Winter Wonderland: Balinese Spirit

Day 3 : Part 2/3
December 6th, 2018

Balinese Procession

After a rest, we were picked up by our host’s neighbour, for our day excursion to a few sights further afield. On the drive out we were lucky enough to see a street procession complete with mobile gamelan orchestra.

Every Balinese village is traditionally built on the line between the mountains and sea, sunrise and sunset. Even the main street goes in this direction. Balinese Hindu’s make offerings on a daily basis to appease the demons and to honour the Gods or ancestors.

So, you don’t have to be on Bali long before you happily stumble across one of the countless beautiful and noisy temple processions…

There is only one supreme God in Balinese Hinduism: Sanghyang Widi Wasa, but there are countless other Gods and lesser divinities, all of whom are manifestations of the One, and many of whom have special days at the local temples. There are thousands of temples on Bali, each celebrating the various deities, and also having a special “anniversary” celebration once every Balinese 210 day year.

Tukad Unda Dam

Now 25km from Ubud, we pass by the famous pre-wedding and insta spot Tukad Unda Dam at Klungkung. The Tukad Unda is a major fast river perfect for adventure rafting and this dam is a popular spot among the locals, who come to bathe and wash their clothes. It is also a place of play, with the internet filled with photo’s of children splashing water from small buckets on each other.

Falls at Kali Unda

KUSAMBA BEACH & TRADITIONAL SALT FARM

Then we turned down a tiny dirt trail that pushed through a stand of trees and opened up a view of glorious, isolated blacksand beaches.

Kusamba Beach is one of East Bali’s many tranquil and exotic black sand beaches. When we were there there were no tourists in sight and besides a local fisherman the tranquility was palatable. Kusamba is known for its traditional organic salt farms that date back almost a thousand years. The small salt farms are run by the local villagers who make their main living from fishing.

Organic salt harvesting is a very labour intensive process. The farmers carry ocean water with wooden or leather buckets balanced on bamboo poles. They splash the seawater across raked volcanic sand. Within a few hours, the hot sun evaporates the water leaving salt flakes. The flakes are then washed with fresh water in wooden drums to create saltwater brine. This is poured over timber planks for further evaporation. Filtered water is then brought to drying areas with a black tarp underneath. Here the water sits under the hot sun to let the water evaporate and leave the organic salt behind. It takes about a week to complete the whole process.

We loved visiting a completely local industry, salt farming, where we tried scraping some salt (with amateur skill).

Then onwards to the famous “Bat Cave” …

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