Beauty and sunshine in Colorado

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My nephew fly fishing in a stream

Yesterday was another beautiful day with great weather and lots of different activities. In the morning my sister in law and I biked to the next town to get bagels.
Unfortunately (or not) I forgot the phone at home and didn’t get any pictures, but the ride was SO beautiful along a lake with blue sky, mountains and only a little traffic.

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Getting ready to go fishin'

In the afternoon I went to hang out with my nephew when he was fishing, and I even got to borrow those water-proof pants and everything! I didn’t fish, but felt very professional anyways ;).

Those who knows me well know I have a thing for dressing up in full gear to get a complete experience, and I become like a kid who proudly wears a little Police shirt or a fire fighter’s hat.

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My hat for fishing...

So even if I only walked out into the stream once, knowing I had those special pants and boots was enough.

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My fisher guide

It was nice to hang out with this 18-year old boy whom I’ve known since he was a baby, but haven’t always seen very much of.

Jetlag is getting in better control. Today I didn’t wake up until five!

Make it a day worth remembering.
With love,
Wivan

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Surprises, we love surprises

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Two year old boy, happy to have his picture taken

The past week has been filled with all kinds of surprises. Mostly good surprises. We’ve been invited to people’s homes for tea, taken out on little tours around the village and in the surrounding area, been out on a fishing boat twice, played with children, swimming with a turtle, bought fresh seafood while snorkeling with fishermen, laughing with new friends, surfing and learned a bit of Sinhala. All those good surprises happen without any planning, we find ourselves in situations we could never have imagined in beforehand. And it’s good fun!

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Wiva, Andrew and Mona in the tuktuk

Yesterday we went for a tour that our friend/”brother”/surf teacher/tour guide Mona had invited us to. When we got into the tuktuk we realized we didn’t really know what we were going to see or what was going to happen along the tour. Something about tea and batik we had understood, and therefor we were quite surprised when the first stop was at a gem, stone and jewelry factory! Nice to see, and after the salesmen tried to sell us expensive jewelry for €1800, we did actually buy a ring to replace my wedding ring that doesn’t fit in this tropical heat. A thin silver ring with a tiny pink stone to remind of Sri Lanka. This one was €15 which more suited our budget.

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Simple, pretty silver ring

After that first stop we drove through beautiful green landscape with rice fields, coconut trees, mountains in the distance, passing small villages, fruit stands along the road and rubber plantations. Next stop was at Galaboda tea plantation where we had a nice tour of the plantation, the factory and then had a tea tasting. The two of us enjoyed the tea tasting of different black and green teas, but the Tuktuk Man and Mona thought the teas weren’t that good without sugar… Most Sri Lankan people like to drink their tea with sugar in it.

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Organic tea plantation

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Tea factory

Another good surprise yesterday was that we’re becoming more and more close to the Sri Lankan family we’ve spent a lot of time with the past week, so yesterday the boys started to make a lot more jokes and laughed with us. We really like that!

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Woman working in tea factory

After the not-sweet-enough tea tasting we took off to a batik factory. Wow! That was a colorful time! And it was nice to see the many steps of making these beautiful batik clothes, bed sheets and decorations.

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Playful pictures

We did buy some clothes at very good prices at the factory, and when leaving we also were encouraged to give the tour guiding lady some tips. Sometimes it is so hard to know how much to give, and yesterday it was clear that 100 Rupees were not enough, her face expression said it all, so we gave 200 and that was apparently a little better.

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Batik clothes drying outside

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Making patterns with hot wax

After the tour and a late lunch at the family’s house, we got another surprise we never would have imagined, first we got invited by a man on the street to see the house he and his family and friends are working on and that he and his future wife will live in. He then invited us to come to the wedding at the house on Friday! He asked us to promise to come, and his friends said they were hoping we would come and that no presents were needed. Of course we want to go, and we said yes and again decided to extend our stay here in Weligama!

