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Cycling to Pejeng

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... and back

Distance:  14,5  km

Degree of difficulty: A steep climb and descent at the beginning and end of the trip. In between: an easy tour on asphalt roads.

Food & Drink:  Lots of small shops and food stalls.

Sun & Shadow:  Changing. The difficult parts at the beginning and end are mostly in the shadow.

Remark:  Take a sarong for temple visits.

You will receive a map and a road description before leaving.

Leave Villa Sabandari and cycle down to the T-junction where you go left. Follow this severely damaged asphalt road. Avoid the deep potholes when making speed during your descents.  After 300 meters you pass under an irrigation canal. Just past the entrance of Maya Ubud, one of the best known boutique hotels in Ubud, the road goes down steeply to the river Petanu.  Then a difficult climb with an hairpin bend. Thanks for that shadow! Going down now towards a bridge with yellow railing. Turn right here and climb for a short while more.
At the next crossroads, opposite a Balai Banjar (a gathering pavilion for the local community), you turn right again (see map point 1). This road enters the rice fields after 300 meters. Turn left. Follow this winding road. You will pass the Pura Agung temple.  
After 100 meter you go straight past the crossroads and continue until you reach a T-junction (see map point 2). Turn right and take the first left. Via a small street with shops you arrive in Pejeng at the Kantor Perbekel. Take the Raya Pejeng to the right.  The village of Pejeng has several interesting highlights, about which a wealth of information can be found in Villa Sabandari's library or on the internet:

- the Pura Penataran Sasih temple with The Moon of Pejeng (left after 100 m, opposite the market, see map point 3)
- the Pura Kebo Edan with the statue of a giant (after 400 m to the right, see map point 4)
- the archeological Museum Purbakala  ( after 200 m to the left, see map point 5)

Just outside Pejeng you will have a chance to visit a temple, situated in a quiet, tropical environment. Cycle for 500 m past the museum until you reach a crossroads with a statue of Catur Muka (Brahma with the 4 faces) and turn left here.
After some 200 m, just past the Balai Banjar with a high, red tiled roof, you will discover the temple grounds of Pura Samuan Tiga (see map point 6) under enormous banyan trees.

Pura Samuan Tiga temple near Pejeng, Bali

Every year this temple hosts the Siat Sampian festival (generally in april, two weeks after Nyepi, the Day of Silence).  During this festival, a century old ritual fight is performed, using young coconut leaves. You enter the public area of the temple through an impressive gate called candi bentar.
Note the detailed site map to the left with information about the location and meaning of the different altars and pavilions. Behind the golden door, at the top of the steep staircase is a walled garden.  After the visit you continue left, following the temple wall and over a bridge. 
In a road bend to the left, you'll see a swastika, carved in a wooden roof panel of the temple of the dead. In Hinduism, the swastika is a symbol of life, good fortune and happiness.  Behind the volleyball field, also at your left, an arena for cockfights.
Continue to follow the asphalt road until you reach a crossroads with straight ahead a tiled footpath. Go left and immediately right. Follow this meandering road for about 1,5 km.  At the sign 'Banjar Dinas Pacung': turn left. You cycle past Villa Kartini (left) and Casa Oom Joop (right).

the Goa Garba garden near Pejeng, Bali

At the outskirts of the village, between a school and the Pura Pengukur-Ukuran temple, a stone staircase with gigantic steps leads to the entrance gate of the quiet garden of Goa Garba (see map point 7).  In this garden you will discover tree niches, carved in the rock. 
According to the legend it was here that the giant  Kebo Iwo meditated. In the two smaller niches to the right an inscription in Sanskrit that reads ‘Sri’. This was the meditation place of his wives. If you have the chance to meat the old gardener, he will most gladly tell you the story of Kebo Iwo and show you the hidden cavity in the rock. For a moment it feels like you are in the middle of a, still to be released, Indiana Jones movie.
According to the gardener the cavity used to give access to a tunnel under the mountain. Historians think the complex dates back to the 12th century and was a bathing and meditation place of a royal family.
After your visit to Goa Garba, you turn left and follow the same road back until you see, after approximately 800 meters, to the left at the side of the road, a commemorative stone and a small, traditional altar (see map point 8). Turn right here and follow this road (after 500 m it turns right and then again left), until you reach the crossroads with Raya Pejeng. Go straight and take the second right and then the first left (see map point 2). 
After a descent and a short climb, you'll reach a crossing with three altars. Go left until you reach a sharp bend to the right and a sign: 'Candi Tebing Kalebutan'.  To the left a Hindu cremation ground with, no doubt, some leftovers of offerings and a few memorial stones. 

Hindu cremation grounds near Pejeng in Bali

Take (on foot) the narrow path down. To the right, at the other side of the small valley, carved in the vertical rock wall (= tebing), you notice a shrine (= candi) (see map point 9). Continue a little bit and then take the stairs to the right, going down. Be careful because the steps are very slippery. You can take a bath in the river here. It is the washing place of the local people. When, on top of the stairs again, you look to your right, you'll see another staircase. A yellow parasol at either side, a sign a god is present. No bathing here, just offering.
Back on the asphalt you continue the road to the left. You arrive in Dukuh.  After 800 m a sharp bend to the right (see map point 10). After another 800 m, in another right hand bend, you take the smaller road to the left (see map point 11). Cycle for about 400 m and arrive at a busy road after a sharp bend. You go down and recognize the bridge with the yellow railing that you crossed at the beginning of the tour.
You remember the rather steep hills you'll have to climb for the second time today and after a kilometer or so, 300 m after passing under the irrigation canal, in a bend to the left, you take the small road to the right.
After a super steep climb (walking is nothing to be ashamed off) you pass the Masceti temple and arrive at  Villa Sabandari. A cold one and a dip in the pool? Go ahead, you earned it today.      

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