A Farting Woman & A Beautiful Temple


Pura Ulun Danu is a stunning temple. It’s one of the most iconic of the Balinese temples and also one of the most popular due to its beautiful location on the shores of Lake Bratan. At 1,200 metres above sea level, the temperature is considerably cooler than at sea level and the air is fresher* there is even an eerie mist that hangs over the mountains surrounding the lake. If it wasn’t for the palm trees, and of course the temple itself, and if you squinted your eyes just a teensy bit, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were standing by a loch somewhere in Scotland.

Since seeing photographs of Ulun Danu and reading up about it on the Internet, I’ve wanted to visit and my chance came last week when I had a friend staying.

Pak Wayan arrived to collect us and was in buoyant mood despite the fact that I’d had to have a ‘little talk’ with him the day before. It was nothing serious, more a matter of miss-communication but we needed to clear the air and get back to base on what he actually charged for a days driving. He has a want to pluck figures from the air on occasion and despite my being a generous tipper he had taken advantage of me.The police had stopped us the day before at a road block and he’d had to pay a fine because his taxi license had expired. I’d have happily helped him out with the fine if he’d asked me (it was 40,000 rps which is about £3.00) but what I didn’t think was fair was to add 100,000 on top of the 100,000 tip that I’d given him anyway to cover it. Once we’d come to an agreement on the price, (which was the original price that he’d quoted us weeks ago), there were smiles all around. Fares fair.

The journey there took just over 2 hours and as the winding mountain roads took us higher and higher, so our ears started to pop due to the change in altitude. The heat and humidity of the lower ground by the coast made way for dark overcast skies and the volcanoes that dotted our route summits were shrouded in a thick veil of cloud and mist. Along the way we passed padi fields and villages, cows tied up in small stalls by the side of the roads and rural Balinese life in all its glory. Fields of golden marigolds,  lush tobacco leaves, and orange groves then turned into fields of strawberries. This we discovered, was the strawberry growing capital of Bali.

To say that Ulun Danu was an anti-climax would not really be fair, but it wasn’t quite as I had imagined it to be. The perfect photos that I had wistfully studied on the Internet did not disclose the whole truth. Ulun Danu is indeed quite lovely but like many places that visitors flock to in their droves, it had tried to cater for the world and his wife so other entertainments had been laid on lest seeing a magnificent temple was too boring. Hideous ‘disneyesque’ fibreglass statues of deer and other animals adorned the temple gardens and in front of the water temples, duck shaped pedalos bobbed around in the water waiting to be hired. I waited patiently so that I could take some photos without having to have hoards of tourists in the background. In fact I did exactly what the photos that I’d seen on the internet did, I told a sort of a lie by being very selective in what I took pictures of. I’m beginning to wish that I had in fact taken photos of all the bits that didn’t appeal to me; it would have been a far more honest and easier approach. It’s hard work having such aesthete sensibilities.

As it turned out the highlight of my visit to Ulun Danu was not in fact the temple itself, but an extremely diminutive Japanese woman who, when walking past me, let out the most impressive fart that I have EVER heard in my life. Seriously Folks, this fart was not just any old fart, this fart was the LOUDEST and LONGEST I have ever heard. Of course I have never farted in my life, but if I were too, this lady would be an extremely hard act to follow. How anyone so petito could make that amount of noise for so long I have no idea. This was a record breaker and I was mightily impressed. Oh, and just in case you were wondering,* no, I didn’t. I was spared the olfactory experience as thankfully I was stood up wind from her (or is it the other way round?)

23 Comments

    1. It was hilarious. I nearly peed in my pants laughing especially when she grabbed her backside afterwards……and then turned round to see if I had noticed. The best thing was that she kept walking as she did it – all of 200 yards I’d say.

