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Photographer's Note

Taking a step back in my Bali Travellogue ;-)

It was a day when my wife almost dropped as she shopped to her heart’s content - wood carving from Mas (amazing statuettes), silver jewellery from Celuk (not many thankfully) & gifts & souvenirs from Denpasar. The last stop of the day was the spectacular Pura Luhur Uluwatu, near the southern tip of Bali & I was under some mistaken impression that this temple was half an hour drive from Denpasar. Ngurah our driver, said it would take a minimum of 1 and ½ hours to reach there & it was already 5 pm. Sunset in Uluwatu is a must see spectacle & in all probability we would miss it. Pressing on to the gas, Ngurah drove fast as I kept one eye on the setting sun. Echoes of Pink Floyd’s "Time"...

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking...

Soon the sun beat us to it as it dipped below the horizon & my heart sank as well. We reached Uluwatu at 6.45 pm, a good 1 hour 15 minutes after sunset. Paying the entrance fees, I ran up the slope with the voice of the ticket seller trailing behind me “Be careful about your camera & glasses from the monkeyyyyyys...”.

As I reached the top, the sky was almost dark except a tinge of red & a little bright patch at the top. Pura Uluwatu looked like a ghostly silhouette perched above the promontory. In my camera LCD - absolute darkness…so was the case through the viewfinder. I was shooting with my hunch, as I moved forward to the parapet on the edge of the cliff. The rhythmic chant of "Kechak..Kechak" rang out in the background. Suddenly I felt a tug & my view through the camera was totally dark and a high-pitched voice pierced the rhythmic chants, which I recognised was my wife’s. As I looked up, I was face to face with a primate, with it’s hands firmly grasping the lens of my camera trying to wrench it away. My wife picked up a stick from the ground & the monkey thought it wise to leave my camera & run. I looked around & saw three more of the troop & we decided to run as well, but towards our car.

So ended our tryst with Pura Luhur Uluwatu & this is one of the few pictures I managed to take. Not by any means, a great shot, as compared to scores of really excellent pictures of this place already posted in TE. But then, I guess, not many of these shots of Uluwatu are taken 75 minutes after sunset & are laced with a similar hair raising experience as mine! :-)

Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of the six major temples revered by the Balinese. It was erected by Danghyang Dwijendra, a great Balinese priest. The temple is perched 70 meters (230ft) above the ocean on a sheer promontory. Some of the rocky precipices drop almost 100m (330ft) into the raging ocean below.

I enhanced the lightness, but the Workshop post is almost as we really saw, except that it was even darker. Lights on the sea are from fishing boats returning home.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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