My guest house, Flamboyant, is located 30 meters from the entrance to the road to Tengenan. Riding up to Tengenan from the main road takes about 10 minutes and is scenic for the first half, the strong light and greens of the palm trees, next to the deep blue of the sky.
On the way up there I stopped and bought a Fresh Tea from a roadside shack, served by a 14 year old girl, who talked to me in Indonesian. She told me that today and for the next 3 days there is a gamelan festival in Padangbai. I had heard there was a ceremony in Tengenan, but she didn’t know about it. Arriving at the parking area in Tenganan, the ticket sellers (you must buy a ticket to enter the Bali Aga village) told me there was ceremony at the western side of Tenganan.
Tenganan is a Bali Aga village, meaning the original inhabitants of Bali live here. There are various parts to the village, the origianal part, the part where former inhabitants who have be expelled live, and a part for outsiders. Tenganan residents are not allowed to marry outside of the village. doing so means expulsion.
Anyway, this ceremony was a short, scenic, forested ride about a 10th of a mile to the west, as the corw flies. Of course in Bali, the crows are as crazy as the locals, and getting to this western part of the village took longer than it sounds.
Arriving in Tenganan Dauh Tukad, I immediately saw a temple ceremony and many people pouring out. Parking my bike outside and snapping a few photos was no problem at all. I started chatting with a local in Indonesian, when he broke into English (I know you. you go to TJ’s in Kuta.” he said). I was amazed, that here in East Bali, out in the boonies, anyone would recognise me. Anyway I promised to stop in and say hi, when I get back to the Kuta area.
The temple ceremony was going on at Pura Dalem Setra. The occasion was the birth of a new temple. A local told me that 2 years ago, the old Pura Dalem (temple of the dead) was badly damaged in an earthquake. Locals knocked that one down and built a new one. In order for it to assume the holiness of the former, intense ceremonies have to be performed, to draw the power from the first temple. One local told me, he would never see this ever again in his lifetime. This kind of thing occurs about once every 150 years. Apparently on November 5th there is an even bigger ceremony there.
Not wanting to be obtrusive, I snapped a few photos from outside and let the locals do their thing.