Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ayung River in Bali, Indonesia

From where I'm sitting (a lobby in a hotel in a small town in Sulawesi), I can count 14 geckos on the wall. Last night the check-in clerk tapped a wall map "your room is here" and two lizards skitted out from behind it.

Last week was rafting on the Ayung River near Ubud in Bali. This small, free-flowing river passed through canyons and there were many waterfalls. At the end of the ride was a small side dam in part of the channel. Much of the landscape looks like this:

The green receptors in my eyes were completely saturated. 

Many of the photos from this post were taken from other webpages (sources 1 , 2 ,3 ,4 ,5 ,6 ,7 ,8 ,9 ,10 ,11 ,12) because I was concerned about getting the phone wet... but straight after the first bend was an unexpected delight. I caused a stir on the raft with all my "ooh! ooh!"-ing ("what is it? waterfall? monkey? snake?"). There was an automated river gage. It looks like a tall metal tube with a small shack on the top.

Even more unexpected was that there was another gage a few more minutes downstream, almost identical to the first, except that the bottom of the tube looked torn away. I've googled up one side of the internet and down the other and can't find any pictures of these gages. I tried to find info on Balinese streamgages, but the best I could find was that many years ago a few gages were installed but no readings were ever taken. I don't know if these are the same gages.

Speaking of surprises, nowhere was it advertised that there's a long stretch of the Ayung's banks that are carved by local artists, commissioned a couple years ago by a resort on the hill. Google turned up a photo of the artists in action:

The carvings are finished and here's a selection of some others' photos from the web

It goes on forever and has a baffling level of detail.

I did get a chance to stand under a waterfall:

If you feel that your job is difficult, consider the life of this lady, carrying dozens of wet life vests at a time on her head up hundreds of stairs.


  1. Holy smokes. In Spanish, a goal/score in futbol is a GOL! A goal you want to tell your friends about, ie a superb goal, is a GOLAZO! These, amigo, are CARVINGAZOs....