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Trip Report Floating away in Bali

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It's late afternoon in Ubud, and just like yesterday it started to pour like crazy. Unlike yesterday, it's showing no sign of stopping. So starting a trip report sounded like a good idea. If you are reading this Bob and/or Andy, hello from Putu. We had yet another great ceremony experience with him 2 days ago.

Only on even numbered years near the full moon at this time, there is a ceremony in East Bali where thousands of people from 4 villages climb 1000ft. and lots and lots of stairs up to a temple at the top of Bukit Gumang. It happened to be the day Putu was picking us up to tour around. He didn't really think we'd be willing to climb all the way up, but when we were in the middle of throngs of villagers carrying offerings, including roasted suckling pigs on long bamboo poles, who could resist? It took around an hour to get to the top. The view was great with rice fields and Mt. Agung in the background on one side and the sea on the other. At the top the poles full of babi guling were hanging in the trees to be blessed. Families set up camps to stay the night and monkeys were jumpiing around in the trees as people threw food to them. Gambling games were going on all around where the gamblers were not the adults, but the children. After a while, processions of men carrying shrines showed up and were circling around the temple area, with people falling into trances, some with their ceremonial knives in hand, trance dancing to the drumbeats and several fainting in the process. Needless to say, it was one of the more interesting ceremonies we ever attended. We go out with Putu again on Sunday and I don't think he'll be able to top that experience.

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