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Friendly people giving us coconut water

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Niece and nephew of the groom

Our “plan” at the moment is to head up north to Colombo in the beginning of next week to extend our visas and then go to Negombo where we have a house sit booked.
Who knows what will happen, plans change and surprises might come along the way!

Take care and enjoy whatever surprises today might bring.
//Wivan

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Wax decoration in batik factory

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Sewing in the batik factory

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Coloring

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Coloring in buckets

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Heating away the wax and rinsing the clothes

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Anders buying a sarong

Andrew and Wiva; Tourist People

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On a fishing boat

In one sense we are what the locals call ‘Tourist People’, meaning not being locals. In another sense we’re becoming a bit more local since we’re all of a sudden brought into family life and new friendships thanks to stepping out of our usual paths and saying ‘yes’ and ‘thank you’ much more often than before.

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On the way back to the village

So, this morning we met our new friend Harosh on the beach to go surfing, but he needed to go someplace else and asked his surfer friend Mona to take over the student Wiva. The board that was going to be for free was broken and they went to rent a board for me.

All in all, renting a board and paying the  teacher Mona for the surf lesson was 900 rupies, which is about € 4.50. The board was smaller and more wobbly than I have used before, so it sure was a challenge. And so much fun!

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Surf teacher Mona

Afterwards we were invited to go along on a fishing boat in the afternoon, and when meeting up with Mona, we went to his family’s house, met his mother, sister and father and together with his dad we took off to the harbour.
Then we spent a couple of hours out on the sea, watching the sun set, waiting for tuna fish to come in (they didn’t show up today) and were asked many questions by the ten fishermen.

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A big bag of smaller fish

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Small fish

When we asked if we were supposed to pay the boat owner for taking us on, we were instead asked to pay “drinking money” and join them for a small dinner and have some arrak together. So we said yes, and went back to Mona’s family house where we were invited to shower if we needed to and had some sweet tea. Then “Andrew” (Anders) and Mona went to buy the arrak while “Wiva” was showed around the house, kitchen and drank more tea and practiced language with one of the fishermen.

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Catch of the day

We had so many small fried fishes while drinking arrak with some of the men and as we were ready to go home, the mother had cooked a full big meal for us and set a table in one of the bedrooms…

Leaving was no option and taking just a small portion was out of question. We ate! Good food, and generous servings.

Everybody seems to go out of their ways to give us fabulous options of things to do, places to visit and people to meet.
On the list is; surfing in beginner friendly beach, fishing from small boat, tuktuk tour to the jungle, fish bbq dinner at Mona’s house, temple visit, snorkeling and maybe something else.

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Happy fishermen

Tomorrow it’s surf lesson for me, snorkeling for the both of us and maybe some fishing for “Andrew” in the afternoon. And if we have understood things correctly, we’re having bbq dinner. Or something else happens along the way, everything is spontaneous and easy to arrange it seems like.

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The catamaran boat we went fishing with

Gratitude, joy and surprise are the main thoughs and feelings at the moment. Gosh, we’re having fun and feel alive!

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Another boat from the village

With all our warmest wishes,
Wivan and Anders

I walk so much I burn

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One of the roads in Pemuteran

Before, we’ve written about the crazy traffic in Bali, and the difficulties to walk without being afraid of traffic or getting dozens of annoying sales-offers along the way.

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Empty beach in Pemuteran

Well, here in Pemuteran on the north-west coast of Bali, it’s different. It’s much more quiet, the small village is known for the lack of sales people, and locals live in between hotels, guest houses and restaurants.

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Empty souvenir shop

I enjoyed this so much yesterday, I ended up walking for over two hours, looking around the village, checking out the entire beach in both directions and walking in between small houses, boats and fisher huts.

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Extra wide fishing boat

So, for the first time in years, I got burnt in the sun. I hadn’t brought any sun screen lotion on my walk, and forgot to put it on before… So, that’s really a sign of how unusual it’s been for us to take a long walk since arriving in Bali!

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Walk the other night

//Wivan