Our Barge, Odysseus

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Candi Dasa and Points North

So we hopped on the tourist bus and after a brief stop in Padangbai, we arrived in Candi (pronounced chandee) Dasa. The town is very small; really just a strip of shops, hotels and restaurants along the coast.We stayed at the Seaside Cottages.

Now who's back would that be?

This is what Cathy Jo is looking at.

After a walk through town we caught a ride "ojek" (that's on the back of a motorbike) up to the village of Tenganan.
I'm not sure why only the drivers have helmets.

From the Lonely Planet-- "Tenganan is a village of Bali Aga people, the descendants of the original Balinese who inhabited Bali before the Majapahit arrival. The village is surrounded by a wall and consists of two rows of indentical house stretching up the gentle slope of the hill." They make some beautiful textiles in the village.

Another specialty of the village is the creation of lontar books; made from pressed palm leaves, inscribed with a stylus and then the scratches filled with ash. The gentleman is this picture invited us into his home to see his lontar books. They were inscribed with the Hindu epic, "The Ramayana." He was working on the book spread out on the table in front of him but read to us from the one in his lap. Over his shoulder is a box containing yet another book.

On the road back to Candidasa we stumbled on a wedding celebration.

After the wedding party had been blessed, it was off to the celebration; of course featuring the famous Balinese suckling pig!

On to points north!

Our hotel provided us a car a driver to get us to our next stop, the village of Amed. On the way we stopped at the famous Water Palace at Tirta Gangga. Originally built in 1948, it was heavily damaged in the 1963 eruption of Gunung Agung and later political upheaval. It's still a beautiful place!

The road north gave us some great views of rice paddies.

On the northeasten coast is an area refered to as Amed, but it's really several villages stretched along the coast. We stayed at the Vienna Beach Hotel in Lipah. Unfortunately, they had suffered some significant storm damage. The picture on their website shows a huge tamarind tree and its surrounding gardens. They're gone but our second floor balcony did give us a great view of the beach and the many fishing boats coming and going every day.

One of our walks resulted in this view back toward the beach.

Frangipani. If they're not Indonesia's national flower, they should be!

After Lipah we headed to the hot springs at Air Panas Banjar, in the mountains south of the old capital city, Singaraja. We decided to use public transit for the trip-- a car, then a bus, two bemos to get across Singaraja, another bemo to get to Kaliasem and then ojek to get to our hotel at the hot springs. A great view of Gunung Agung, the sacred mountain from our bus.

We were the only guests at the hotel on a hillside across the river from the baths. This is a pic of our "front porch."
A walkabout in the vicinity of the hot springs took us to Bali's only Buddhist monastery, Brahma Vihara Arama.

After good nights sleep it was off to the mountains and the village of Munduk. We saw some great scenery on the way.

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