04.02.2009 31 °C
It’s the monsoon season in this watery world. The oceans of rice paddies are daily turned to steam baths by the scorching noonday sun, but by dinnertime the overburdened sky can take no more and it lets go with a warning clash of thunder and lightning. Bucketfuls of warm rain deluge the paddies in a nightly demonstration of the reciprocating cycle of life. In the midst of such a downpour in Ubud, Bali, we watched the Legong dancers in the amazingly ornate community centre.
The suppleness and precision of the dancers was spellbinding whilst the accompanying gamelin was …interesting. Regrettably, we can only show you images of the gongs, drums and primitive xylophones of this orchestra. However, for a close approximation of the percussive cacophony, empty your pots and pans cupboard onto the floor and let loose a dozen of the neighborhood kids with hammers, mallets and wooden spoons.
Water has been the key element in our travels: from crossing the Pacific to Japan; zipping along the Phrao in Bangkok on the water buses; lazily cruising down the Mekong in Laos; and sailing a junk on the South China Sea. The list is almost endless: the Andaman Sea, Indian Ocean, Sea of Bali and Straits of Malacca – we’ve sailed them all. And now as we plan the ending of this journey we have decided to carry on around the world – to cross the Indian Ocean and Asia to England and from there across the Channel to France and the Mediterranean. We will then return home via the Atlantic, the Arctic, Hudson’s Bay, and finally the Strait of Georgia.
Everyday, as we check our emails or talk to family and friends by phone, we marvel at how small the world has become. But then, as we backpack our way around it, we are awed by its enormity and diversity. Despite all the doom and gloom, this truly is a wonderful world.