Indonesia: Petirtaan Jolotundo Dewasa; East Java

At the conclusion of our tour of the Resort’s extensive gardens, there was time for a quick sortie out into the nearby rice paddies and a walk to a village.

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It was just a 15 minute walk along a very narrow path to get to the village. We needed to tread carefully as the path was along the top of an irrigation ditch.

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Even here, beside the path, there were interesting plants and insects to find.

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Unknown but obviously enjoyed the damp.

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The various paddies contained rice at different stages of growth.  Some had not long been planted, while other paddies were nearly ready for harvest.

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This crop was only days away from harvest…

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…a fact that this hungry locust was more than aware of!

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There were some attractive flowers of Mimosa pudica growing alongside the path.  It is a creeping annual or perennial herb belonging the pea family.  Its common name is Sensitive Plant because when touched or disturbed the finely divided leaves close up by folding together, thereby defending themselves from harm.  They re-open a few minutes later.  The plant is native to South and Central America, but is now a pan-tropical weed.

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The small village was paved and very clean and neat.  The narrow roadways were lined with well looked after gardens.

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A covered verandah sported a couple of tables made out of slabs of tree trunks supported by some old tree roots.  Nothing is wasted here!

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Still unsheathed corn cobs, neatly woven into bunches, hanging up to dry.

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Freshly cut and stacked bamboo, prior to being used for building purposes.

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I guess this house belonged to a fisherman.

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Interesting patterns and colours created by roof tiles…

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…and stacked flat roof tiles…

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…and split bamboo.

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Bright yellow cosmos with their heads pointed to the sun.

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Bi-coloured balsam… very attractive.

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A couple of the younger members of the village were obviously interested us.

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…and so was an older lady.

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The whole area was rather wet as can be seen by the plant growth and water damage to the wall of this house.

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Moss and ferns, another indicator of moist conditions.

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Speckled flowers of the Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia wulfenii).

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A busy wasp looking for moist mud to build its nest.

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These lovely orange speckled flowers seemed to be common in the gardens we saw.

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Another plant I don’t know… also enjoying the moist conditions.

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The petals of this waterlily are still expanding after opening for the first time.

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On our walk back to the resort for lunch, four of us decided there was time to continue on to a nearby Temple, Petirtaan Jolotundo Dewasa.It lies on the slopes of the 1653m Mount Penanggungan, a perfect cone that stands sentinel between the coastal plains and the volcanic hinterland.

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 Along the way, we passed this abandoned shelter… the plants beginning to take over.

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Jolotundo Temple is a centuries old Hindu shrine. It was built in 997AD for Udayara, a Balinese King, when he married a Javanese princess.

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Nearby was a mosque.

Over many centuries and under successive dynasties, Jolotundo Temple has been a sacred place. Its still a place of spiritual power even today, long after Hindu-Buddhist Java gave way to Islam. The idea of bathing at this special bathing temple still brings pilgrims.

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The temple precinct contains a series of stone pools filled with ‘holy’ water. These are filled with spring water which constantly runs and so replenishes any lost water. Many devotees travel quite some distance to bathe in the two separate pools, one for the ladies and the other for men. The spring water is supposed to possess ‘healing’ and ‘cleansing’ powers, so, after bathing, many pilgrims take containers of water away for later use.

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A little boy and his dad at the men’s pool.

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In the daytime these pools can appear to be a perfect family picnic spot. But, we were told, as darkness falls and the noise of the crickets rises, pilgrims arrive to burn incense, toss flower petals into the waters and bathe in prayer for healing, energy and good life. They come from many faiths… Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and those who still have ties to ancestor-worship and animism. But, unfortunately, we couldn’t stay until night fell… we still had many miles to cover on this day.

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By the time we made it back to the resort, we were really ready for lunch… delicious.

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 Before we left the resort we watched a demonstration on how to make red ginger tea. After that, we left the resort at 15.00 for the next part of our journey, a nearly four drive to Yoschi’s Hotel near Mt Bromo.

The last part of that drive was in the pitch dark as we climbed up a very, very twisty road to our hotel. It was probably just as well that we couldn’t see much of the scenery that we were driving through… very steep sides to a very narrow road!  But we made it safely, had dinner and fell into bed… we had a wake-up call booked 03.00. The mini bus would leave at 03.30 for us to be in time to watch the sunrise over Mt Bromo… and we certainly didn’t want to miss that! More anon.

David

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