Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rice Trekking

One of our pre-planned activities was to go on a trek through rice paddies. I actually planned for us to do it while we were in east Bali, but while we were in central Bali one of the employees where we were staying offered to take us on a trek. I am so glad I accepted, because things in east Bali didn't go as planned. That's a story for a different day.

Anna and I accepted the offer. Too bad for Ethan and Eric; they missed their only chance.

The second segment of our trip was spent at an extraordinary villa in central Bali, just outside of Ubud. I will show you our accommodations in detail another time. For today's purposes, here is one view from one of the 2nd floor balconies:

We were surrounded by rice paddies. Many accommodations in and around Ubud are on the edge of rice paddies, it is very much a part of the Bali experience.

Here is Anna with our guide for the day, Puta.
I have only recently begun to appreciate the fact that kids look at things differently than adults. Anna notices a lot of details that I would completely overlook. For instance, Anna noticed that there were always a lot of ducks around the rice paddies - a fact that had completely escaped me!
Anna asked Puta if there was a reason for all of the ducks and he told her that yes, they are here because they eat many of the insects that would otherwise eat the rice. An interesting bit of information that I would have missed were it not for Anna! No chemicals to keep bugs away, just ducks.

Throughout the rice paddies there are many of these little structures. They are simply rest areas for the rice workers. Very necessary, as Bali is hot and humid and the work is hard.
The rice paddies are beautiful and very peaceful.
There does not seem to be one season for planting rice. It appears to be a continual process. As we walked along we saw pretty much the entire cycle, beginning with the planting. Here is a box of rice about to be planted:
Every bit of it is planted by hand. This has got to be incredibly difficult. My back would be killing me after planting about 10 plants, I think.
They don't use any modern machinery. The hand operated (though gasoline powered) "tractor" that this man was using was the most modern thing we saw.
As the rice is harvested it is all carried out by hand.
Or by head, actually. In Bali you see everything being carried on the head. I have other pictures of this which I will share another day.

Our trek was not only through rice fields. Puta led us through some jungle and down a steep path.
At the bottom of the path was an area where the local people bathe. There is a river, and they have built this little area at the edge of the river.
Just beyond the bathing area some of the water was diverted to this concrete area. This really sparked Anna's imagination. She thought it would be great fun to slide down this. Whether or not kids do that, I don't know. But no doubt that is what Anna would do, if she had the chance.

Next Puta took us into the local village. I have not yet decided if I will post pictures of that. It was interesting, but also involved one thing that made me truly angry. So, we'll see.

No comments: