Indonesia 3: Pura Tanah Lot and Rice Paddies

Last summer I took a two week trip to Indonesia for a vacation, as well as to attend my flatmate’s wedding. I finally got around to typing up my journal entries, so here they are. I’ll take my chances that you won’t mind if they are 8 months late! Forgive the lack of serious editing; sometimes travel writing should be left as it is, stream of consciousness and abruptness and all.

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I woke up relieved that there was no lizard sitting on my head eating my face. After breakfast I headed out to Pura Tanah Lot on the back of Jo’s motorbike. He was chatty and super nice, and a kind of surfer-type. Faux-hawk hair, board shorts, tattoos, neon sunglasses, etc.

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An hour and a bit on the bike brought us to the temple, which was not at all what I was expecting. I was looking for a quiet, calm spot for reflection and maybe some time at the beach, but what I got was thousands of tourists (mostly from other parts of Indonesia) and some kind of ceremony, to which flocked tons of Balinese.

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Apparently it was the pre-wedding ceremony (Thursday, June 25th was a particularly auspicious day for weddings).

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Tons of the tourists stopped me to ask if they could take pictures with me – it was India all over again. And many of the younger girls didn’t bother to ask – they just whipped out their cell phone cameras and followed me around. The temple itself, while very impressive-looking built on top of a rocky outcrop in the sea, was closed.

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After wandering around awhile, we headed back out in the drizzle on the bike and ate a lunch of various parts of a pig.

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Seriously, everything on this plate is pig (except for the rice). YUM!

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Then off to the rice terraces – a particularly impressive formation.

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I walked around through the rice paddies and found a lovely spot in the back where there were multiple waterfalls and forrest encroaching, threatening to take it back.

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Then we headed back into town where I found a sarong for S’s wedding and a few gifts. Lesson learned: all of Bali is a tourist attraction and the places listed by tour operators are exactly the places that you do not want to go.

I ended up eating lunch late at the River View Restaurant in town. The food wasn’t that great but it was a quiet spot.

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Except for the Balinese guy who introduced himself and once again insisted on giving me a lecture about not entering temples if I am on my period. Jesus christ. I was nowhere near a temple! Once my food arrived he left, and I was able to enjoy a bit of a view with misty rain all around. It was still crappy weather so I read for a bit and went to sleep at 7pm, setting my alarm for 11:30pm to make the midnight pickup for my Mt. Agung trip.

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About Petunia

She wore rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes And I knew without asking she was into the blues She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls I knew right away she was not like other girls ~The Grateful Dead
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