Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bali 2006 - Part 2 - Ubud - Campuhan Ridge Walk, Neka Museum, Kecak Dance

Ubud, Bali - May 15, 2006

Today's plan is to do the "Campuhan Ridge Walk" north of town as described on page 203 of our Rough Guide, with a stop at the Neka Museum on the way back to town. And the 7:30 performance of the Kecak dance. A full program!

Up at 7:15AM. Breakfast at Sri Bungalows: The egg and tomato jaffle (a sealed toasted sandwich)was very tasty; the coffee was very bad.

A local woman, accompanied by little one, with her basket of small offerings and joss sticks. Each morning, she will make offerings at the many small shrines located around the hotel.
Daily offerings

A shrine just outside our hotel.
little one

Looking at a shine in the courtyard of a neighboring hotel.

We were out and walking by 8:15 and easily found the turn off for the path. Excellent walk up the ridge from the river confluence. Saw several men and women cutting and/or carrying elephant grass.

This is a shot of the Pura Gunung Lebah temple that is by the river confluence.
Pura Gunung Lebah

Women carrying cut elephant grass back to town. The grass can be used for roof thatching.
Two Women  - Two Bundles

A grass cutter with hat, pole, and sickle. The pole is used to carry bundles of grass, one on each end.

hat, pole, and sickle

The same cutter.
campuhan ridge grass cutter 2

Work in progress.
campuhan ridge grass cutter 3

Another grass cutter with a 2 bundles of grass, a pole, and a sickle on hip.
On the Campuhan ridge track

After 30 minutes or so the ridge spread out and we were walking though terrace rice fields. The view of the volcano was so-so as the day was a bit cloudy. Turned left, crossed the river and headed back to Ubud and the Neka Museum. Passed many temples and family compounds.

The ridge top walk looking south to Ubud.
campuhan ridge track

This should be a great view of the volcano but it was too cloudy.
Bali rice fields

Temple statue.

Just before Neka we saw this guy plowing his rice field.
Walking the tractor

Just a short while later we saw the Rosetta stone for the world traveler. ;-)
Rosetta stone

Ate lunch about 12:30 at Nuri's, just across the street from Neka Museum. 51K for one large bottle of H2O, Pepsi, Pineapple Juice, rice w/veggie dish, and Nasi Goreng. The place is run/owned by an American and his local wife.

Then toured Neka Museum - 20K rp each. Seven pavilions with very good descriptions by Rough Guide. Excellent display of modern and traditional art by locals and foreigners. The foreigners came to Bali to be influenced by the Balinese culture and natural settings. Many of these foreigners ended up mentoring, encouraging, and influencing a whole generation young locals artists. Photos without flash were allowed so I took many photos. You can see some of them here.

Here’s one example: “Three Masked Dancers” by Anton Kustia Widjaja
Three Masked Dancers

Locals playing “keep away” soccer with “shirts and skins” teams.
shirts and skins

Walked back to the hotel, arriving at 3:30, just in time for a refreshing dip in the pool and a shower. Total walking for the day: about 10 km or 6 miles.

Then off to dinner at Gayatri Restaurant: One large Bintang, Orange Lemon soda, chili sin carne (beans and rice), rice and eggs w/peanut sauce (nasi goreng). All for 83,000 Rupiah, about $10.50 US.

The last activity of the night, and maybe the highlight (for John) of the whole trip was the Kecak dance, which we caught in town for 20K rp each. Months ago I posted some video of this a capella performance. Click here. Most excellent and unexpectedly so. Following the Kecak was fire dancing which may have been genuine but it seemed hokey to me.

SLHOTD: Ridge-top walk
Sun-Ling in the grass

JHOTD: Kecak dance

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