We were up early and enjoyed our buffet breakfast, we were picked up by our Guide Subaga and driver Suki. We had hired a driver and personal guide for 10 hours and planned on cramming in as much as we could. We did this for two days, it was exhausting but so worth it. Our first stop was to traditional Barong & Kris Dancers; very violent, but quite entertaining and humorous in spots. Told of the traditional Magic stories of the Barung (similar to the Chinese Dragon in appearance – 2 people inside) [read more about this performance and see more photos in my post about the dance, here].
We then visited several artists villages; Batik printing (bought some lovely table placemats) and Silversmith, where we spent way too much, even though I haggled outrageously, I found out later I was still ripped off (live and learn), we did, however, buy some lovely jewelry.
We then went to see Tegenungan Waterfall, completely overrated in my opinion (and that of a lot of other people on Trip Adviser), it’s a long way down to take a swim in a very muddy overcrowded waterfall. Lots of hawkers around, our first taste of commercialism in Bali. This must be a complete nightmare in the height of tourist season.
Today was the Full Moon Festival in the region, only celebrated twice per year, so we saw lots of parades and the temples were full of people. We stopped at a lovely restaurant overlooking rice paddies (there are a LOT in Bali), and I enjoyed a delicious and very fragrant Chicken Coconut Curry. Apparently, we were not the only ones who were hungry;
After lunch, we visited our first major public temple GOA GAJAH or Elephant Caves. There are no elephants, it is rumored that the cave entrance was thought to resemble an elephant from a certain angle (I couldn’t see it). There were lots of steps, but it was so worth the trouble. There were sacrifices (of the vegetarian type) with offerings of fruits, flowers, and rice cakes everywhere, as well as people, priests, and blessings.
As we crammed in so many sights in one day, I will split the posts for today up, so as not to drive you insane 🙂
Next is Mount Bator, Titha Empul, and the White Herons.