At Holy Springs
Kawi is a temple only to be reached by clambering down 300 odd steps.
It is said to be a rock temple of considerable antiquity. It may
be all of that and something more. I do not know. Any temple that
is prepared to go through life, century after century, lurking at
the bottom of 300 steps can manage without my patronage.
the halfway mark, peering down into the greeny shadows of the valley,
it looks like some huge antique fresco. I am content to leave it
at that. So many tourists are only too eger to torment your ears
with details of how they ran or crawled, stumbled or sped, up and
down those same 300 odd steps, why should I swell their number?
Tampaksiring, a short way further up the road, is more my style.
At last count it had six steps.
Not that I like to be reminded of Tampaksiring. I had a rather unnerving
experience with that temple You don't think that possible Let me
tell you about it - and judge for yourself
the Festival of Kuningan, it is the custom for all Balinese to visit
Tampaksiring and purify themselves, bathing in the holy springs
around which the temple is built. Just before Kuningan' Nyoman,
one of my good friends, invited me to join with his family for the
bathing ritual at Tampaksiring. He had a large family, he also had
a large car and could always make room for one more.
was only one problem, and if you've ever taken a hard look at a
Balinese calendar you'll know what I mean. A Balinese calendar appears
more like a game of chance than a record of dates, and it does this,
mark you, not by accident but by choice, and for a very good reason.
Each day of every week is earmarked for special duties, so to say.
One day, for instance, is good for planting trees and crops; one
for animals; another for money matters, and one day, Hari Wong,
is always especially propitious for human relationships, and when
that occurs, watch out, and mount panic stations.
Tooth filings, weddings and cremations are all saved up for