Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tegalalang and the Elephant Temple

Hey there everyone. We have actually been home for about two weeks now, which is hard to believe, but we still wanted to share the rest of our trip with you. Besides, now that we are back, it doesn't seem quite as exciting here as our trip was for some reason.

One afternoon we hired a driver to take us on a trip up to the Tegalalang rice paddies. It was about a 30 minute drive, and we went about half an hour before sunset. It had been a full day and we really enjoyed the scenery along the way.
As the road carved through the jungle and along rivers and smaller rice patties we admired the piles of coconuts, counted how many people could fit on a scooter, and waved to kids along the side of the road. Before we knew it we were driving next this deep valley with rice terraces.
Chelsie and I really enjoyed having our friends Mike and Alissa around to hang out and travel with. They are really layed back and love to have fun.
The majority of the paddies were not planted as they had just been harvested.

It was a sight to see. The terraces stacked and stacked. They meandered down the valley as far as one could see.
Our driver warned us and we encountered the aggressive local salesmen who didn't take no for an answer. They pleaded, pushed, and begged. It was a little unnerving. We also encountered kids selling post cards. Their bartering skills were well tuned, so we caved to this one young lady.
We got a cute picture and some post cards in exchange for two dollars.

A stop that we made the following day, and were glad that we did, was the Elephant Cave.
Which was home to a small rock elephant statue. When we got there a local tagged along with us for a while giving us a "tour" and was actually taking pictures for us. At first I thought that he worked at the temple, and then I remembered reading in the guide books that the locals would first give you the tour, and then try and charge you afterward. After about five minutes this all clicked, and I brought it up. We had started the $20 tour according to him, and so I very kindly explained that we were not planing on taking a tour nor did we want to continue to be taken on a tour. He argued, I was persistent, he finally went away.
In the jungle near the cave were many enormous trees.
This was a mean burial cave that had its entrance carved in stone with a gaping mouth for a door.

We ventured inside. It was cool, damp, and creepy. There were vaults carved into the stone through out the interior.
Back out in the fresh air there was a bathing spring that was believed to contain holy water healing powers. We dipped our feet, but we didn't drink.

Exploring is exciting. At times we are amazed, at times disappointed. Its all part of the adventure, and that is what is most fun.


Jeff said...

The one picture I really wanted to see enlarged was not linked: the bathing spring. What are you trying to hide? Is it the Fountain of Youth? Are you trying to keep it to yourselves?

Jesse and Chelsie said...

There we go. At times when we are publishing the HTML links are misplaced. Blogger is pretty tricky to work with at times. Thanks for staying in touch. I hope all is well back at the Salida Regional.


Jeff said...

Nice! Thanks. Did you try climbing that big tree, Jesse?

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