DAYS 3 - 4



Day 3 : Thursday 17th of may

Batubalan with Barong dances

Barong is probably the most well known dance. It is also another story-telling dance, narrating the fight between good and evil. This dance is the classic example of Balinese way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history being blended into one reality. 

The story goes that Rangda, the mother of Erlangga, the King of Bali in the tenth century, was condemned by Erlangga's father because she practiced black magic. After she became a widow, she summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle, the leaks and the demons, to come after Erlangga. A fight occurred, but she and her black magic troops were too strong that Erlangga had to ask for the help of Barong. Barong came with Erlangga's soldiers, and fight ensued. Rangda casted a spell that made Erlangga soldiers all wanted to kill themselves, pointing their poisoned keris into their own stomachs and chests. Barong casted a spell that turned their body resistant to the sharp keris. At the end, Barong won and Rangda ran away.



Celuk (sarong)

Benji-platform - coconuts




Mas (woodcarving)

Some 20 kilometers north of Denpasar lies the woodcarving center of Mas, a village of high caste Brahmin families. The village, which has a special place in Balinese history, is home to many excellent woodcarving shops. Remember to bargain.



Ubud (art)

Some 25 kilometers from Denpasar, Ubud has become known worldwide as a center for the arts. Spectacularly set among lush rice paddies and the stunning hillsides of central Bali, Ubud harbors a number of palaces and temples, museums and art galleries, and a host of cafes and restaurants.


Kintamani, Mount and Lake Batur 

Batur was until 1926 a prosperous village located at the foot of Gunung Batur.  In 1917, the volcano erupted and buried most of the village in lava. This cataclysm took the lives of 1.000 people, destroying 65.000 homes and 2.500 temples.  Miraculously, the molten lava stopped short at the gateway of Batur's village temple.  The survivors looked upon this good fortune as an auspicious sign from the gods, and thus rebuilt their village in the same location.
Nine years later the volcano erupted again.  This time the village as well as the temple were completely buried under 30 meters of lava, but only one life was lost—an old woman who died of fright.  Only a high shrine to the goddess of the sea was spared destruction.  Finally the community relocated the village high on the crater rim.  With help from Dutch engineers, the villagers dismantled the surviving shrine and transported it piece by piece up the flank of the crater on the backs of horses and laborers.  Once reassembled, the ancient dark stone shrine was incorporated in a new brick-and-stone temple, Pura Ulun Danu Batur ("Head of the Lake") with obvious Indian influences.

Lake Batur is the largest in Bali. The lake is the source of dozens of underground springs which help regulate the flow of water for the rice fields and sacred pools throughout the whole south-central region. It stretches about 8 km north to south, but no one has yet been able or willing to measure its depth.  Farmers from all over the island pay homage here to Ida Batari Dewi Ulun Danu, the life-sustaining and highly venerated goddess of the lake, who supplies the 37 rivers, tributaries, dams, and irrigation canals between here and the sea with water. The temple's high priest is an important advisor on agricultural and water-use issues.

Mount Batur itself is but a small volcano set just in the middle of a huge, 14  km wide crater,  surrounded by the tall walls of the calderas rim. 

Kintamani is perched on the rim of  a vast crater, overlooking the crater lake and its bubbling hot springs. 

The Penelokan/Kintamani area has one of the worst reputations in all of Indonesia for money-hungry, aggressive people. The many food peddlers, who have no alternative livelihood, hound tourists mercilessly. Beware of road sellers who pull the big switch—substituting a low-quality item for the high-quality piece you agreed to buy. Try not to show even the slightest interest in the wares pushed by the clutch of vendors on the street or outside of the restaurants. If you stop and start bargaining a crowd of pushy, grabbing people will surround you, sticking items in your face.


Little villages

In most locales on the island, the traffic is relatively light. There are stretches of dirt roads, particularly in the mountains, but by far most roads are paved (even in the northeast) and consist of just a single lane. 

's Namiddags introduceerde I Ketut ons bij de plaatselijke bevolking van een klein dorpje.  Daar waren de mannen druk in de weer met een hanengevecht en met gokken.  Claude heeft er een haan gekocht, maar deze heeft het onderspit moeten delven voor een iets krachtiger tegenstander en is in de kookpot van een dorpsbewoner terecht gekomen. De vrouwen knappen ondertussen het werk op de rijstvelden op en dragen de zware zakken rijst en hout op hun hoofd naar het dorp.  

I Ketut proposed us to attend an 'odolan' or temple ceremony  in the 'Pura Samuan Tiga'.   

Pura Samuan Tiga

Down a stony path about 100 meters east of the Bedulu crossroads is Pura Samuan Tiga ("Temple of the Meeting of Three Parties"), probably built by the great sage Mpu Kuturan. During the reign of King Udayana and Queen Dharmapatni (988-1011), religious sects were rife on Bali, each with its own tenets and peculiar practices. Because this situation brought about instability and confusion, six holy men met at this temple to promote the Principle of the Hindu Trinity, unite all the sects, and establish basic island-wide customary law (desa adat).

During the odalan temple festival, beginning in the afternoon, high offerings are carried up the long stairway to the temple.

There are some do and don'ts when entering a temple or attending religious events: remember these are serious occasion. Be dressed properly and although you may be allowed to enter a “tourist” temple with a simple sash wrapped your waist, this may be insufficient. If there is a temple festival or if you attend a cremation or any religious event, Balinese require their guest:
To wear the full religion dress: a sarong and sash and destar (headdress).
Never pass between the people who are praying and the shrines or the priest.
Never sit higher than the priest.
Women are not allowed to enter a temple during menstruation.

We bought a sarong earlier that day, but we didn't have a sash or a destar.  I Ketut invited us in his home and his parents kindly lend us the necessary clothes.  In the temple the people were also very friendly and they gave us a lot of tips about the ceremony.

I Ketut with his parents (left) and 3 friends 



Day 4 : Friday 18th of may

                                                                     Resting day at the pool + Balinese massage