Hiking through terraced rice paddies beyond a remote Indonesian farming village, en route to an ancient temple hidden away in the mountains; it’s by far one of the most amazing adventures I’ve had in my life.
The sculpting of the land is incredible for two reasons: it is an innovative technique serving an agricultural purpose while maintaining the integrity of the landscape, and it is a magnificent work of art.
The hour long trek took us through a network of narrow paths, over makeshift bridges, and up mud-carved steps, as our guide explained the process of farming rice. Late in the dry season, farmers are busy harvesting golden stalks of rice and setting the grains out to dry in the sun. After the fields are plowed and prepped, it’s time to plant seedlings, one by one into the mud, spaced neatly in long rows. The rice will mature over the next few months, getting plenty of water from the coming rains, until it’s harvest time once again. The farmers in this village have been growing rice using traditional agricultural practices for many generations. They pride themselves on their hard work and simple lifestyle, refusing to adopt modern technology to ease the physical burden.
After hiking through the mountains and climbing numerous sets of stairs, we finally arrived at Candi Selogriyo. The temple itself is modest, with ancient elegance but nothing spectacular. The views, however, are breathtaking. We relaxed in the shade of a tree with our guide, enjoying the cool mountain air with a cold soda and a clove cigarette.