Sunday, June 9, 2013

A week in Bali (Day 4) - Tegalalang and Petulu

It started raining heavily during lunch and again later in the evening when we left Tegalalang. Seriously, don't bother to waste the money to enter Tegalalang. Bedugul and the other mountainous areas in Bali have rice terraces too, and the ones we saw going up Bedugul two days before were much more appealing.
We only had Petulu left. It was only 5.30pm when we left Tegalalang, so I was kind of regretting not having more places in the itinerary. Then again it was still raining so yeah, never mind. Omar said he never went to Petulu (the reason was obvious why later) with other tourists before. According to the travel guides, the Kokokan (Koko crunch - actually egrets) would fly off for the day for food (later we found out where some of them went... outside our hotel room.....) and coming back to roost at around sunset.
Flying in for a landing
Omar alighted at a booth just outside the village just like Tegalalang. So commercialized... argh. So he came back and asked us if we wanted to walk down the village which was about 800m and he could pick us up half an hour later. Or we could all sit inside the car until 6pm.

So we walked along a narrow village road (2-way!).  Little wooden shacks and tiled steps leading up to traditional homes lined the road, and we caught interesting glimpses of village life, e.g. a group of village boys gathering at one of the shacks to watch football on one CRT and play old video games on another, it kind of reminded me of my childhood, so I liked seeing that.
Village Life
Walking further in, we began to see the birds flying in and landing on their nests which were super high up in the tall trees. There were actually little warungs planted among the padi fields for you to put up your feet and enjoy the view at a less neck breaking angle.  It wasn't very easy to take photos, and being a tight pussy I did not buy a more powerful lens, and all my camera could capture were essentially tiny white long-legged things flying here and there.
kokokan nests

if you blink hard enough you can see the white birdies on the tree...
I would say it was ok, but I thought the village life was more interesting than those birds. I had more fun watching the funny ducks outside our hotel room. The tour guides painted a more intriguing imagery though: Locals sat that the birds are manifestations of souls of people killed in the aftermath of the failed Communist coup against the Indonesian government in Jakarta in 1965. Soon after some 100,000 people connected to the Jakarta coup were massacred in Bali, the egrets mysteriously appeared in Petulu in 1966.

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