Ever wanted to see what the writers were talking about when they crowned Bali "the island of the gods"? The charming village of Kiadan Pelaga will give you a glimpse into how most rural Balinese still live...
Situated 1100 meters above sea level, southeast of Mt Mangu, cool and green Kiadan Pelaga is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the coastal towns. The vegetation here is lush, and can be seen stretching away onto distant forested mountainsides. Closest to the village, however, the earth is devoted to the village’s ‘brown gold’- coffee.
Seventy percent of Kiadan Pelaga’s residents are farmers. If there is little activity on the streets, you’ll see why when you enter the ‘kebun’ – the gardens - where men and women are hard at work. The kebun are extensive and diverse. Crops are mixed and matched, but far from randomly planted. The combinations of crops are chosen strategically to eliminate the need for chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Almost everything is organic.
The coffee beans, both Arabica and Robusta droop from branches, starting green, then ripening into sunset yellows, oranges and reds. Picking the red berries is quick work, but it is just the beginning of the process. Farmers then sun-dry the coffee beans, turning them regularly. When they are dry, the beans are husked. Roasting is next, in the village ovens, and lastly grinding, releasing heady aromas which remind us what all the hard work was for.
Kiadan Pelaga is surrounded by forest including native bamboo, ricefields, rivers and gorges. It offers some beautiful trekking, enhanced by the local understanding provided by your guide.
About your trip:
Each trip to Pelaga is different, depending on your interests and the activities of the villagers at the time of your booking. A tailor made plan will be made in consultation with you, prior to departure. Activities you may choose from in Pelaga include:
1. 【Learning about, and helping with the coffee making process.】
Your village guide will bring you through each stage of the process, beginning from managing the plantation, picking the beans, drying, roasting and grinding. Along the way you'll meet the farmers involved in each stage at that time, and learn the behind the scenes issues of staying afloat in the coffee business.
2. 【Strolling through the village with your guide.】
This is your opportunity to hear about the unique aspects of Pelaga history and culture. You will also learn about the natural resource management issues in the village. Stop to explore the village temple and a local spring, both rich with local beliefs.
3. 【Trekking around Pelaga. 】
Take to the mountains and enjoy the cool, earthy smells of the forest. Let your local guide tell you about the plants of the forest and the gardens and local conservation issues. You will reach a clear and clean river and hear the songs of native birds. You will be equipped with drinking water and a hiking stick as some of the slopes can be steep and slippery with lichen.
4. 【Visit local sacred areas.】
One of these is a small temple which has a sacred natural water spring within. On the way you will pass by a small forest rich with local stories and your guide will tell you exactly what is said to have happened here. You'll also see another temple below which are several ancestral figurines which stand as proof of the legends of the creation of Pelaga Kiadan.
5. 【Steal into the forest and gardens】
Steal into the forest and gardens to watch native birds in the early morning, and see which you can catch with your camera. Your guide will tell you about each of the species you encounter. If you are lucky you might even find a 'titiran' bird, which features strongly in the stories of the origins of Pelaga. You will need to tay in the vilage overnight for this activity as the birds are most active at sunrise.
6. 【Learn about and taste rice from local fields.】
Pelaga is one of very few places remianing in Bali still planting 'dry' rice paddies. The rice is organic and red, and grows to a metre high. You can help in the harvest and have a taste of this local delicacy. This activity is only available during the yearly harvest season in February.
PRICE FOR DAY TRIP INCLUDES:
Hotel pick up at 8am
Lunch, organic Pelaga coffee and delicacies (all Balinese food)
All activities are included
A guide from the village
PRICE FOR OVERNIGHT TRIP INCLUDES:
Hotel pick up at 8am
Lunch, organic Pelaga coffee and snacks, dinner and breakfast the following morning is included (all Balinese local food)
Overnight accommodation in a traditional Balinese compound with a family (maximum 8 in one house, depending on the host family)
A guide from the village