We arrived at Pura Tanah Lot, a unique temple located directly on the ocean in Southwest Bali, in the early evening. This temple is built on a rock formation that is surrounded by ocean when the tide is up, and is a popular place at sunset. Our driver/guide/friend, Dewa, dropped us off at the gates, and off we went to explore inside the vast grounds.
There were rows and rows of vendors with a surprisingly great variety of wares!
We were especially enamored with the wood carving. Balinese carvers are famous for their intricate wood carvings.
With no home to put it in, we could only drool…
We finally wandered down towards the ocean on the crowded temple grounds. We arrived during some type of local festivital, so we were among a crowd of locals and tourists alike. You can see the ocean in the background…
I spotted these Balinese girls posing in front of a building.
I love the contrast of traditional clothing, while the locals walk around texting via their cell phones (see woman below).
Without warning, the walkways ended, and we came upon the intertidal zone. The tide was low, which left us with a fortunate opportunity to walk down towards the temple on the rock formations just off shore.
Hundreds of Balinese were at the base of the Pura Tanah temple, performing their ceremonies for their special celebration. I wish I knew more about what it was, exactly…
The land directly in the center is all intertidal zone (can you spot Jared and the kids in the photo below?), which means that it is covered in water at high tide, leaving the temple on the rock seemingly “floating” in the ocean, inaccessible.
I love this picture…
Maybe someone can explain to me more about what was going on? Or who these men in matching clothing were? I believe Jared made some comment about thinking they were perhaps there to keep tourists away from the center of the ceremony (although I didn’t see anyone showing disrespect in that way).
We turned away from the crowds, and decided to have a closer look at the ocean side.
I caught the above photo of the kids and Jared that I loved, and so I asked a nearby tourist with a big camera to snap a family photo of all five of us.
I was so disappointed to look at the final result and see that he chopped off our feet! :: sigh ::
A big camera does not necessarily equal a great photographer!
It started sprinkling on us, so we made our way back up on dry land, away from the intertidal zone.
Here we could see some temple ceremonies in action behind low dividing walls.
We circle up on the property on trails that led to other areas on the temple grounds.
(I couldn’t decide which photo I liked more. I just love the juxtaposition!)
As we walked up the hill along the rising cliffs, we were able to look back at the Pura Tanah Lot temple and the intertidal zones, where people were still enjoying walking around during low tide.
It became apparent that because the skies were so clouded over, we would not be able to catch much of a sunset, if at all. I tried my camera’s sunset setting, and took a few photos that caught the ominous clouds in the distance.
We walked out on the arched rock formation (above) that led to an alter at its far end, holding nervously onto our children’s hands to keep them close!
So, we started trekking back down paths towards the entrance where we arrived. Ethan led the pack, and received a lot of stares from the locals!
Just after taking this photo, the heavens broke loose, and a torrential rain overtook us! Everyone ran for cover under open-air buildings. We joined the crowds for about 5 minutes, but became restless, doubting the rain would ever let up. So, we opted to make a run for it—a very wet run. By the time we arrived back at the entrance to the gates to find our driver, my newer red cotton shirt was seeping red dye on my shorts and undergarments, and we were all soaked to the bone. All in all, it was a day we won’t soon forget!!