Bali Trip: Ikat Weaving Village and Bat Cave Temple

The next day of our tour was a free day, but there was an optional tour to Tenganan, a weaving village, that we decided to go on.  We started with a bus drive up the coast and past some really pretty mountains.
View from the bus
We stopped along the way to watch a traditional ceremony along the beach also.
My mom and I watching the ceremony
Tenganan was a very traditional village that is one of three places in the world that does the double Ikat method of weaving.  They dye the thread using only three natural colours and the thread is woven using a back strap frame.  It is a very meticulous process and we were fortunate to have the Chief of the village walk us through the steps.  It gets the double Ikat name because both the horizontal and vertical threads are dyed in the pattern so precision is critical.
Back strap frame
The intricate weaving
My mom and I holding one of the pieces.
 After learning about the weaving, we wandered around the village exploring all the sights and sounds.  There were several artists selling things they had made and funny coloured chickens scattered around.
hand painted eggs
Pink Chicken
 Then we headed to lunch on the beach before starting the drive back towards Nusa Dua.  We stopped at Goa Lawah, Bat Cave Temple along the way.  The ornate temple was carved from volcanic rock from the nearby mountains.  We had to show proper respect by wearing sarongs and weren't allowed up into the cave where the main temple was located.
Group shot at Goa Lawah
Entrance to Bat Cave Temple

 True to its name, the cave was absolutely covered in bats.  I was actually very glad we weren't allowed near, it was rather creepy and very very smelly.
The cave covered in bats
Part of the temple
Temple attire
Our wonderful guide Supey at the entrance to the family compound
 We had all been wondering what traditional Balinese houses were like because we hadn't really seen any we could identify with from the bus.  So our guide took us to a traditional compound to explain how the locals live.  We walked through the front gate and were taken aback by what we saw.  To the right was the kitchen room with a wood fire where the family cooked.  To the left were two small buildings, one for the grandparents and one was the "bridal suite" for the newly married son and his wife.  That building was set up higher than the rest to distinguish its important.  Straight ahead was a bed sitting out under a roof.  We were told that this bed was the location for births, weddings, naps for the elders, and death.  A bit of a multi-purpose are I suppose.  behind this area was the family's temple.  On the right were a couple more small rooms and a toilet area.  There was also a hut set off from the ground which we were told was the rice storage.  There were lots of flowers planted and many birds and dogs in cages.  It was interesting to see how simple lives are there compared to the chaos that we're used to.  There was definitely a feeling of peace around this way of life.  Between that and the weaving village it sure put things in perspective for us.
The birth, marriage, nap, and death bed
The rice hut
Pretty sunset on the drive home


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