Layin' low in Lovina and Other Adventures...


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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Lovina
October 29th 2010
Published: December 1st 2010
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This is a bit of a catch-all entry; not a whole lot to say about Lovina itself but as most of these adventures/pics occurred either going to or setting out from Lovina I figured it was just as easy to lump them all together into one blog...

So after our return to Ubud and our less than auspicious debut in the rental vehicle we pointed the Toyota Avenza north, destination Lovina! Michael and Sue (the Australian couple we had met in Padang Bai) mentioned they were heading there as well, gave us the name of the place they were staying and invited us to join them for a few days...hmmm, okay! We had had a good time with them, and they offered to show us around the countryside so it sounded like a perfect opportunity to hang out and have some more laughs and see some sights we probably wouldn't otherwise see...

We left Ubud mid-morning and had the whole day to make it to the north shore and Lovina (Bali is quite small, daily traveling distances would be in the 30-40 km range, very easy). This made for a nice, leisurely drive up the interior (incident-free!), very beautiful
Rice Paddy Valley IIRice Paddy Valley IIRice Paddy Valley II

For scale you can see people in the bottom right of the pic...amazing...
and quite different from the coast…lots of trees and jungle, fantastic rice paddies, crazy winding and twisty roads and spectacular views of volcanoes and temples.

We stopped a few times along the way; first to check out this stunning valley of rice paddies, and then as we were approaching Kintamani we came across some amazing vistas of the volcano Gunung Agung and its surrounding valley...absolutely breathtaking. We thought about stopping in Kintamani to poke around but didn't see anything worthwhile as we drove through, although as we entered the next town of Penulisan we came upon this fantastic temple that was awash with activity...

Turns out this is Bali's highest temple, Pura Puncak Penulisan, and discovered that we were welcome to visit and join in on the hubbub. While getting the customary sarong to wear I was enquiring as to what was going on and apparently this was some big anniversary celebration dating back some 700 years, although with the language barrier it was hard to find out more details...no matter, this temple consists of several steep flights of stairs that seemed to stretch all the way to the clouds, with various dancers, musicians and groups seen at different levels up the mountain. Women of all ages carrying offerings on their heads were slowly making their way to the top, and everyone was dressed up in their finest garb... I'm normally uncomfortable getting too close to religious ceremonies or events out of respect to the locals, but the hospitality and warmth of the Balinese people shone through once again as they welcomed and encouraged Karen and I to take in all aspects of the temple and ceremonies, very cool...

It was now mid-afternoon so after a quick bite we were back on the road and heading to Lovina...Michael and Sue mentioned they would be staying at a place called Bali Taman Resort on the eastern side of town, so we found the spot and them and checked into a fabulous cottage overlooking the grounds and beach, tough times! Haha...once again due to it being off season this place was quiet and we were able to get a great deal (due in large part to our friends that seem to know everyone on the island!). We basically checked in, hit the pool and relaxed with some pints and hit a Thai joint that Michael loved for dinner, most
A man and his camera...A man and his camera...A man and his camera...

...spot the tourist...haha...(KC)
excellent...

The following day Michael and Sue offered to show us around the area a bit so we jumped in with them and off we went...first stop was this cool hot springs, although with it being 35 degrees out there wasn’t a whole lot of enthusiasm to jump in...haha... We then hopped back into the Avenza and explored the countryside, getting lost a couple of times but all part of the adventure. We slowly made our way through Munduk and to this amazing coffeehouse called Ngiring Ngewedang, owned by the same guy as Bali Taman and with spectacular panorama views of North Bali and the ocean...

Not a whole lot to say about Lovina; not really much to do there, and it's quite spread out as well (and no taxis-if you're planning to go and have no transportation stay in the Kalibukbuk area). We basically just hung out by the pool, poked around the Kalibukbuk area and just generally relaxed. Also tried some snorkeling that wasn't as good as some of the other places, but all in all we had a great time hanging out with our friends and just generally taking it easy....

From here we
Gunung AgungGunung AgungGunung Agung

Spectacular...as seen from the road to Kintamani...
started heading east again along the coast road with first a stop at a fabulous resort called Poinciana (Michael & Sue had been there a few days earlier and recommended we all go back for a night). The place was empty when we got there so we grabbed the best two villas overlooking the water! Beautiful spot, with a great restaurant lush grounds, snorkeling right off the beach and a nice pool...highly recommend it if you're looking for something off the beaten track to just chill at...

The next day we all hopped back into our Avenza's and took the long, scenic way back to Padang Bai for our final night together, back to where it all began the week before actually…haha...got up the next morning and made a run over to Ubud (again!) as I was desperate to get a stone carving I had seen so many times (this was the area where all the stone carvers were)...and success! Everyone thought I was nuts but managed to get this heavy stone carving home in one piece...yes! I'm getting better: normally I buy a big, heavy souvenir at the beginning of a trip and have to lug it in my pack for weeks, haha....

It was then we said our goodbyes to Michael and Sue...it was a really fun week traveling and hanging out with them, hopefully our paths will cross again some day...we then pointed the vehicle back to Kuta where we would again hang out at Poppies Cottages for a couple more days before heading home...*sigh*...

All in all a great trip; beautiful scenery, fantastic people, new friends, good food and most importantly relaxing...hope to see you again Bali!

(Some photos copyright of Karen C., denoted by (KC)...used with kind permission)


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The band man, the band...The band man, the band...
The band man, the band...

Musicians waiting for their cue at Pura Puncak Penulisan temple...
Women with offerings...Women with offerings...
Women with offerings...

Can't believe they made it to the top with them on their heads...
CeremonyCeremony
Ceremony

At the top of Pura Puncak Penulisan...
GamelansGamelans
Gamelans

Fantastic Indonesian instrument...
Pura Puncak Penulisan IIPura Puncak Penulisan II
Pura Puncak Penulisan II

The stairs, the stairs...haha...
Me and my new pal...Me and my new pal...
Me and my new pal...

Again can't say enough about the Balinese, awesome folks...(KC)
Dancers...Dancers...
Dancers...

at Pura Puncak Penulisan...
K with our new friends...K with our new friends...
K with our new friends...

...Michael and Sue!
K and I...K and I...
K and I...

...at the hot springs...


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