Bali from Within
March 21-April 2
Guides: Trebbe Johnson with Rucina Ballinger, Wayan Budiasa, and Nyoman Sutarya
Every visitor to Bali is struck by the mystery: each day, the Balinese people can be seen engaging in what is obviously a vibrant, creative, spiritually intact culture in full view of—yet rarely including—outsiders. Where are these people going? What does it all mean?
For ten years I’ve been working with Balinese friends to offer the Bali from Within trip. It is open to only four participants. Together we penetrate the scrim of colorful, often enigmatic impressions… and we discover Bali from Within.
And in 2017 we’ll make the journey in time to join in the festivities and the solemnity of Nyepi, Balinese New Year. Nyepi is actually a three-day event. March 27 is Pengerupukan. Walking to the clang to the village gamelan orchestra, the people carry papier maché demons, or ogoh-ogohs, through the streets to chase away these troublesome beings. Nyepi itself is March 28. This is a day of reflection and turning inward, when the entire island is silent and people remain in their house compounds. Even the international airport is closed. Before dawn the following day, people go visiting and share food out on the streets. We will participate in all sides of the celebration: clamorous, reflective, and celebratory.
During Bali From Within you’ll have conversations with a master craftsman of Balinese sacred masks, a gamelan musician, and a visionary man working with villagers to rebalance Bali’s ancient ecological practices. You’ll visit private homes and temple compounds and take part in Bali’s intricate and beautiful ceremonial life in ways tourists never get a chance to do. You’ll take guided hikes that meander off the beaten path and into the dense green heart of the island, where you’ll discover immense waterfalls, bamboo forests, and native fruits and flowers.
You’ll also have plenty of time to yourself—to take a walk, visit museums, shop, get a massage, visit a traditional Balinese healer, or simply sit on the balcony of your bungalow reading and looking out over the exquisite landscape. Nights, you’ll stay in small hotels where members of our group are treated as old friends: small bungalows with tiled roofs, private garden showers, beautiful views, furnishings made of local woods, and smooth white sheets on which fresh flower blossoms are sprinkled in the morning.
On this trip we make time to share how the rich experiences of the day have affected us personally. Every night the members of our small group share in a “council” session, in which we speak one at a time and from the heart about what has touched us, disturbed us, perplexed and delighted us.
Bali From Within is not for those who wish to pack as many sights as they can into a few days. We seek depth—not only in the island and its people, but in our own responses to what we discover. This trip is an exchange—of interest, information, inspiration, and friendship between the Balinese people and ourselves. Come discover Bali from Within and experience anew how beauty and meaning can shape a life.
Ten percent of the profits of the trip will be donated to Tamblang Sacred Springs Conservation Project, Munduk, North Bali.
Cost: $4,150 [Includes twelve nights lodging (single occupancy; if you can share a room, deduct $250), dance performances, entrance fees, honoraria to speakers, transportation within Bali, guides, drivers, preparation materials, and all meals except three dinners and three lunches. Does not include international air travel, personal tips, and fees to events not included in the group trip.] For more information or to register, contact me.