Luah village hike

We start our hike from Luah Village, a small village which sits under a mountainside by vast rice paddies where Mount Agung looms majestically in the distance. We walk through the village on a well traveled dirt road before following the trail along the irrigation tunnel along the dike of the rice paddies. Along the way we see the local farmers working in the fields, who take a moment in their busy day to say hello to us. We walk down to the Unda River where the water is very nice but not quite deep enough for a swim. Sitting on a huge volcanic rock, we enjoy the panorama around us. We then continue our trip through the rice paddies and reach a small village where we meet a group of school kids who are very excited to be photographed. They cluster around us, laughing and smiling, eager to pose for us. We follow the village road through the rice paddies into a beautiful valley with a big river in the distance. There we observe some farmers harvesting their crops, carrying their produce to a man waiting with his truck on the side of the road.

We continue our walk and meet a man leading his cows to bathe in a nearby stream. The cows look very happy to be given a bath and really enjoy the fresh mountain water. They are very well taken care of as they are considered to be holy animals here in Bali. The farmers use them for ploughing the paddy fields, and they are given a special ceremony on a holy day called Tumpek Kandang. It is a ceremony specially carried out for the domestic animals such as pigs, chickens, cows, etc. It is more like a birthday ceremony for them. We have our Balinese birthday every 210 days according to the Balinese calendar, which is called Otonan ceremony.

Walking up the hill we arrive at the village of Sangkan Gunung which lies on the top of the little mountain. The view over the great valley is gorgeous and as a bonus we have a wonderful view of the sea, river valley and a glimpse of the green rice paddies. Along the way I share some knowledge of the local vegetation. They grow lots of clove trees, coffee, snake fruits and many other fruit trees. We also see some pigs in the backyards of the villager's compounds, free range chickens, caged fighting roosters along the side of the road and of course all the ubiquitous dogs that hang about the village. We walk along with some village women who are going to get water from the local spring. They carry large water buckets and of course a bundle of laundry as well. We stop at a public bath by the side of the road but politely avert our eyes so as not to appear rude. Some village kids approach us to try to practice their English. It seems okay to be there and watch them doing their laundry even while they bathe in the natural fountain.

We say goodbye to those village kids and continue our walk to the next village where we are very fortunate to come upon a big ceremony. Men, women and kids are dressed nicely for the temple. Women carrying elaborate towering offerings on their heads gracefully walk to the village temple. it's a very festive moment and everyone looks very happy with wonderful smiles. Kids approach us saying " Hello, hello," and greet us with friendly waves . We sit for a while and observe the activities before getting into the car which returns us to our nice accommodation set amongst the rice paddies. We end our perfect day with a cup of fresh coffee while enjoying the peaceful view of the green rice paddies.

Wayan Sueta
Specialized in Countryside Adventure
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