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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mountains of Munduk

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Our first week back in Bali has been great. It took us only two days to fully adjust to the 12 hour time change. After arriving in Denpasar and staying near the bus station for a couple nights we took a local minibus up into the mountains of central Bali. The minibuses are large vans that take specific routes and will pick people up anywhere along the way. Much cheaper and more fun the the tourist mini buses. We arrived in the town of Candi Kuning after a quick two hour ride which took us first through the flat agricultural region of central Bali and then up into the mountains. From Candi Kuning (pronounced Chandi Kuning) we did a day hike into the Jungle towards a temple on a ridge on the far side of the Volcanic lake(Danau Bratan). The Jungle was pretty dense and the trail got smaller and more grown in the further we went. We saw many different species of tropical birds and insects as well as some kind of squirrel and a few macaks. The macaks in the high mountain regions of Bali tend to have longer hair the lowland ones.




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One of the Village Temples in Munduk.
After Candi Kuning we hitched a ride with a local heading to the mountain village of Munduk. We have been here for 3 days now. Munduk was colonized by the dutch and many of there plantations and buildings still remain. There is a constant perfume of fresh cloves and roasting coffee in the air. Clove tree plantations stretch out into the mountains and valleys around munduk. When walking through the clove plantations we have seen people 40 feet up on homemade bamboo ladders handpicking the clove flowers of the tree which are than left to dry in the sun. The flowers are pink and white but after they dry they are just like the cloves you can find back home.
Volcano Storm
A thunderstorm bursting over the Volcanos of central Bali, Indonesia. Seen from Munduk.
UntitledMunduk also has a number of beautiful water falls that you can hike to. We spent an afternoon hiking through the jungle to the biggest waterfall.

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Yesterday we were invited to an important ceremony by the family who owned the guest house we were staying at. The ceremony was for the 3 month old baby of the owners son. It is Balinese tradition not to name the baby until three months after it is born, also the baby in considered to be divine and it not allowed to touch the ground at all for the first three months. This ceremony is like a second birth, the baby is named and touches the ground for the first time. From this point on the baby belongs to the parents and not the gods. The ceremony was so interesting, a local priest performed the rituals with the help of the women of the family. It seemed that the oldest members of the family helped most in performing the rituals. The whole ceremony took more the three hours, during which the three month old baby didn't cry once! After the ceremony we hiked to a huge waterfall about 2 km from town. Tonight we are taking a cooking class and will be learning to cook some of the recipes of the guest house owners grand mother. Balinese food which has been cooked in this region for hundreds of years. Cant wait!

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3 comments:

  1. Wow! How many people attended the ceremony?

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  2. The whole family, some of the other villagers. About 30 people total I think.

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  3. That's a pretty amazing story! Keep 'em coming!!!

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