Jatiluwih Rice Terraces of Bali, Indonesia
Time was passing really fast and Sarah and I were looking for one last adventure to have before we left Bali. Even though we had been there a month there were still plenty of things we wanted to do. It is a definite luxury in having a big piece of time to visit a place but it does have a tendency to cause procrastination about doing all things that you want to do. It didn’t help that our home for the month was a pretty great place to procrastinate in.
Even though the weather was overcast and threatening rain we decided to throw caution to the wind – as we usually do – get on our little motorcycle, and go see the Jatiluwih Rice Fields; about two hours from Ubud. There are a lot of rice fields in Indonesia and especially on Bali, but the Jatiluwih were supposed to be something special.
Located in the heart of the island the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces were designated a UNESCO Cultural Landscape in 2012 and the centuries old site offers one of the most striking examples of terraced agriculture anywhere in the world. Using only hand tools and pre-11th Century technology, early Balinese terraformed entire mountain sides to accommodate the growing of Bali’s most important crop. Tunnels and channels, sometimes many kilometers long, had to be carved out of solid rock to provide irrigation for the crop.
We were lucky to have arrived when the fields were at their maximum lushness. In spite of the cloudy skies the terraces provided wonderful textures to photograph. A fresh wind was blowing waves across the rice plants, birds soared overhead and the air felt fresh and clean. It was extremely peaceful and the fields even provided us a concert in the form of gurgling waters and the rhythmic drumming of wind powered noisemakers designed as scarecrows to keep birds from eating the rice grains.
We took the motorcycle down to the bottom of the terraces and just wandered happily among the paddies. I could have stayed longer but the afternoon was progressing and I wanted to be off the back roads before sunset. The little motorcycle had to struggle up some of the steeper hills but did a great job getting us almost all the way home. Unfortunately we had a flat tire a kilometer from the villa, DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE MOTORCYCLE RENTAL PLACE, and had to finish the trip on foot. Less than an hour later the motorcycle was repaired delivered back to us. All was well. Lucky!
I made these images, handheld, with my Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP DSLR with theEF24-105mm IS Lens Kit.