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Hijack At Holy Springs

Gunung 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.

From 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

At 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.

There 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



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