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Published: June 26th 2012
Pura Segara, Candidasa
The first temple on Gumang Hill
We took two hikes up the "big hill" in Candidasa, actually the first hike I thought it was a big hill, the second hike was after the really big hill- Gunung Agung, so Gumang Hill then became the "not so big hill"- follow me?
Anyway, we asked the guys at the hotel if it would take long to climb, they said- nope, not so long so off we went (which we believed because usually anything longer than 5 minutes and "you need transport?taxi?where you going?" is being offered!). The definition of ill prepared springs to mind. I wore my crocs (dumb move), we both had sunscreen on from earlier in the morning (worn off for sure!), did wear a hat (smart). However, it would have been very smart to take more sunscreen, water (yes, water!), more water and possibly a snack now that it is 3 hrs since breakfast. Anyway.... From Aquaria you take the lane on the RHS towards the beach passing numerous villas and small beachfront hotels. It is a nice shady stroll. We pass the caged birds at one guys place, spot some free ones, Geoff takes some photos, we dodge motor bikes. Pass The Orchid Garden
Pura Segara, Candidasa
It was deserted when we arrived on both occasions but there were fresh offerings there
(which apparently has an impressive aviary and a great warung). Find our way up the small path at the end of the road and start the climb to the Sea Temple- very easy. Along the way is electrical cord snaking up the hill, some with lights attached, some exposed wires ?!! Hati-hati!
The temple is actually called Pura Segara, it is a small and one perched on some craggy rocks surrounded by coastal type vegetation. You get a nice view out to the sea and over CD. No monkeys in sight, phew- not fond of them! Several small offerings have been placed at the temple already this morning. As an aside- the offerings in Bali are called banten, or canangsari, they are a gift to the Gods to give thanks and ask for favour or protection (specifically for the evil gods to stay away). The small offerings are usually made by women and are carried to the temple on a tray with holy water and an incense stick. The offering is usually composed of petals, shredded leaves, sometimes rice, crackers or sweets and the incense stick which is left to waft towards the temple. The Balinese will usually be
Pura Segara, Candidasa
Looking back down to the temple
in traditional dress or at the very least with a scarf around the waist.
Take some pics and decide to head up towards the monkey temple. You would think that this should be very straight forward- right? Wrong, wrong, wrong. It is now midday, the sun is high and hot, a farmer tells us that we need to cut across his land for about 100 metres and then head up from there. We traverse the terraces to get to where we think we need to be. Climb up and through some bush fences, climb over a bamboo pole gate and further up and eventually are rewarded be a temple. It seems to be even smaller than Pura Segara but feels like we are at the top of the hill. We take a break and sit under a tree looking out across CD to the sea and take in the views to Mount Agung. Nusa Lembongan, Gilis' Mimpang, Bisha and Tepekonglook a long way away. The satellite towers are very small from here. Despite the huge amount of development going on it is heartening to see so much green, great tracts of coconut trees and vegetation. We hear a bird
Looking out to the ocean
At the base of the cliffs are black sand beaches
call- a new one and decide to go investigate- separately- whilst leaving the backpack under the tree. Who would have thought that you could lose each other within a 5 minute time frame. I decide to go back to the backpack- or where I think the backpack is, hmmmmm, where exactly did we leave it? After 30 mins I find it but not Geoff. Sit and wait for 10 mins thinking that he will appear- no such luck. Start calling out- no response - HOW, HOW, HOW can you get lost on an exposed hill????
10 more minutes passes and I see something from the corner of my eye- it is not a cow, it is not a monkey- it is Geoff and he is about 50m lower on the hill looking for the backpack! So, we find each other and start the really hot, thirsty descent. The guys back at the hotel ask what took us so long???? They asked how we like the big temple (?), were we impressed about the hundereds of monkeys (?)- hmmmm, it would seem that we didn't actually get there! Late lunch at 3.30. That was the day that we were supposed
Looking hot an sweaty but pleased with myself on the first walk up the hill
to be doing the Agung Trek later that night- in retrospect, not smart.
Take 2 - the day after Gunung Agung we decide to give Gumang Hill another shot, how hard can it be? (to put you out of your misery if you have read enough we did actually get there!). OK, this time we take 3 litres of water, food, extra sunscreen and a hat. Retrace all previous steps and make a pact not to get separated or leave backpack in random locations. The extra difficulty today is that we are really stiff from Agung- REALLY STIFF. My quads are actually screaming which is odd, I didn't think that I would be so sore given the degree of walking that I usually do, anyway..... We retrace all previous steps and go past the 2nd temple- yes there is a lot more uphill that we missed last time. It is quite an achievable walk though, gentle incline. We reach the summit and have 2 ridges/plateaus to walk across and some bush before we reach the back of LARGE temple. The views are incredible and the village of Bug Bug can be distinctly seen. We enter through the back of
the temple and it is utterly full of monkeys (I have a stick! I am prepared!) These monkeys though are placcid, timid even and run away if you walk towards them. The temple complex is quite large with various platforms and statues, there is one balinese man there placing offerings, he nods his acknowlegement to us. Other than him and the monkeys it is deserted.
The several large old trees provide shade to groups of monkeys, under one is about 10 monkeys with little babies. Sitting on a temple platform are a group of noisy, active boy monkeys. We stay for about 1/2 an hour before making our way down the front steps back to the road. There are seriously more than a thousand steps in various stages of deterioration, the loose stone and stiff legs make for an interesting time. All along this path are monkeys in trees and crossing the path. From the bottom of the steps you come out at the road and then have a 2.5km walk into CD (or you can catch a taxi). We walk....
Summary- It was an interesting experience and I would highly recommend it. You can also visit the
Terracing up the hill
The terraces are grass and stones, no crops
Gumang Temple doing it in the opposite way to the way that we took- taking the stairs to the temple and then going down the hill into CD. There are a couple of locals who run the walk as a tour if you want a guide, but as you can see, even we managed it.... eventually.
So ends my Bali blog - feel free to contact me if you have comment or question.
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