On our way to the volcano

March 8, 2019   Bali, Ubud

Today is our last full day in Bali. It's overcast but the rain has taken a break. We hired our neighbor, Made, to drive us to a nearby volcano, Mount Batur. It last erupted in 1999. Along the way we made a few stops, at an artists' cooperative, a cave temple, a water temple, and a rice paddy.

I'm listening to Sarah Vaughan, How long has this been going on?

Pilgrims awaiting purification      
Tirta Empul, or the water temple, has a mountain-spring-fed bath. The bath is used by pilgrims for purification. The pilgrims calmly stand in long lines in the water waiting to dip their heads below each of the water spouts. Some bring offerings which they place adjacent to a spout. After they bow under the water of the first spout they continue moving down the line to the rest of the spouts. The spring is adjacent, you can walk over and see the water pushing up from under the ground.
Praying at the Tirta Empul Temple      
Purification at the Tirta Empul Temple      
Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave      
Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, is a temple inside of a cave. It features menacing faces carved into the cave's exterior. The faces are thought to ward off evil spirits.
Paul in a sarong, visiting Goa Gajah      
Everything fits on a motorbike      
Election poster      
Indonesia has an election coming in April so election signs are popping up.
Mount Batur      
We ate lunch at a restaurant with a glorious view of the volcano. The restaurant suffered from restaurant-with-a-glorious-view syndrome in that it had mediocre, over-priced food. That view from the patio is grand, though.
Rice terraces      
The famous rice terraces are pretty but over-developed (zip lines, swings, selfie spots). It's busy with tourists and people trying to make money off the tourists. Avoid it, instead do the rice paddy walk in Ubud that we did on day three.
Harvesting rice      
Just down the street from our house, in a real rice paddy, these ladies are harvesting rice. First they beat it to separate the grains from the plant. Next they filter off anything that isn't rice. Then the rice is dried in the sun for several days. The remaining plant waste is left on the ground to be burned. They can plant three four-month crops per year though they alternate crops so as to not wear out the soil.