Saturday, 29 October 2011

Ancient Culture to Grubby Isolation

Immaculately kept stone age street of Tenganan
Yesterday we had a very pleasant couple of hours in the traditional village of Tenganan over in the Eastern part of the island. The govornment has cleaned the village up to the extent that the locals are not allowed to spread their shops around the main street. Businesses are limited to inside family houses so the main street, that runs for a kilometre up the hillside, looks to all extent original. Running down the centre are various wooden meeting halls and storage sheds. All raised off the ground, looking like they are constructed using rain forest timbers. It's a magical place. Clean, atmospheric and very photogenic (apart from the odd bright red or yellow (dyed) cockerels that wander around the yards.
Keyside at Trunyan in Batur volcano. Note the distinct smell of pig poo?
Today was a little different. We travelled up the main volcano to Kintamani, then dropped over the lip of the massive Batur caldera, into the crater itself to catch a ferry boat across the massive lake that occupies about one third of the caldera floor to the Bali Aga village of Trunyan.
Trunyon, 20 mins boat ride across the lake, like Tenganan, is also a Bali Aga settlement, an original village that, until about five years ago, was cut off from the world. Now a road meanders down the steep volcano side into the village. It was too steep for our bus (thank goodness) so we took the more pleasurable boat option. However, the resemblance to Tenganan stops at the front gate. Our guide described Trunyan as being 'primitive'. I think what he meant, in so many words, was that it was a very poor community. And that meant it was messy, smelly and perhaps not that interesting.
The people, although friendly enough, looked as though they had very little pride in the cleanliness of their village. Very different to Tenganan. And in fact different to the rest of the island, where people seem top be constantly cleaning up, sweeping dirt and burning rubbish. Trunyan desperately needs a "Clean up Trunyon" day.
The real reason for going there was also to visit the cemetery, another ten minutes away in a boat. Deceased bodies are left in the open, covered in palm fronds till their flesh decays and drops away. The skulls and various bones are then removed and placed on display in the graveyard for a few months. Then people seem to lose interest. The place itself was littered with bits of rubbish and human bones. Quite creepy. 
But interesting for a few HDR shots...

No comments:

Post a Comment