Last weekend I went to Bali, island of the Gods, to meet up with some friends from San Francisco. Bali probably is the closest thing to a tropical paradise I've ever experienced, with Costa Rica a close second. It wasn't too hot (about 80 Fahrenheit), had beautiful beaches, mountains, great food and friendly people. We also stayed at a totally pimping villa. It was great.
The weekend consisted of eating, lounging by the pool, massages, reading and touring the island. This is a shot of the gang after eating a decadent multi-course grilled seafood meal prepared by the staff of our villa. Having a staff was cool, but was also a bit weird. They were there all the time, even all night. I suppose I could get used to it though. Hungry and want a snack? Have the staff whip it up and serve it to you next to the pool.
One day we took a tour of the island. It was a fine, but quite generic and especially touristy. One stop was at a quarry where the Balinese cut stones for use in building the many temples of the island. As our guide explained, nearly every family has a temple. These women were transporting cut stones from the bottom of the quarry to the roadside. Each stone weighs about 5 kilos, so they are carrying 15 kilos on their head in each trip. The vertical was about 60 meters. It seems that women do most of the hard labor in Asia. Sweet.
A pastoral scene of terraced rice paddies on the tour. All the green kinda reminded me of Vermont, except different.