Waterfalls, Swings and Rice Terraces

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December 21st 2019
Published: December 24th 2019
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Nusa Dua to Kintanami

With stops at the falls and the rice terrace

Today we leave the tidy confines of the Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua for the more real view of Bali. Our driver, another Gooday (this is a family name so this will be 1 of 4 that we meet in 3 days) who promptly picked us up to travel to the Lake Batur area. If we were going straight there, it would only be a couple of hours, but we will check out a few sites along the way, which may make for a long day.

Driving north we drove through Denpasar (the largest city in Bali), Sanur (beach town) and finally Ubud (made famous by Eat, Pray, Love) before finally starting to see glimpses of greenery. It was shop after shop of real life needs (tires, food, electrical, etc) and tourist stuff,which made us wonder...who buys all this?

Our first stop was to the Tegenungan Waterfall. We paid the 30 cents to enter the grounds and quickly found the stairs leading down towards the water. There were lots of visitors of every shape and color enjoying the views and the water around the waterfall. At the bottom, Ken and Paige decided to cool off a bit by wading into the water, since I didn’t bring water shoes, I watched from a rock not far away.

Hiking back up the stairs to the car, was challenging due to both the heat, sun and humidity. But soon we were back in the AC and heading to some much-needed lunch. We found a local spot not far from the falls that focused on Saty, a typical Balinese dish that is basically grilled meat or vegis on a stick served with peanut sauce. Yum!!

As far as eating goes, we have been very careful to drink only bottled water (including brushing our teeth) and not eating any fruit or vegi that we can’t peel or hasn’t been cooked. It may be overkill, but not experiencing the famous “Bali Belly” is worth the precaution.

After lunch, our next stop was the famous rice terraces. When I was in Bali 25+ years ago, the terraces were just part of the drive. I was surprised that now, we had to pay to “view” them. So pay we did and quickly were able to see the beautiful green terraces across the river from the viewing area. There were cafes lining the hill, allowing those who wanted to eat or drink to have full view. While Paige and Ken decided to continue over to the actual terraces, I took advantage of a café to get out of the sun and have a Lemon Bintang (lemonade/beer) which tasted great.

One of the unique activities that is advertised at various tourist sites is a “swing”. It is a big swing that goes out and back over whatever site you are visiting. In this case it swings over the rice terraces, which gives an even better view with a cool picture. Paige decided to try it and was quite the picture! With her blond hair and the borrowed red dress flowing behind her, she definitely was the hit of those watching, including us!

Back in the car, we were now only about an hour away from our hotel overlooking the lake. We drove past small villages, were passed by loads of motor bikes and continued up and up until suddenly had an amazing view down to Lake Batur with Mt Batur and Mt Agung, two of many volcanoes in the region looming high above. As high as we were, we now drove down a very steep road towards the Lake in the caldera and soon found our way to the Volcano Terrace Inn our home for the next two nights.

The hotel is a small family run property with only 7 rooms, which all have incredible views of the lake, great pool and easy access to the Mt Batur Sunrise hike, which we are doing in the morning. If you go on the hike from the major tourist hubs, you have to be ready to go by 2am for the 4am hike up the mountain. I knew that was going to be a hard sell to Ken, so found the best accommodation I could find next to the mountain, which meant only a 4am start!

We had a few hiccups on arrival...Paige’s room had no AC which she was ok with, there was no glass in her window for the shower and our shower only spouted boiling hot water. Our hot water was remedied, but Paige also got to deal with construction next to her, so the staff assured us that she could move after tonight. After getting settled, we did some pool time before enjoying some “simple” food (the staff’s description) from the small menu. Noodles, rice and a couple of Bintang’s ended the long day, before we hit the beds for an early morning alarm for the sunrise hike.

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24th December 2019

Having Fun!
Looks like you all are having a good time. "Marry" Christmas to you 3 global travelers from us Houston bound slackers.

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