Beautiful Bali: Day 4

A walk around Sideman! 

The land here is too wet to plant potatoes and other veggies, but it’s perfect for rice paddies! 

One thing I noticed that surprised me, is the amount of rubbish, particularly plastic, that is floating around the rice paddies and the roads in general. Our walking guide explained that this is a problem as it can block the water systems which can have implications for the crops.

Obviously it also has environmental consequences too. Everything natural is composted, but the plastic is just left.

Abandoned government building built in 1982

This is the village temple that is for everyone, every class and background.

Once a year they pray at a different temple, and they also have a family temple. The guide told us a bit more about Hindu family life and the fact that cremation has two parts to them; the spiritual and the physical. The spirit is thought to be reborn again (reincarnation) through the sea.

He explained that back in the day, people used to have to wait up to 21 days to find a good day to be cremated, and this was before the embalming injection, so the bodies used to smell really bad! 

Hindu religion also believes in karma – perhaps not the literal sense that it is now used in the west ‘what goes around comes around’, it’s more than that. He explained that although there is also Hinduism in India, there are cultural differences here.

After a Hindu celebration, there has to be an offering of fresh blood to the God so they have cock fighting, the cockerels wear little knives on their feet! The loser gets cooked and turned into soup!

Rice drying out

1963 was the last eruption of mount Agung, so they harvested the natural stone available and use it for carving and for house building.

We’re in a traditional weaving shop, this weaving (photo may be wifi dependent but bear with me, I’ll load it up at some point!) may only take a day to create, but each bead of colour has to be dyed individually! By hand! It can takes ages, the detail is amazing!

We walked into the weaving factory and it’s how I sort of expect Victorian Britain would have been (sort of). There were lots of women and young girls, not children but not old enough to have finished school.

Our leader told us they work from 8 am – 5 pm and they get lunch breaks, they can work longer if they need more money etc or if they have a big family. He explained that perhaps they work because their family is poor and can’t afford to send them to school. 

I wonder what will happen to rural and agricultural places if they become mechanised – like Britain did. I’d like to add, I don’t think it’s as extreme as Victorian England, they are paid a good wage for the area / country.

This used to be the biggest hotel in Sideman – it opened in 1996, with many rooms, but the US owner sold it back (or tried to sell it back?) to the people of the village but they didn’t use it so now it stands in disrepair. After 2005 it would have been too expensive to make the renovations. After 50 years, the land goes back to the people. It’s 3 hectares large. The walls disintegrated because they were made of bamboo.

It closed because of the Bali bombings that took place in Kuta in 2002. It took a long time for the tourists to come back.

This places make me think of a kind of paradise lost place. I think it would be the perfect setting for a post-apocalyptic film or a horror.

A traditional Balinese lunch by the river:

The advantage of being the youngest person on this group tour is that everyone around me has travelled so much before, they hold a wealth of knowledge and are really inspiring! It’s so great to be surrounded by people who work and yet also have travelled so much.

We went to a coffee place to see how coconut oil is made, how Luwak coffee is made and we saw an actual Luwak! He was insanely cute! I spoke to an older Indonesian man and he asked me where I was from, so I said England, and he said ‘London?’ and I said no, Nottingham. (I may not have mentioned this on my blog before). He pulled a thoughtful face so I said ‘Robin Hood?’ And he replied ‘Nottingham forest!’

What a small world?! I told him my dad is a massive fan, or was, well, no. He just doesn’t go to see them anymore, but he followed them all around Europe back in the day. 

This is a snake fruit. My new favourite fry it’s. It has a spiked peelable skin, with the consistency of a lychee and the taste of an unripened strawberry. It’s delicious!

Sideman has been beautiful! 

Tomorrow we hike mount Batur for sunrise!

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