Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bali, Indonesia: Pura Lempuyang Lehur: Mountains and Monkeys

The view of Mount Agung from Pura Lempuyang Lehur

After spending a relatively fast-paced few days in the Gili Islands (by Indonesian standards, that is), there's nothing like hiking up two-thousand steps or so. That's how the saying goes, right? Well, perhaps not, but that's what happened shortly after Bri and I hopped off our loud "fast boat" and touched down on the shores of Bali. The fast boat was more like a jet powered water devil, but, safety aside, we got there quickly. The waves were just as tall as our last little trip on the Bali Sea, but this boat was a little more sturdy than our last boat.

We weren't interested in the touristy offerings of Kuta, Bali, so we bypassed Kuta and headed straight for Amed. Amed is an up-and-coming tourist area in Bali, but not yet ruined by the influx of said touristry. Consider that it was only about ten to fifteen years ago that paved roads came to this destination. Amed refers to a coastline of about 15 kilometres, and constitutes about seven villages in all: Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. It's as quaint a coastline as you'll hope to find, and worth stopping by if you happen to find yourself on Bali.

With blue skies overhead one fine morning, we decided to rent a surprisingly quick Honda scooter and make our way to Lempuyang Lehur Temple or Pura Lempuyang Lehur. The rice terraces along the way made for a rather scenic drive. I took this photo while pulled tightly to the side of the road still on my scooter as other scooters and cars whipped past me. Yeah, it was worth it.

The temple, and the subsequent mountain, are located in the Karagasaem Regency of Bali, which is in the East. The temple itself is noted as being one of the six major temples on Bali along with Watukaru Temple, Andakasa Temple, Uluwatu Temple, Besakih Temple, and Ulun Danu Batur Temple.

We arrived via scooter to the base of the mountain and bought a few assorted snacks, as well as some water and pocari sweat (essentially Asia's Gatorade. Lovely name, I know) for the hike. The walk up to the summit is about two thousand steps, and the stairs are strewn with fellow people on their pilgrimage, shrines, and more monkeys that one could reasonably fathom. These monkeys get quite aggressive. I had to fend off a monkey with my makeshift sword (a stick I found on the ground) when it tried to attack Bri for her pocari sweat. To be honest, with the right amount of hissing and teeth showing, the monkey won the battle, and she tossed her pocari sweat to the creature as we jetted off into the canopied forest.

Pura Lempuyang Lehur is said to have been established sometime around the tenth century, but no one is quite certain, which adds to the mystique. Our hike ended up taking a little longer than expected, but that's largely because we had to stop frequently to absorb the views. There were vantage points galore, especially of Mount Agung, the highest point on the island. Not to mention, we had to do the hike with a sort of fishtail version of a sari that loosely covered our legs. This, in a showing of respect for the Hindu pilgrimage. I broke a sweat during the walk, but every drop was worth it. As were the approximately two thousand steps.

Thanks for popping by, folks. Have yourselves a lovely weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Would love to visit Bali. Definitely next on my list of places to go!Such a beautiful place