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Peliatan Legong


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Any day is a lucky day to arrive in Bali. Every visitor knows that, and the Balinese are quick to remind you:

"Lucky you arrived today - big temple festival this afternoon."

"Lucky you arrived today - full moon tonight."

One of the charms of Bali is that you can never put toe in the place without running head-on into a spate of festivals and ceremonies.

Not surprisingly, I was greeted in similar fashion: "Lucky you came today, Peliatan Legong Dance tonight - Elephant Day Festival commences tomorrow."

Whatever the Elephant Day Festival was, tomorrow could take care of itself. But the Peliatan Legong was something else. It was the reason for my coming to Bali.

I had seen this group in Sydney and, when the show was over, 1 had staggered out of the theatre, my senses numbed from the positive bombardment of sound and spectacle I'd just been exposed to, vowing one day to visit the tiny island that produced such magic.

Now, to touchdown and hear that the Peliatan Legong would perform that same evening I Jet lag? Forget it! Where was Peliatan and how did one get finere?

Peliatan was a couple of kilometers down the road, and one got there on the back of a motorbike. Perched or, an antique machine, presumably welded together purely by rust, bouncing over stones and across potholes, with only the fireflies for illumination, 1 arrived at Peliatan just as the Legong was about to


O.K. So you've lived a sheltered life, never seen a Ugong dance and wonder what I'arn ranting on about?

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