These photos and reminiscences are from a visit in about 1994.
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Indonesia is a land of volcanoes!
Wherever you are in Indonesia, it's quite likely that you can see a
volcano. This one could be seen from any place with
a relatively open horizon around the city of Milang (eastern Java).
The Indonesian people grow up with smoking volcanoes in the distance; it's a little difficult for an Australian to fully appreciate.
Ubud is in the interior of Bali, and is well known as a centre for the arts.
Work was plainly under way on the footpaths, but no one seemed to
be in any hurry to get the job finished.
Monkey Forest and Temple
Within walking distance of Ubud is the Monkey Forest. The monkeys are cute, not much afraid of people, but bite if it suites them.
One stole my pocket diary and nipped me when I took it back.
The shade and the flowing water give some relief from the normal humid heat of lowland Indonesia.
I had a problem with the focus on my camera. This photo is not
clear enough to allow an enlargement.
Elephant Cave Temple
This temple was lost for many years.
That's hard to imagine in an
island the size of Bali, inhabited by two million people. How would
it be possible to loose something the size of a temple? Perhaps it
became overgrown with dense vegetation.
Early mornings are pleasantly
cool, and the local people seem more friendly then; perhaps it's
just that the people who work in the tourist industry are not yet out
and about. Perhaps that's unkind?
Another early morning view over the rice paddies of Ubud.
Some of the trees bear fruit. One wonders if all the trees that can be seen here have some economic purpose, whether every one was planted, or do some grow wild?
The time of day was mid-morning I think.
Similar to the last photograph, but this one better shows the cultivation in the foreground.
How much work must have gone into leveling those fields!
The altitude of the Lake Batur area gives it a more pleasant
climate than lowland Bali; while certainly not cold, it was possible
to enjoy climbing a mountain.
This volcano is roughly in the centre of Batur caldera. The
active crater on the side of the mountain was very impressive up close.
There was a continuous roar of escaping steam, punctuated by a
louder and more ominous rumble periodically. One could feel the
ground vibrating, and there was the acrid smell of sulfur dioxide
in the air; strong enough at times to make one wonder whether
breathing might become difficult if the activity picked up.
The most important Hindu temple on Bali is Besakih on the lower slopes of Mt Agung.
However, while it is big, spread over a large area, and special to
the Balinese, I found it less pleasant to visit than some of the
smaller, less formal temples.
The botanical garden at Candikuning in the mountains was a great escape from the numerous people that were to be encountered most places.
Perhaps the locals come to the botanical garden on weekends and
public holidays, but they weren't to be seen while we were there.
I remembered this area from my first trip to Bali in 1973, but it
was very difficult to place individual features. There had been
many changes in twenty-one years.
Gunung (Mt) Agung, swathed in clouds, seen from Lake Bratan.
This highest mountain on Bali is very important to the majority Hindus.
Its last serious eruption was in March 1963.
I believe that Islam uses the human voice for the call to prayer
because Mohammed didn't like the sound of church bells. I wonder
whether he would like the modern-day recorded and amplified calls
any more than he liked church bells?
It's worth a visit, native vegetation (and some pretty bad infestations
of introduced Acacias), a few species of native animals, and some
interesting walks. But it is very much 'do it yourself'.
These wild (feral?) pigs came in close to the accommodation block to pick up any scraps that they could find.