After visiting Pura
Goa Lawah, we continued east and went to the water palace at Tirta
Gangga. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Bali was run by local
Rajas who acted under Dutch influence. The Dutch had been the first Westerners
to land in Bali. They first arrived in the 1500's. At that time, they were
just exploring for the Dutch East Indies Company, and many refused to go
back when it was time to return because they loved it so much. They came
in peace and left in peace.
However, the Dutch returned with more
economic goals in mind in the 1700s and soon over-ran the island with their
superior arms and manpower. Those Balinese tribal leaders who submitted
(most did the manly ritual suicide thing) were designated 'Rajas' and Bali
became much like a feudal state.This lasted until Indonesian independence
from Japan after WWII in 1949.
Unfortunately, the cataclysmic eruption
of Agung volcano in 1963 rocked the newly independent island. We saw much
evidence of this eruption on our drive north. All the temples and buildings
in Bali are built of gray cement. Susan was particularly distraught by
this, at first, (where is all the wood??) until she realized the gray cement
was volcanic sand used to rebuild he island's homes and infrastructure
after the eruption. We drove over an abyss that had been gauged out of
the earth by a lava flow and then filled in with volcanic sand. In
2009, almost 40 years after the eruption, the sand had been dug out almost
20 feet down, with dump trucks still in lines carrying the sand away to
be turned into cement for buildings, statues, and temple siding.
And we were awestruck by the beautiful
statues scattered around the Water Palace, as well as the gorgeous flowers.
A perfect half way stop to Amed, we hopped back in the van just as a rainstorm
started up and headed for the beach!