I left you to catch-up on some much-needed sleep and try and acclimate my body to the very different temperature of this country from the North Island of New Zealand.
I had left Auckland in a howling rainstorm with temperatures in the low 60’s and coat and umbrella very much required. I arrived in Bali hours later to blazing sun, a humidity level that embraced the body in a damp, cloying blanket of sweat which was impossible to lose and temperatures in the high 80’s.
Driving from the national airport in Depensar with the radio blaring and the air conditioner grinding out a tepid flow of cool? air, with my host’s son, the driver, giving me what I am sure was a splendid commentary on what we were passing by in totally non-understandable English, we arrived at the Rumah Roda Homestay in Ubud.
If you have read my previous post about my first day – how really lovely my room was and my immediate invitation and attendance at the Full Moon Festival, you know I ended my first 24-hours in Bali hot, sweaty and exhausted – but with my mind filled with brilliant colors, images of the beautiful Indonesian people and a small inkling of their deep devotion to their Buddhist religion.
So now it’s 2 days later. Sunday morning and my host, Darta, has sent word that the Full Moon Festival continues over the weekend and I must join the family for an excursion to the famous Pura Tirtha Empul.
This is the largest ‘purification temple‘ on the island. This is where you come to bathe in ‘holy water’ and even take jugs of it home to use for your daily religious rituals.
We got a late start and arrived to find this normally peaceful and not very crowded temple overflowing with worshipers there to celebrate and be cleansed during the Full Moon Celebration. You can see from the photos just what I mean by crowded. (I returned to this temple very early in the morning the day of my photography tour and will share more detailed photos with you a bit later.)
|Offering left in thanks to the Temple|
|The 100’s waiting in waist-deep water to be showered with holy water|
|Waiting in line|
|A temple within the Temple|
Behind the pools of holy water is a massive space where hundreds can pray and offer thanks. Priests come from the local villages to perform the ceremony. They are surrounded by their parishioners who have come specifically to be showered, blessed and return home with their jugs of holy water. The priest for this continuing Full Moon ceremony is the same that officiated at the one on the day I arrived. I still think looks like Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.
This Temple requires that all that enter must wear a sarong. I had my trusty purple one which was ‘mine’ to use at all ceremonies I attended during my stay. But tourists who come to the temple are provided with a sarong to wear upon entry (for a small donation). While Darta and family were being showered and praying, I spent my time observing, taking photos are getting the giggles seeing some of the amazing outfits that ‘tourists’ ware!
Outside the entrance to the Temple
is a massive park with an area filled with
stalls where folks are selling everything from
bananas to kites to juice and food.
Inside the Temple is peaceful, quiet except for
the tinkling sound of bells and hushed prayers.
Outside is a bustle of noise and hustle as everyone tries to sell you something while 100’s of cars are jockeying for position trying to leave as buses are arriving to unload more and more people – both tourists and worshipers. It was overwhelming and the crowds were too much for me to really enjoy this visit. When I returned it was a whole different story – as you will see.