Visiting the Mother Temple
|Me on the back of a scooter|
Again I was on my own in the bus - with a tour guide and driver and off we set to this famed temple, which is called The Mother Temple of Bali. It is at an altitude of some thousand feet above sea level, on the volcanic slopes of Gunung Agung. This is Bali's largest temple complex with 23 separate temples on the vast property.
In 1963, the volcano erupted and some 1700 people died. The lava flowed down the side of the volcano missing the temple by a few metres, which enthused the Balinese who felt it was a 'sign' that the temple was of great value.
One arrives in a 'courtyard' of stalls and my guide ushered me quickly through. He explained that it was a long walk up to the temple and (for a fee) I could go on a scooter. Initially I considered walking - but as it was hot and humid, I decided to pay for my guide and myself to go on the back of scooters.
With 23 temples to visit, it can take along time and the steps going higher and higher are quite a challenge, especially in the heat. I went up and then rested, and then on and upwards, almost to the highest part, but then we returned via another pathway.
Along the way I met a little girl, just 5 years of age, trying to sell me some postcards. I was 'resting' at the time, and though she spoke little English we had quite a fun time. She had learned how to count to 100 in English - she started with 1 - 5 and made a little error, so I corrected her (ever the English teacher!), and in the end she went on to 100 with me correcting the errors, and her trying to get it right. I ended up buying some postcards that I didn't want. Still it was a fun experience and I know that the little girl has a great future - she is so keen to learn.