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Ulu Watu

A cache by Big Friend Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 06/16/2008
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2 out of 5

Size: Size:   not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

You will need to enter via the temple pathways. This area stretches out on the rim of the cliff for a couple hundred feet, but the prominent rock outcropping on which the temple is built is very distinctive. Go carefully since it is a long drop down.

Luhur (heavenly) Ulu (head) Watu (rock) is where one of the six sea temples of Bali is located. It is a unique place with a marvelous view from the high cliff edge.

In the 11th century, the Javanese priest Empu Kuturan first established a temple on the outcrop of rock. It was added to by another Javanese priest called Niratha in the 16th century. He constructed 6 sea temples, each was intended to be in sight of another on the southern exposures of Bali. It is here that Niratha si supposed to have finished his earthly life and attained “moksa” or freedom from his earthly desires.

This temple is on the southwestern-most point of the island, also making it one of the 9 directional temples found in Bali. Therefore this one temple high on the cliff holds a pre-eminent importance in the temple systems of Bali. These temples are deemed to belong to all of the people in Bali, not any specific group of people or governmental organization. (From Lonely Planet Travel Guides – Bali and Lombok).

The somewhat soft sandstone/limestone of the cliffs has eroded away so that it is a precipitous drop directly to the crashing surf below. Off to the west, you will see many surfers. Ulu Watu is a top spot for surfers in the world. There are almost always good waves, and they run in different directions depending on the place and tides.

Geologically, Java and Bali are very similar since they are only separated by a few miles of ocean. The basic lithology of the area including Ulu Watu is that of young, mixed-volcanic and calcareous marine sediments lying on the southern flank of the series of young volcanic piles aligned in the center of the islands. There are some intrusions of older volcanoes, but most areas have been uplifted and tilted to the south. You can see this in the cliff lines facing the ocean. Folding is not an important issue in the geology of this area. (The Ecology of Java and Bali by Whitten, et al.)

Volcanoes have played a crucial role in the geological and human history of Bali. Their impact has been largely positive because they create land through lava flows, ash deposits, and mud flows (lahars). Natural erosion carried volcanic material as alluvium to the plains forming thick layers of fertile sediment. The volcanoes in Bali produce primarily basaltic lavas. The benefits are not limited to the immediate vicinity of the active volcano, however, because fine ash is transported great distances from the erupting crater, providing a top dressing of soil-enriching material over wide areas.

The landforms on Bali are varied by all the non-alluvial plains and hilly areas are crossed with a fine pattern of streams. The southern tip of Bali is much drier than the rest of the area due to percolation into the limestone rock. This causes the surface to dry out faster which results in a unique vegetation not seen over most the rest of the island. The limestones of the small eastern subregions are impure and exhibit the usual features of raised reefs and atolls.

There are two access points to the cache coordinates, but you need to go by the “kantor- office” to obtain tickets for entering and paying for a sash that must be worn by all visitors that have partially exposed legs. Long pants and long skirts to the ankles are deemed acceptable and don’t require coverage. Tickets are only Rp. 3,000 ( about US$0.40.

In order to claim this cache, you need to email me a few answers.

1. What is the elevation of the highest point accessible to the general public on this rock? Do not go into the private temple area.
2. When at the coordinates, read the sign engraved in the cement that says “Do not enter……………” and finish what it says.
3. You will need to do some geological sleuthing to find out how most surfers access the waves below this rock promontory.

Enjoy, be careful, and don’t let the monkeys get your glasses, hat, earrings, pens, food, etc.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

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