ari is helping me out in writing entries of this trip. this is one of his writings. thanks hon!
Arriving at the Uluwatu Temple, we were asked to wear the customary garments required when people enter a Balinese temple. Picked out of a large basket in front of the temple’s ticket office, Thalia and I wore the purple sarongs, while Aina had a yellow sash tied to her waist.
Then we walked down the entrance through a pathway towards the temple garden. The Uluwatu temple is a huge structure made out of several clusters of buildings set on the edge of a breathtaking cliff. Along the way, there were monkeys everywhere. Lounging around nonchalantly on top of narrow walls overlooking the 200m drop.
Some are breastfeeding on the edge of the cliff.
There were lots of people there too since that day, it was Pagerwesi Day. A sacred day in the Balinese calendar for self-purifying and guarding oneself against evil thoughts. So naturally, in addition to all the camera-snapping tourists, Balinese people carrying offerings rushing by preparing for an actual religious ceremony.
The view from up there was amazing. Along the way to the main performance area, we took pictures of the cliff and huge waves below. We hurried along as the sun was setting and the performance of the Ramayana Kecak dance was about to begin.
We got a great seat, facing the center of the round stage. People started filling in and continued to do so well into the performance.
Then, against the sunset backdrop, the story of Ramayana unfolded as bare-chested men in trance formed a circle performing as monkeys to complement the dancers in the middle.
Aina enjoyed the show very much. She had learned the story of Ramayana from us months in advance. In fact, it is one of her favorite bedtime stories. She seemed amused with the rhythmic chanting of the Kecak as we saw her swaying side to side during the show. The show ended with the character of Hanuman kicking fiery balls of hay, defeating Rahwana’s army of ogres.
Aina was so impressed with the show that on the way back in the car, Snowy’s name was changed into Hanoman 🙂
We drove to Jimbaran for a seafood dinner by the beach, tired and hungry from the day’s excursions. The food was amazing, steamed fish, crawfish and some spicy water crest. And although the overall ambiance was a bit too dimly lit, the live singing was extraordinary. There were even some sporadic fireworks that night from somewhere down the beach. We went back to the hotel after dinner, took a shower and fell asleep immediately after.
And, of course, there are more photos at the Uluwatu Temple + Kecak Dance, Bali ’11 photo album.