If you were to ask us, "What is the coolest thing you have done recently?" Adam I would both yell out, "Flying kites!" Well, we weren't even flying the kites, we were only watching! Then, we would argue over who would get to tell the story.
Hands down, seeing kites take flight in preparation for the Bali Kite Festival has been one of the coolest experiences we have had on our nuventures. We even have a video below so you can see one getting launched! You need to see it to believe it!
Background: The Bali Kite Festival is an international festival where teams from all over the world come to fly their kites in the seasonal strong wind. These aren't just any kites. We were hearing of, "Kites being so big, 14 men are dragged down a beach trying to control them!"
Over our month long stay in Ubud, Bali we were seeing the daily preparations of men and boys working on building these enormous bamboo structures in their banjar centers each night. As the nights progressed, we were starting to see the men working to fit beautiful fabrics over the bamboo frames. Then, we started witnessing these kites causing traffic jams because they were bigger than the trucks carrying them! The transport of these kites require police escorts to ensure the kites don't get caught in overhanging trees or electrical wires on the narrow streets.
For the entire month, we were waiting in anticipation like Christmas was coming! On July 18, the date of the festival, we were off to Sanur Beach with our hearts full of excitement to see these enormous kites in flight!
After the hour ride, we stepped out of the car and our hearts were immediately deflated. A parking attendant said, "No, it happened three days ago." What!?! I checked five internet sites for the date! We hurried to the beach to see for ourselves. No kites. I was heartbroken. I had been waiting in anticipation for an entire month and we missed it! I edged away from the group and pouted like a five year old. Seriously.
Adam was the man, stepping up to the plate and persevering in asking more people to get a better understanding of the real story. We are continuing to learn you can't trust to get the real facts about visas, kite festivals, or anything from one person or the internet in South East Asia. You need to ask tons of people and read many internet sources to get a big consensus on any issue.
A few people pointed down the beach and described a 15 minute walk. As we were heading that way, we asked a few more people just to make sure we were headed in the right direction and they said, "It's not today." Ugh! We kept on hoping for the best!
Then, with our ears perked, we heard the kites before we saw them! It sounded like we were approaching a small airport!
The walkway opened up into a huge field and kites were flying! I was so excited I felt like I was racing onto the field jumping and doing somersaults in celebration. Yes, we missed the festival, but we got to see some of the teams practicing for their future competitions!
Watch the kite being launched here!
Have you ever seen this? If not, you have to! Put Bali on your bucketlist and make sure to go for the Bali Kite Festival, whenever it is! We still wouldn't be able to tell you!