Sacred Places…

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Sacred PlacesThe thing I love about travel is the freedom to discover.  If you have the time, and you don’t mind getting a little lost, it’s amazing what you can find when you go exploring. It’s fabulous to uncover hidden gems that mostly only the locals know about.  Some of those discoveries live in your mind forever, they are so special…
 
 

Wednesday 3rd July we hired a motorbike to go and see Bakit Temple, which is on the other side of the valley, atop a very high hill (we could see it from Bebek Biru).

Bakit Temple

As we rode up the winding road towards the Temple, we were treated by the sight and smell of cloves drying by the roadside.  They were everywhere and the aroma was incredible  – with my favourite smells being coffee, vanilla, coconut and spices – the smell of the cloves was divine!  Taking big breaths as we rode past and closing my eyes – ahhhh heaven for the senses.

Cloves

Picking Cloves

Picking cloves is a very manual process!

We rode to the bottom of the hill and climbed the 400 steps to the top. As is customary at all Balinese Temples, we put a sarong over our clothes and made sure our shoulders were covered before entering.

Bakit Temple

We were actually disappointed in the temple.  It was not the stunning masterpiece we thought it might be atop the mountain.  In fact it was quite run down, and the only striking thing about it was the 11 layered tower, that we could see from home.

Bakit Temple

However, having said that, I felt a great affinity with the place.  I am a dragon – no comment please ;), born under that Chinese New Year sign, and so I was delighted to find that this Temple had a strong dragon theme…

Dragons

It never feels right to just go into a Temple, have a look around and go, without making some sort of prayer or offering as the Balinese do.  The caretaker was there sweeping the area and so I ‘recycled’ an old offering basket and some flower petals that were lying around, Brent found some new insence in one of the buildings; and there I had it, my offering 🙂

Offering

We continued our exploration and headed down random roads, seeing what we could find.  If you see any huge trees or clumps of big trees in Bali, you can almost guarantee a Temple will be found there.  And so, as we headed down the road, I looked to my left and saw some beautiful large trees on top of a small hill.  Saying to Brent – “I bet there’s a Temple over there.”  We drove up the small laneway with rice fields either side, parked the motorbike at the bottom and walked the steps to the top.

Sacred Steps

There was no Temple. This was instead a sacred place for cremation.  We could see patches of charred ground here and there and the whole area was surrounded by gorgeous huge trees and stunning views looking over the valley.  It was just beautiful and very peaceful.

Sacred Cremation

Cremation Sites

As we headed back, we stopped and had lunch at a lovely warung that sat on the cliff edge overlooking the valley, looking back towards Sideman.  We could make out the huge area that the Sacred Mountain Sanctuary covered, and also where we were staying.  The children of the warung owner were playing and singing below us so we snuck downstairs and took some photos…

Lunch Stop

We rode back to Sideman and continued to explore.  I was looking for places to stay next year as I want to bring a group back here to this magical place.  By mid afternoon it was time for a snack again so we called into Ayu’s warung overlooking another valley of rice terraces.  Sitting on the woven mat on the floor, drinking coffee and eating green coconut/palm sugar crepes, watching dragonflies dance and dart around – in heaven once again :-)…

Coffee n Crepes

There is so much to see here and at every turn there is something beautiful or ‘different’ to take a photo of…you just can’t help yourself (well, I can’t anyway).  Here are just a few more pics from our fabulous day exploring this patch of paradise…

Heading Home

Heading home…

Picking Coffee

Picking coffee…

Bath time

Bath time…

Doing the laundry

Doing the laundry…

Working Girls

The working girls are well looked after…

Plastic

The one thing that breaks my heart – plastic, plastic, plastic!!!

Love

But I love this place…

 

Retreats in Bali 2015:

Women’s Retreat – feed your senses…feed your soul…

Writer’s Retreat

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