|Sibetan, Selat, and Iseh
village in the solidified lava flow outside Amlapura slowly putting
itself back together, a road heads west along the foothills of Gunung
Agung. It meets the Klungkung Besakih road at Rendang, and thus makes
possible a round trip in Karangasem.
provides a chance to explore seldom-visited villages of the beautiful
east. Women carrying loads of sweet potatoes, spices and bound piglets,
men leading cows for sale, make their way to the village markets which
teem with activity until around moon. Large markets come round every
three days, that at Bebandem being especially interesting. A few
kilometers farther west is Sibetan, rich in rice and fruit, famous for
sank, a brown fruit with the texture of an apple and clothed in a skin
resembling that of a cobra. Plantations of the low thorny sank palms
cover the range between Sibetan and Selat. From Selat a back-road leads
through lseh and Sideman to just east of Klungkung.
where people grow rice and white onion, was chosen in 1932 by the
German artist Waiter Spies as a site for a country house. For many
years after, Theo Meier, a Swiss painter, lived in the same house that
gazes out on an uninterrupted view of the great volcano. The massive
slope is cut by deep ravines, forming serpentine shadows descending to
a wide valley of rice fields. In the landscape, hues vary from luminous
yellow, to opulent light green of mature rice, to red-stemmed buff of
stalks just before harvest.
you travel in
the east, you take away impressions of serene landscapes, rustic
villages and undulating rice fields often dotted with fruit trees,
papaya and bananas. The larger festivals are amazing: temple buildings
and tall bamboo structures hung with colored cloths and decorated with
rice cookies; the swell and bustle of the crowd; women running around
with offerings; and the gamelan playing-all in worship and honor of the
gods who have made it so.
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