene:

They were kind enough to let us take a team photo.

I love the community spirit involved in getting kits afloat: coordination, artistic skill, strength, and best of all, the shared poetry of flight.

Here is a list of kite festivals, as well as more details about kite creation and the traditions of kite flying in Bali.

As I previously wrote, the

Balinese are an island culture, but one of their many unique qualities is that spiritually they look to volcanos (skyward), instead of the sea. It’s not that they don’t like the sea. It’s just that the volcanos represent spiritual elevation and a home for their gods and ancestors.

From this point of view, flying kites is an ideal activity for the people of Bali.

And as a tourist, its an easier way to interact with Balinese culture than attending religious or dance ceremonies. I highly recommend it.

Is Bali like a year-round Mardi Gras?

There are two major trends at work behind this idea: the first is that its safe to say that the Balinese have more ceremonies than perhaps 90% of other cultures — and parading and wearing special clothing is part of their rituals.

Secondly, both the Balinese and a very large number of visitors get married in Bali. And while we know what Western bridal clothing looks like, the Balinese kind-a own the wedding look:

I mean, wow!

Participating in Mardi Gras is done with considerable flare and, if you are a true contributor, some form of elaborate costume will be required. For the Balinese, the embrace of extravagant color, attention to detail, and over-the-top decorations are true artistic achievements as well as major status statements.

If you are visiting Bali and attend a dance/music production on the island, or if you stay for longer than a week, you will most likely see well-adorned Balinese entering or exiting their temples.

And to be fair, both the Balinese and the Mardi Gras contributors do their darndest to turn it up to 11: