Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

SatoshiPay – nanopayments with bitcoin

A bitcoin meet up in Ubud organized by SatoshiPay, a Berlin-based company, was something we wouldn’t miss and we were lucky that the meet up happened before we left Ubud for this time. The founder of SatoshiPay was on a quick visit to Bali and he invited the bitcoin community to a demonstration of SatoshiPay and general discussions about cryptocurrencies and smart solutions using block-chain technology. We thought that SatoshiPay presented a very cool payment solution for content creators and content customers on the web, so we wanted to mention them here on our blog.
There are several companies that deal with solutions for micro payments, for example Strawpay, a Swedish company, and  BitCash. SatoshiPay, like the rest of the mentioned companies, enables very small payments with bitcoin to get access to content on websites, both for access to entire articles or parts of articles, to play music and videos, or to download purchased  files from a website, such as pdf files and music files.
What SatoshiPay also has done is to enable you as a private individual to be paid when uploading content to a website as well, such as text, images or music. So, it’s a two-way system that SatoshiPay claims they are the only ones in world offering right now, where you both can pay others for content you appreciate and consume, and also get the opportunity to get paid to upload your own creations or content you contribute, such as for example answers to a survey. We find this to be an awesome solution to the copyright issues.

Other things that have happened are that we’ve now left Ubud to meet up Ulrika’s family in Kuta and it will be great to spend time with the family in one of our favorite places on earth. The last days in Ubud, including the bitcoin meet up, are now documented using the image format below.


En bitcointräff i Ubud anordnat av SatoshiPay, ett Berlinbaserat företag, var något vi inte ville missa och vi hade tur att träffen hände innan vi skulle lämna Ubud för denna gång. Grundaren till SatoshiPay var på en snabbvisit till Bali och passade på att bjuda in till demonstration och allmänt prat om kryptovalutor och smarta lösningar med blockkedjeteknik. Vi tyckte att SatoshiPay presenterade en väldigt häftig betalningslösning för innehållsskapare och konsumenter av innehåll på webben, så vi ville nämna dem på vår blogg.
Det finns flera företag i världen som håller på med mikrobetalningar, exempelvis Strawpay, som är ett  svenskt företag,  och BitCash.  SatoshiPay möjliggör väldigt små betalningar med bitcoin för att få tillgång till innehåll på hemsidor, både för få tillgång till hela eller delar av artiklar, spela upp musik och videos eller att ladda ned köpta filer från en hemsida, exempelvis pdf-filer och musikfiler.
Det som SatoshiPay även gjort är att möjliggöra att du som privatperson kan få betalt för att ladda upp innehåll, exempelvis text, bilder eller musik, till hemsidor också. Det är alltså ett tvåvägssytem som SatoshiPay hävdar att de är ensamma om  i världen just nu där du både kan betala andra för innehåll du uppskattar och få möjlighet att få betalt för att ladda upp dina egna skapelser, och exempelvis svar på enkätundersökningar. Jättesmart lösning på upphovsrättproblemet tycker vi.

Andra saker som har hänt är att vi nu lämnat Ubud för att möta upp Ulrikas familj i Kuta och det ska bli så härligt att få umgås med familjen på en av våra favoritplatser på jorden. De sista dagarna i Ubud, inklusive bitcointräffen, finns nu dokumenterade i bildformat nedan.

Bitcoin meetups are of course always at a bitcoin-friendly place.

This time the meeting was in a new place that we haven’t tried before. The Seeds of life café serves raw food and vegan of course and we can really recommend the Moussaka dish they serve on Thursdays, it is so good!

The drinks we’re on SatoshiPay, while the founder Meinhard Benn demonstrated the app for us. SatoshiPay is a really cool way to pay creators directly online and get paid if you upload content to a website.

We’ve  also moved in to Ubud Town for our last few days in this part of Bali for a while. This was our new view  overlooking the rooftops of Ubud, and we can also see the mountains in the background on days with good weather.

Our homestay had an interesting and smart way of using their small space for growing food and herbs.

It’s almost impossible to find bad restaurants in Ubud, the food is really good in almost all places we tried. We do have our favorites here and Rendez Vous Doux is  one of our favorite restaurants in Ubud, with a friendly french owner.

Their Gado-Gado, an indonesian dish, is the best in Ubud according to Pontus.

Good bye Ubud!

Freedomfest Stockholm and everyday life in Asia

We have our everyday life in Asia and we are very pleased with it, but we think it’s a shame that we will miss this year’s edition of Freedomfest Stockholm, which will open its doors on Saturday 13th of May this year. Unfortunatley, the event will only be in Swedsih. We have attended several freedom fests over the years and Pontus was also one of the lecturers last year, and we really like that the conference attracts a lot of freedom-minded people in Sweden. Last year we were closer to 170 people attending and it was an incredibly inspiring day to meet with like-minded people around a small waterhole filled with freedom in socialist Sweden.
This year, lectures will be about everything from personal privacy online and how to be a Swedish prepper to the unfree world of Swedish schools, culture in the service of politics, and a speech workshop. However, we will miss Freedomfest this year because we chose to prioritize Asia and Bali instead.

However, we have had the opportunity to get to know one of this year’s speakers at Freedomfest, because he has chosen to settle down in Bali. Daniel, which is his name, is a co-founder to Mullvad, a company that offers VPN service so you can protect your online privacy. He lives here parts of the year together with his daughter T, and Rebecca, the mother to his child. Rebecca is also a very interesting person who is about to start up a transparent research institute named IGDORE based entirely on open-source, and which enables location-independent research without having to pay tremendous sums, known as overhead, to a university from one’s research grants. We have had the pleasure of spending time with all three before their time here in Bali was over for this time, but this is not the last time we will see each other. Our everyday life here will end soon, because Ulrika’s long-awaited family comes to Bali and we will hang out with them. Here are a bunch of pictures of our time living in Kelabang Moding during March and April.


Vi har vårt vardagsliv i Asien och trivs väldigt bra med det, men vi tycker att det är synd att vi kommer missa årets upplaga av Freedomfest Stockholm, som går av stapeln lördagen den 13:e maj. Vi har varit på flera freedomfester genom åren och Pontus var även en av föreläsarna förra året, och vi gillar verkligen att konferensen drar till sig en mängd frihetliga personer i Sverige. Förra året var vi närmare 170 personer och det var en otroligt inspirerande dag att få umgås med likasinnande runt ett litet frihetligt vattenhål i annars socialistiska Sverige.
I år kommer föreläsningar handla om allt från personlig integritet på nätet och hur man kan vara en svensk prepper till ofriheten i svensk skola, kultur i politikens tjänst och talarworkshop. Vi missar dock freedomfest i år då vi valt att prioritera Asien och Bali.

Vi har dock fått möjlighet att lära känna en av årets talare på Freedomfest, då han har valt att bosätta sig på Bali. Daniel är medgrundare till Mullvad, en VPN-tjänst för att skydda din personliga integritet på nätet. Han bor här på Bali delar av året tillsammans med sin dotter T, samt Rebecca som är mamman till dottern. Rebecca är också en väldigt intressant person som håller på att starta upp ett transparent forskningsinstitut vid namn IGDORE baserat helt på open-source och vilket ska möjliggöra platsoberoende forskning utan att behöva betala hiskeliga summor overhead till universitet från ens forskningsmedel. Vi har haft nöjet att umgås med alla tre innan deras tid här på Bali var över för denna gång, men det är inte sista gången vi kommer ses. Nu kommer dock vår vardag strax ta slut, då Ulrikas efterlängtade familj kommer hit och vi ska umgås med dem. Här kommer ett gäng bilder från vår tid boende i Kelabang Moding under Mars och April.

Daniel, T and Rebecca at our place in Kelabang Moding. We had so much to talk about, so we forgot to take photos when we we’re hanging out. Here is a rare photo that Pontus took when Ulrika was cutting fruits.

Ulrika and Rebecca talking over a fika, while T is playing in the play corner at the Down to earth cafe in Ubud.

Just after the Balinese new year celebration (Nyepi) was over, another religious holiday started: Galungan and Kuningan.

Galungan is a ten-day celebration of the victory of dharma over adharma and it is a time when their ancestral spirits come to visit earth. The final day of the celebration is called Kuningan.

Our host family’s Penjor, which is a tall bamboo pole which is decorated with coconut leaves and has an offering at the base. It is suppose to represent a mountain that provides safety and welfare for the family.

Ubud is all about Raw food and vegan-friendly foods.

However, you can find also find restaurants that offers meet. We are cooking our own meals most of the time, and we don’t eat so much meat here. This italian plate from Buonasera was really good.

We have also been to the movie theatre, Paradiso in Ubud. We’ve seen both the Disney movie Moana (with Rebecca and T) and a mystery, sci-fi movie called Coherence, a movie which we can highly recommend.

You can both eat and drink at the movies and the ticket serves as a discount in the restaurant for the full amount of the ticket. They are a vegan organic movie of course!

A cute cat trying to battle a Scooter at our local supermarket.

Ulrika is working on her yoga poses and finally manage to do the crow, a pose she has been thinking about for almost a year.

This is how Ulrika dress up for going to the immigration office to extend our visa. We stopped so Ulrika could take some pictures and Pontus snapped a photo of her and two girls walking home from school.

This is the view Ulrika took a picture of. It is a beautiful place we pass every time we’re going to and from Kelabang Moding. Ulrika loves our new camera.

Our new camera, Sony rx-100, is really useful when shooting in the dark and the only light comes from the moon.

A big moon over Ubud.

Tegallalang’s rice terrace – a postcard from Bali

 

Tegallalang’s rice terrace often adorn the postcards that are sent home to family and friends from Bali, so we wanted to use our camera and take some photos of the rice fields, even though it is a place where tourists usually flock. Tegallalang’s rice terrace is located a few kilometers north of Ubud, so we took our rented scooter for a full day out exploring the area north of Ubud. We also visited this rice terrace last time we were in Bali together with the King family and Ulrika’s sister Rebecca, but it was only for a short stop and we didn’t have a good camera with us at the time. Also last time there was ash in the air from a spouting volcano and a lot of tourists, so we didn’t have so good memories of the rice terrace from that visit. Now we wanted to see how this valley with rice fields could look like when it was nice weather. We were lucky with the absence of large tourist buses, the high season here in Bali comes later, but the rice terrace was still filled with people anyway. However, we managed to find cozy nooks where almost no tourists were walking around and Ulrika took her chance and pulled out the camera to take pictures. It’s a gorgeous place and Tegallalang’s rice terrace really look like the pictures on the postcards.


Tegallalangs risterrass brukar ofta pryda vykort som skickas hem till familj och vänner från Bali, så vi tänkte använda vår kamera och ta lite foton på risfälten trots att det är en plats där turister brukar flockas. Tegallalangs risterrass ligger bara några kilometer norr om Ubud, så vi tog vår hyrda moped för en heldag att utforska området norr om Ubud. Vi besökte risterrasserna förra gången vi var på Bali tillsammans med familjen King och Ulrikas syster Rebecca, men det blev  bara ett kort stopp och vi hade ingen bra kamera med oss på den tiden. En hel skock med turister och aska i luften från en sprutande vulkan gjorde att vi inte hade så storslagna minnen från risfälten, så vi ville se hur denna dal med risfält kunde se ut när det var fint väder.  Vi hade tur med avsaknad av stora turistbussar då det inte är högsäsong här på Bali, men risterassen fylldes på bra med människor ändå. Vi hittade dock mysiga vrår där nästan inga turister rörde sig och då tog Ulrika sin chans och drog fram kameran för att fota. Det är en fantastiskt vacker plats och Tegallalangs risterrass ser verkligen ut som bilderna på vykorten.

This is usually what a postcard from Bali look like.

Be prepared to give a small “donation” to the farmer, who owns parts of the rice fields, if you choose to cross the home-built bridge at the bottom of the valley.

Paying “the donation” is well worth it though.

You get a nice view over the jungle at the top of the terrace.

If you walk around the corner of the terrace, you will find a hidden valley with rice fields.

Local people are walking around and ask you if you want to take pictures with them in it. Be prepared to give a small “donation” if you do it.

Someone left his or her hat behind after a working day at the fields.

We spent an hour at the Tegallalang’s rice terrace, then we continued our exploring of the area north of Ubud.

Rice fields and jungle, it is nice to spend a day exploring this area if you are near Ubud.

Bitcoin + Bali = True

If someone mentions Bitcoin and Bali in the same sentence we immediately think of Ubud and the Bitcoin community here. There are several restaurants, businesses, and co-working spaces around Bali where you can use bitcoin and meet a great group of bitcoin enthusiasts. These people are building solutions to be able to opt out of the current corrupt economic system and contribute to helping people to be part of a healthy and transparent financial system.

In Ubud, the co-working place Hubud is where you’ll find The Filter, a forum and educational place about Bitcoin, the activity can also be followed via their Youtube-channel. On Hubud, you can also find a bitcoin ATM where you can exchange your Indonesian rupiah to bitcoin.
Gary has organized weekly Bitcoin meetings in Hubud co-working space in Ubud for many years and has been a driving force for building a growing Bitcoin community. We met him when we were here 1.5 years ago and now we have the privilege to live in his house while he is away traveling in other parts of the world.

Other bitcoin-friendly co-working spaces in Ubud are The Onion and Outpost. The website bitcoinsinbali.org  gives a good overview of the Bitcoin activity happening on the island. Also Kuta is home to the largest Bitcoin exchange in Indonesia, Bitcoin Indonesia , which has over 270 000 customers.
According to coinmap.org there are over 60 companies in Bali which accept bitcoin as payment, and the website bitislands lists 14 restaurants, 9 service companies, 8 hotels, 2 travel agents, 4 transport companies , 4 clothing and jewelry stores, 2 spas, and 2 adventure agencies that accept bitcoin.

Bitcoin is still small in Bali, but we can see that a lot has happened here in Ubud since we were here 1.5 years ago and it is positive that the ecosystem is growing.
To learn about how bitcoin is different from the present economic system you can read the articles on Pontus educational website
startusingbitcoins.com.


Nämner någon Bitcoin och Bali så tänker vi genast på Ubud och Bitcoin-samhället som finns här.
Det finns ett flertal restauranger, företag och co-working ställen där man kan använda bitcoin och träffa ett härligt gäng bitcoin-entusiaster som bor på Bali. Dessa människor bygger lösningar för att kunna välja bort det nuvarande korrupta ekonomiska systemet och bidrar till att hjälpa människor att vara del i ett sundare och transparent ekonomiskt system.

I Ubud på co-working platsen Hubud finns The Filter, en mötesplats och utbildningplats om Bitcoin, vars aktivitet även kan följas via deras Youtube-kanal. På Hubud finns även en bitcoin bankomat där man kan växla indonesiska rupier till bitcoin.
Gary är en eldsjäl som organiserat Bitcoin-möten varje vecka på Hubud coworking space i Ubud sedan flera år tillbaka och varit en drivande kraft för att bygga upp ett växande Bitcoin-community. Vi träffade honom när vi var här för 1,5 år sedan och nu kunde vi få förmånen att bo i hans hus medans han är iväg och reser i andra delar av världen.

Andra bitcoin-vänliga co-working arbetsutrymmen i Ubud är The Onion och Outpost. Hemsidan bitcoinsinbali.org ger en bra överblick över den Bitcoin-aktivitet som pågår. I Kuta på Bali ligger även Indonesians största bitcoin-valutaväxlingsföretag Bitcoin Indonesia som har över 270 000 kunder.
Enligt coinmap.org finns det drygt 60 företag på Bali som accepterar bitcoin som betalning  och på hemsidan bitislands  listas 14 restauranger, 9 företagstjänsteföretag, 8 hotel, 2 resebyråer, 4 transportföretag, 4 klädes och smyckesbutiker, 2 spa-salonger samt 2 äventyrs- och upplevelseföretag som accepterar bitcoin.

Bitcoin är fortfarande litet i Bali, men vi kan se att mycket har hänt här i Ubud sedan vi var här för 1.5 år sedan och det är positivt att ekosystemet växer.
Om du vill veta mer om hur bitcoin skiljer sig från det nuvarande ekonomiska systemet så kan du se på Pontus föredrag från konferensen Internetdagarna i Sverige november 2016.

The Bitcoin center at Jalan Sugriwa.

We hang out at the Onion where you can eat and use their co-working space by paying with bitcoin.

Look for the orange and white bitcoin sign when you are in Ubud.

The backyard at the Onion.

It’s easy to pay with bitcoin using your mobile wallet of your choice.

On Hubud, you can use the bitcoin ATM to exchange your IDR to bitcoin.

Kismet is a restaurant in Ubud with nice food and the option to settle your bill with bitcoin. Kismet also have good wifi connection, but you’re not allowed to have computers on their dinner tables between 6 pm and 22 pm.

Meet up with the local bitcoin group! Lovely meeting and catching up with you guys!

Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud

One of the things we appreciate about staying in Ubud is the accessibility to nature. The entrance to the Campuhan Ridge Walk is very easy to get to if you just want to go for a short walk. Campuhan Ridge Walk is a well-planned path on a hill that extends out into the countryside in the north of Ubud, and it is a family-friendly excursion to do if you are in Ubud. The goal for us was to eat at the Karsa cafe, a cafe we ​​visited last time we were here, and to take pictures of the surroundings with our new camera. Unfortunately, it began to rain and thunder was rolling in over the hill, so we had to hurry back to our scooter to not get caught in the rain.
We are starting to see the light in the rainy season and we have now had three rain-free days in a row after a month of daily rain clouds with frequent subsequent thunder. So Ulrika’s family can probably bet that it is much drier here when you guys arrive.

We also want to send our thoughts to our friends who were on Drottninggatan in Stockholm last Friday. We are so happy to hear that you are still here with us!


En av sakerna vi uppskattar med Ubud är tillgängligheten till naturen och ingången till Campuhan Ridge Walk är väldigt lätt att ta sig till för en kortare promenad. Campuhan Ridge Walk är ett välplanerat promenadstråk på en kulle som sträcker sig ut i naturen i norra Ubud och det är en familjevänlig utflykt att göra om man är i Ubud. Målet för oss var att äta på Karsa café som vi besökte förra gången vi var här och för att fota naturen med vår nya kamera. Tyvärr började det åska och regna så vi fick skynda oss tillbaka till vår moped för att inte fastna i regnet.
Vi börjar dock se ljuset i regnperioden och vi har nu haft tre regnfria dagar i rad efter en månad med dagliga regnmoln med ofta efterföljande åskmuller. Så Ulrikas familj kan nog räkna med att det är betydligt torrare här när ni kommer.

Vi vill också sända våra tankar till våra vänner som befann sig vid Drottninggatan i Stockholm förra fredagen. Vi är så glada att höra att ni klarade er!

The entrance to the Campuhan Ridge walk is to the right of the Gunung Lebah temple.

Ulrika listening to podcasts enjoying the surroundings.

A village which can be seen from the Campuhan Ridge Walk.

Here is a short movie from the Campuhan ridge walk: 

The valley.

Our goal, the Karsa Cafe!

Rice fields viewed from the Karsa Cafe.

Our crib in Kelabang Moding

We have found an accommodation in Kelabang Moding, a village located approximately 4 km north of Ubud and it’s a perfect place for us. Ubud is an awesome place, but getting out in to the countryside and sleep in peace and quiet is priceless. Getting an accomodation in Kelabang Moding was a lucky coincidence for us. One of our friends was about to leave Ubud and his house was suddenly available, so we took the chance and moved in to the house for the time we are spending in Ubud. Kelabang Moding is a nice little village and we were happy to celebrate the Balinese new year with them last week, which was the only lively thing that has happened during those weeks we lived here. The absence of night clubs and bars mean that we can fall asleep to the sounds of night animals and the river that runs right below us – we love it! We thought about posting some pictures of our accommodation here where the pool is a central part of our home, so prepare for lot of pictures of that one.


Vi har hittat ett boende i Kelabang Moding, en by som ligger cirka 4 km norr om Ubud och denna by är helt perfekt för oss. Ubud är väldigt trevligt, men att få komma ut på landsbygden och sova i lugn och ro är ovärderligt för oss. Anledningen att  det blev Kelabang Moding var en tursam slump för oss. En av våra vänner skulle nämligen iväg på en resa och dennes hus stod plötsligt ledigt i en månad och vi flyttade gärna in för tiden vi tänkte spendera i Ubud. Kelabang Moding är en trevlig liten by och vi fick glädjen att fira in det nya balinesiska året med dem förra veckan, vilket är den enda livlighet som hänt under dessa veckor vi bott här. Frånvaron av nattklubbar och barer gör att vi får somna till ljudet av nattdjuren och floden som rinner precis nedanför oss. Vi tänkte lägga ut lite bilder på vårt boende här där poolen är en central del av vårt hem, därav mycket bilder på just denna.

Our view from the pool – no noise and the view makes us relaxed.

Our kitchen is outside, but under a roof and it is a pleasure to make breakfast in the morning, especially with our wonderful view.

Our view from the kitchen!

Our host family cooked for us one evening  and we got a lovely Balinese dinner.

Our kitchen had a blender so we make our own fruit smoothies every day.

Our bedroom where we sleep really well!

This is our bathroom, where we can sit on the toilet and watch the night sky in our own bathroom garden.

Really love our semi-outdoor shower as well.

Ulrika enjoying her morning coffee in our pool.

We live 4 km north of Ubud so we’ve also rented a Scooter for the month. North of Ubud is very beautiful and we brought our camera with us, so we could show you our way to the centre of Ubud. You’ll find the video just below.

 

Nyepi – celebrating Balinese new year and the Balinese calendars

Nyepi, or the Day of Silence, is the Balinese new year, and unlike our western new year celebration, Nyepi means that you should be quiet and meditate all day. The airport on Bali is closed, no lights or fires are allowed and the only persons allowed on the streets are the religious police to ensure that no other persons moves outdoors. This also applies to tourists and you will be taken to jail, if caught, and the punishment is often community service, which usually means cleaning the temple area.

Nyepi starts at 6 am on the first day of the Saka calendar, one of two calendars they use in Bali, and ends 24 hours later. Yes, the Balinese have two calendars other than the Gregorian calendar and they control the Balinese religious feast days and days of religious ceremonies. The Saka calendar is a lunar calendar and has 12 months with 30 days each month, which adjusts to the solar cycle by allocating two lunar days to one solar day every 9 weeks. Also, an extra month is added every year to the Saka calendar not to fall behind the Gregorian, Western calendar. The Saka calendar is 78 years behind the western way of counting the years so we are now in the year 1939 – Balinese era. The Balinese second calendar is called Pawukon and is a 210-day calendar with an intricate system for days and weeks, in which different weeks contain different numbers of days.
Both the Ogha Ogha ceremony, which take place on the night before Nyepi, and the Melasti ceremony that takes place two evenings before Nyepi, are happening to prepare for Nyepi and we got the opportunity to participate with our village during all three days to prepare Bali for the new year. Pictures and videos on our experiences during these days can be found below. Happy new 1939 Bali!


Nyepi, eller tystnadens dag, är balinesernas nyår och, olikt vår västerländska nyårsfirande, innebär Nyepi att man ska vara tyst och meditera hela dagen. Flygplatsen är stängd, inget ljus eller eld är tillåtet och de enda som får vara ute på gatorna är den religiösa polisen som ser till att inga andra rör sig utomhus. Detta gäller även turister och blir du tagen så blir straffet ofta samhällstjänst, oftast innebär det att städa tempelområdet. Nyepi startar klockan 6 på morgonen på den första dagen i Sakakalendern, den ena av balinesernas två kalendrar. Ja, balineserna har två kalendrar utöver den gregorianska och den styr balinesernas religiösa högtidsdagar och ceremonidagar. Sakakalendern är en månkalender och har 12 månader med cirka 30 dagar i varje månad och där kalendern justeras mot solens cykel var 9:e vecka där två måndagar tilldelas en soldag. Sedan läggs en extra månad in varje år i Sakakalendern för att inte halka efter den gregorianska, västerländska kalendern. Saka ligger 78 år efter det västerländska sättet att räkna år så vi är nu i år 1939 Balinesisk tideräkning. Balinesernas andra kalender kallas Pawukon och är en 210-dagars kalender med ett invecklat system för dagar och veckor, där olika veckor innehåller olika antal dagar.

Både Ogha Ogha som sker på kvällen innan Nyepi och Melasti som sker två kvällar innan Nyepi, är en del av att förbereda Bali för det nya året och vi fick möjlighet att få delta i dagarna tre med resten av vår by för att förbereda Bali på det nya året. Bilder och video på våra erfarenheter hittar ni nedanför. Gott nytt 1939 Bali!

Ulrika and Pontus in traditional Balinese clothes, dressed up to take part in the Melasti ceremony.

Our host family was so kind to lend us clothes, dressed us and even did Ulrikas make up and hair. Terima Kasih, saya cantik!

Ulrika and our host mother on their way to the south temple in our village to see the Barong and Rangda coming out for the Melasti.

