Sunday, April 17, 2016

Rice fields, babi guling and a night in Kemenuh

Saturday 9th April
Amazingly, we all fronted up reasonably early this morning after our big night out the night before. We met up with the young things at Cinta Grill for morning juices and coffee. Unfortunately Ella and Abi have been very attractive to the mosquitoes at Cendana overnight and are both sporting a few big pink bite spots this morning.

Rob and I were tour guides for a long rice paddy walk this morning - starting at the laneway just past the Lotus Cafe and ending closer to the bridge at the bottom of Jalan Raya Ubud.

It was a beautiful walk at this time of the year with most of the terraced rice fields under water and everything buzzing with life and every shade of green imaginable. No matter how many times I do this walk there is always so much to see that is new depending on the season.

We were able to stop for a cool drink at Sari Organik as it wasn't booked out by the Ubud Readers and writers Festival like it was the last time we visited Ubud in 2014.

We met up with the young things for lunch - this time at Josh and Ella's favourite babi guling (roast pork) place, a much more expansive annexe to the iconic little Ibu Oka near the Royal Palace, made famous by Anthony Bourdain (initially) and then Rick Stein.

The most fun for me, other than eating the pork (you would not believe how yummy it is) was checking out the pets in the restaurant garden with Abi: tame cockatoos, a squirrel and lots of chickens.

Tonight we are all involved in something very special. We're invited to Eddie's house in the small village of Kemenuh for dinner and then on to the village temple and banjar to see all the celebrations entailed with the culmination of the week long temple festival (one of the big twice yearly festivals for this temple).

Because we'll be visiting the temple, according to protocol, we have to wear sarongs and sashes.

It was very interesting to visit Eddy's family compound in the beautiful village of Kemenuh (about 20 minutes drive from Ubud). He explained why all the various pavilions and family temple were sited the way they were and after meeting his wife and two sons and mother and father, proudly showed off his motor cycle collection.

Eddy had cooked a meal for us..all based on pork because it was a special occasion!
Eddy helped the men tie their headscarfs.

And then we headed to the village banjar along with hundreds of other beautifully dressed villagers to watch the most amazing performance of gamelan orchestras and special dances to celebrate this festival.

We ended off the night with a visit to the village temple, beautifully decorated with offerings which different families contribute to throughout the course of the week. Balinese Hindu is such a sensible religion as families take their offerings home at the end of the week long festival and are able to use and eat their blessed offerings!
This was a pretty amazing night for us and a very different experience of Bali for most of us.

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