Sunday, May 18, 2014

Goa Gajah | Bali | Indonesia

I love the smell of Bali. Whether emerging from a temple or rising from a streetside offering, incense fuses with every other smell on the island. There is a certain air of mystique about the island of which smell is a heavily contributing factor.

Goa Gajah, or the elephant cave, is nestled in a hillside, surrounded by lush beauty. For a beautiful area, there were a proportionately small number of tourists which made it all the more enjoyable. The temple part is nice enough but I immensely enjoyed meandering the grounds after. Unlike many things in Indonesia, this place is very pedestrian friendly.

The site of most interest to me was off the beaten path. After going down a very long set of stairs, crossing a stream and walking up another very long set of stairs, I visited a smaller temple. What was hiding behind it was so cool! I walked around the back and found several heads and animals that had been carved into the stone of the hillside long ago. Now covered with vibrant green moss, they looked like they wanted to escape. I continued walking down a path back there, away from the main attraction to find that these carvings continued. Unfortunately, I paused to take a peek in a cavern that I stumbled upon, and in horror movie fashion, heard something growling from the darkness. I took that opportunity to quickly, but quietly, head back to the main thoroughfare, but wishing that I had been able to continue to see what was around the corner.

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