The Barong is a mythological lion-like creature who is the King of the spirits and defender of the good. Rangda is the Queen of the demons, eats children and is the enemy of the Barong. On Melasti, the village bring them out to a sacred place in the djungle and then place them in the north temple of the village. You can see more of them in the video below.

The whole village parading north behind the Barong and Rangda.

The sacred part of the djungle in our village, where the community took the Barong and Rangda to pray.

The Balinese loves their incense!

The village parading to the north temple, where the Barong and Rangda are placed and where we got invited to participate in the flower prayer and the water cermony. We didn’t want to take pictures during this part of the Melasti ceremony, but we are grateful that we were welcomed to participate in the preparation for Nyepi, which took place two days after Melasti.

The ogha ogha is a cermony the night before Nyepi to attract all bad spirits to Bali to be destroyed, so a fresh and clean new year can begin the morning after. The bad spirits are attracted with a lot of noise from drums, cymbals and shouting, and then captured by huge monster sculptures that are carried around the village. The scultpures are carried from south to north and then back to the south part of the villages again, before they are set on fire in order to destroy all the bad spirits caught in the monster. Our village built a huge pig, but other demons can also be seen all around Bali. The video below show how our village is trying their best to attract the bad spirits.

Burn bad spirits, burn!

Nyepi means that there is no light from the cities that can distract the night sky, so looking out in to the universe was our way to celebrate Nyepi.

An edited version of the night sky, darkness reduced. The universe is amazing!

Back in beautiful Bali

You’ve probably noticed that we are in Bali, if you are following Ulrika’s instagram, and our plan is to stay here for a while. Having a passport from for example Sweden, you can go to the VoA-counter (Visa-on-Arrival) when you land in Bali and for 35 US dollars, you can apply for an extended visa and have the opportunity to stay in Indonesia for 60 days . It was what we did and now our plan is to stay here for two months, where the first month is spent in Ubud to fix a lot of things before Ulrika’s family arrives. Bali is one of the few places on earth that feels like home for us and it will be awesome to show Ulrika’s family this gem on planet earth. However, we hope that the volcanoes in the area remain calm as we do not want to relive all the fuss of canceled flights and lost passports, which happened to Rebecca, Ulrika’s sister, the last time we were here.


Ni som följer Ulrikas instagram har säkert sett att vi numera befinner oss på Bali och vi har tänkt att stanna här ett tag. Har man pass från exempelvis Sverige så kan man gå till VoA-disken (Visa-on-Arrival) när man landar på Bali och för 35 US dollar så kan du ansöka om förlängt visum och då har du möjlighet att stanna i Indonesien i 60 dagar. Det var det vi gjorde och nu är vår plan att vara här i två månader. Första månaden spenderas i Ubud med att fixa en massa saker innan Ulrikas familj kommer hit. Bali är en av få platser på jorden som känns som hemma för oss och det ska bli väldigt kul att få visa familjen denna vackra plats på jorden. Dock hoppas vi att vulkanerna i området håller sig lugna då vi inte vill återuppleva allt trassel med inställda flyg och förlorade pass som hände för Rebecca, Ulrikas syster, förra gången vi var här.

The nature is one of the things we love about Bali.

But first we ended up in Kuta after a long travel day. We found a really nice, cheap hotel in one of the alleys behind the party streets in Kuta and the hotel had an amazing pool.

The water was so clear that it created an optical illusion. We tested out how we would look like if we had short legs. Pontus first!

And Ulrika with short legs. The pool also looked quite shallow, but Ulrika had to stand on her toes in parts of the pool!

One night in Kuta is enough for us and we left the party city the day after, heading for Ubud. March is right in between rain and dry seasons, so we got caught in the rain trying to reach our home for the month.

We live just outside of Ubud, and this is our main road in our village.

We have an awesome view and the only noise we hear is from night animals and the river that is just beneath us. Pictures from our place will come in another blog post.

Bali is a place where you find a lot of hippies, so you will love this place if you’re in to veganism, raw food and yoga! Especially Ubud has a very chill atmosphere 🙂

 

 

A short pit stop in Phuket town

Our visit to Phuket town was short and it was just before we had to leave Thailand, because of visa rules. We had managed to book accommodation in the Old Town of Phuket town without us knowing  about it. We’re in the process to prepare for major changes for us and such information just passed us without notice when we booked our accommodation. However, it was lovely to suddenly find ourselves in a street market in  the old town of Phuket when we stepped out of our hostel in search of a place to eat.

