the terraced ricefields of Bali

Here is a 360 degree view along the road from Selat to Rembang to Amlapura in the district of Karanasam, East Bali. The earthen walls of the terraced rice fields can dramatically change their appearance during the season. They can be grassy and overgrown like soft green furnishing or bare and newly shaven 'punk' like the ones above. That's Wayan's Vespa. He always lets me borrow it when I stay with his family.

This is North

This used to be a quiet an out-of-the-way place with a rough narrow pot-holed and rock strewn road with hardly any traffic on it. But as you can see, the bitumen looks pretty good now. This view looks East.

Well, here they are. A magnificent amphitheatre of terraced rice fields stepping down towards the ravine below. You've got to be there to appreciate this splendor of this wrap-around view. I love to watch cloud shadows play upon the landscape. When the land goes dark, the reflection of the sky is all the more intense. The terrace directly above has been newly planted. The green patch in the middle of the shot just left of the shrine is a nursery where seedlings are grown before being planted out. J-pegged out of this scene are a pair of huge grey buffaloes churning over the thick rich mud in the distant terraces. This view looks South.

Some fields are yet to be planted. Their waters mirror Bali's tropical skies. You can see by the way the distant mountains plunge down to the gorge below and how the clouds greet the horizon, that we are a considerable height above sea level. Amidst the clump of coconut trees above, is the village temple. The road winds through a gap in the terracing, and above it hangs an aqueduct carrying water from one side to the other.


Trucks ply these roads hauling paddy, people and produce from village to village. Twenty years ago not far from here I saw a man carrying live dogs trussed by by their feet on a pole over his shoulder. Dogs are known for good eating in this district. You don't see that anymore. This is the view looking West.

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