My most recent photography adventure has been to Ubud in Bali. Set in lush greenery, Ubud is so very peaceful and serene. Steeped in religious practice and tradition, it is miles away from the hustle and bustle of Seminyak and Kuta.
After arriving at Denpasar our main goal was to get to the beautiful hotel “Uma by Como”. We pleasantly chatted away to our driver Rocky who was transporting us to the hotel. Completely taken by the scenic views from our van, I was thoroughly engrossed in general chit chat and rice paddies. As the van slowed down I was expecting to pull into the hotel, however we found our self at someone else’s actual home.
Whose home you may wonder? If you have read the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert or seen the movie starring Julia Roberts, you may remember a good portion of the book being set in Bali. As we pulled up I asked Rocky “Is this the hotel Rocky?”
“No, no. This is Ketut Liyer’s house. The medicine man!” replies smiley Rocky.
“Whaatttt? Oh my gosh!” I screeched. What in the world was I doing here? We had asked Rocky (just generally) if Ketut Liyer from the book Eat, Love, Pray was a real person you could visit and then lo and behold he actually brought us to see him! Surprised didn’t quite describe it. We scrambled out of the van to see what lay beyond the beautiful stone wall.
It was a bit surreal to see a character from a book right in front of your eyes. He looked pretty good for his age considering he is meant to be about 110 at this point. Sitting cross-legged on the verandah of his compound he was happily telling the fortunes of the tourists before us.
He was delighted to have his picture taken and to see what he looked like. We were number 24 for the day and one of the last people he saw. While I don’t place too much faith in his fortune telling skills, it was a treat to see him in real life.
I spent some time looking into his eyes as he spoke and was greeted with a warm spirited person. All the best to you Ketut Liyer, thank you for being so pleased to pose for me.