Visa, which we are not a big fan of, was just one of the reasons that we said good bye to Thailand. Another reason was also that we’ve long been looking forward to returning to Bali. Bali is one of the few places in the world where we feel at home and, like our last time in Bali, we are here to meet interesting people, check out the Bitcoin-stage in Ubud and welcome part of our family to the island to show them one of our favorite places on the planet .


Det blev en kort visit i Phuket town innan vi var tvungen att lämna Thailand pga av visumregler och utan att vi visste om det så hade vi lyckats boka boende mitt i gamla stan i Phuket town. Vi håller ju på att förbereda oss för stora förändringar och sådan information hade lyckats gå förbi oss när vi bokade boendet i Phuket. Desto trevligare var det att plötsligt befinna sig på en marknad i gamla stan när vi klev utanför dörren i jakt på att hitta något ställe att äta på.
Visum, vilket vi inte är ett stort fan av, var dock bara en av anledningarna till att vi lämnade Thailand. En annan anledning var också för att vi länge sett framemot att återvända till Bali. Bali är en av få platser i världen där vi känner oss hemma och liksom vår senaste gång på Bali är vi här för att träffa intressanta människor, kolla in Bitcoin-scenen i Ubud och välkomna familjemedlemmar till ön för att visa dem ett av våra favoritställen på denna planet.

The walking street market in Phuket town

You’ll find both artists and…

…musicians here to entertain the crowd

However, we were outside looking for food and we found our dinner that night on a stick.

Pontus with our favorite beer in Thailand – Leo is a bit darker and has more flavour compared to Singha and Chang, which is two other Thai beer brands available here.

Khao Lak with friends – celebrating life

Our silence here on our blog depends a lot on that we wanted to hang out with our friends, who had made their way to Khao Lak, and to celebrate life. Many of our days were spent either with our friends or just sitting by our computers and do the research to plan our future together and in time we hope to be able to tell you more.
The time with Karin and Patrick was precious – we spent eight days together and we wanted to get as much out of our time together as possible before we went our separate ways. Thank you friends for these lovely days with both high to low discussions and just enjoying the present. Below are some pictures that will illustrate these days.


Vår tystnad här beror mycket på att vi ville umgås med våra vänner som tagit sig ända till Khao Lak och för att fira livet. Många av våra dagar tillbringades antingen med våra vänner eller sittandes med våra datorer för att göra efterforskningar för att kunna planera vår kommande tid ihop och med längre fram så hoppas vi att kunna berätta mer om det.
Tiden med Karin och Patrik var dyrbar- vi tillbringade åtta dagar ihop och vi ville få ut så mycket som möjligt av tiden med dem innan våra vägar skiljdes åt. Tack vänner för dessa dessa fina dagar med både djupa diskussioner och högt till lågt och bara njuta av nuet. Nedan kommer några bilder som får illustrera dessa dagar.

Just crabs working hard to create a home and simultaneously creating beautiful patterns in the sand

Khao Lak

We met a strong entrepreneur and woman in Khao Lak and we had the pleasure to speak with her and eat her amazing thai food.

Just ordinary days for us while we’re planning to make big changes for us, so eating and researching at the same time.

We found cover from the sun under a big pine tree during the days we spent at the beach with Karin and Patrik.

Hanging out with Karin meant that we saw a lot of odd creatures, so Ulrika learnt that she should always bring her camera when walking around with Karin 🙂

Be advised, really energetic coffee, high in sugar – Pontus tried one and he ended up having a lot of ideas spinning in his head and went out swimming in the ocean just to get rid of some energy.

One of the evenings eating out at the hotel restaurant where our friends were staying while the sun was about to disappear beneath the horizon.

Lovely evenings talking about life and everything else with our friends Karin and Patrik that joined us here in Khao Lak.

That’s what friends are for! Thank you Ullis H for giving back Pontus favorite T-shirt, the one he left at your apartment after the New year’s eve celebration, and many thanks to Karin and Patrik for bringing the T-shirt with you to Khao Lak.

A blurry night out listening to live music and dancing before leaving Khao Lak.

Thank you my friend for joining us here on a beach in Khao Lak. I’m so glad that we could spend quality time after a turbulent year, hanging out and just be together enjoying life!

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