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  1. Hilarious! I wish I would have known you were heading there.. I’ve not yet been but a couple of friends just returned from there, utterly disappointed, pretty much echoing your sentiments. Drats, there goes (more of) the neighborhoods!! xo

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    1. It seems that I’m not alone in my summing up of Ulun Danu. Yes!! (big air punch!) having said that, it was very special, – spectacular in fact, and the HUGE fart that whipped out of the tiny Japanese lady was the icing on the cake….Great to hear from you Lydia and I’m really enjoying hearing about your adventures – I’ve recently discovered a great place to eat in Tebet which is close to where we live, they do amazing Vietnamese food and the best Lychee iced tea. Happy travelling 🙂

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  2. Apparently, the loudness and length of farting falls under the adage of size doesn’t matter. Haha! What an experience, Sister! And what are the odds that YOU just happened to bear witness to this woman’s musical arrangement?? Hilarious!

    Loved reading about the lovely and the not-so-lovely elements of your visit to Ulun Danu. I’m glad you wrote the truth about the duck boats and shameful fibreglass statues. It is sad that in order to make money selling one’s soul or the soul of a place seems to be the only option. It’s not. But it is often the quickest and easiest way. When my husband and I visited castles in the UK, our favorites were invariably the ones which had been the least altered by commercial concerns. Dunstanburgh comes to mind. It’s about a mile or so walk from the nearest parking. If they went “commercial” it would totally ruin the effect for me. We loved walking along the muddy fields to get there.

    Were the smells from the strawberry fields amazing? The marigolds are incredible! And the red irises! I’ve never seen so many in one place! All your photos are stunning, as always, Lottie. I believe my favorite though, is the final one of the lily pond. It reminds me of a dream I had a long time ago. xoxo

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    1. Sis, spooky but true…Dunstanburgh is where we used to spend many a happy Easter holiday when our children were young. It’s magic isnt’ it? I’m so pleased you’ve visited it too 🙂
      Yes, it was a beautiful temple but sadly the spiritual side was not there for me and I felt quite sad as i walked around because it must have been quite enchanting once upon a time. I suspect that the tiny lady with the biggest fart in the world ever, was feeling the same way!
      I’ve never seen red irises before so I was pretty excited by them and the lily pond I discovered when I walked some way from the temple to get away from the madding crowd. I’m glad I did because I found a quiet spot without pedalos, and hideous statues, and this small oasis of calm and beauty.
      No I didnt get a whiff of the strawberrries but the marigolds smelt gorgeous. Your dream sounds interesting, I hope it was a good one and not a bad one – how funny that my photo should remind you of it! I took an aspirin the other night before I went to bed and I had the maddest, scariest dreams, terrifying in fact….well i think it said aspirin on the packet, maybe it was something else lol! xoxo

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      1. Dunstanburgh was awesome and yes, magic. I would love to live around there! Very cool knowing that you have many happy memories of the place.

        It was a good dream. Overwhelming, but very good I believe. How odd that aspirin should give you scary mad dreams! I hope it was aspirin, too!!

        I know what you mean, Sis, about missing the “spiritual side”…I’m the same (no big surprise there!). I’m glad you were able to find a quiet and peaceful spot to round off your visit. xoxo

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    1. Bloody hell, if I’d been smoking or indeed anyone else within a 2 mile radius of that fart, I think you’re right, there would have indeed been a nuclear explosion!! I’m thrilled to bits that you liked the blog title, and thankyou for saying so. I’m not sure what else I could have called it really! Hope all well with you and yours xo

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  3. LOL! Reminds me of recently deceased grandmother. A petite lady who always dressed well, but in her later years spoke her thoughts much too loudly and farted regularly in public. When you’re 90+ years old you can do and say just about anything you want.

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    1. Your Grandmother sounds wonderful and I bet everyone adored her. The lady that farted at the temple wasn’t that old, maybe in her late 50’s or so but she definitely had that same attitude! Great to here from you Lorijo and thanks for your comment 🙂

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  4. Love it!! As usual you have these hilarious moments captured along with extreme beauty. I also loved your description of the “hideous Disneyesque fiberglass statues of deer. Great imagery! Thanks, Lottie! So good to have you back in the blogosphere. xoxo 🙂

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  5. Oh my goodness..I am still giggling as I type. You have to wonder what the Japenesse woman had eaten that made her blow up and then just had to “let er rip.” I think that if I had been you and if I were wearing a hat- I would have grabbed my hat for fear that is would fly away with that incredible gust of wind. I once heard someone at work say that if they could bottle their gas, they’d be rich. Really nice photographs.

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