Next time I get to Bali, I will book a whole week in Munduk. I will bring my bicycle, and every early morning I will go cycling up and down the Central Mountains. North of Munduk, towards Tigawasa, Selat, and Gitgit, there are countless little roads running through the forest, unknown to tourists, and pretty much unused even by the locals in this sparsely populated area of the island. It rains pretty much every afternoon there. These strong showers usually don’t last more than an hour. It’s the perfect time to take a nap, or find a coffee house to taste Luwak Coffee. After the rain, beautiful white clouds of fog lift above the green hills: it’s picturesque!
Early morning and late afternoon (before and after the mid-day heat) is the best time of the day to go for a hike. Lots of trails start around Munduk and lead through rice terraces, coffee plantations and forests to tiny villages and farms, lively streams and big waterfalls. March was a good time to visit as Gitgit Waterfall was powerfully roaring. We could hear it from miles away! And we got splashed! The late afternoon sun created a beautiful rainbow over Munduk
Right after the rain
Waterfall. On the way to the waterfall, we reached the top of a hill with a view point all the way to the ocean. We sat down under the banana trees, and enjoyed this very special place. In the middle of nowhere, we met an old man selling entrance tickets to the waterfall. He was pleased to have visitors and eager to (try to) communicate with us. Becky signed his guestbook. He asked us to sit down on his bench overlooking the hills, to contemplate this beautiful landscape with him. Life was good!
We shared the exact same feeling back at our guesthouse. We booked rooms with a terrace overlooking rice fields and the forest… the sun went down right between the coconut trees in front of our balcony, as we were sipping a cold drink and munching on lychees and dragon fruit. La vraie vie!
The whole Lake Area is absolutely stunning! The road that goes along Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan offers several belvederes with superb views over the blue lakes and the luxurious rainforest. There are actually a couple of little cafes and barbecue restaurants along the road for a stopover. As in Munduk, morning
on Danau Beratan
with Dany Beratan Temple in the background. What a perfect day!
and late afternoon vistas were the best. We were lucky with the weather, and on the day we went to Lake Danau Bratan to check out the most photographed temple of Bali (Pura Penataran on the water), the sky was pure blue with big white puffy clouds above the green hills: perfection! We weren’t the only tourists there, although we were the only foreigners on site. A lot of Indonesian tour groups were taking selfies all around. The four of us rented a canoe and we circled the temple a few times to enjoy the view from the quiet water side. Shushu likes his photography and he was thrilled to get a different perspective on this touristy spot. We rowed, took pictures, and waved at the other tourists on shore… Danau Bratan is a crater filled up with rainwater, and it felt very special to be paddling in the middle of it, with those gigantic green misty slopes reaching the sky all around. The temple was built in 1633 by the King of Mengwi as a water temple dedicated to the lake Goddess, Dewi danu, to ensure plentiful water and bountiful crops. We had just finished our visit, when it
started raining… The goddess was truly looking after this area. Time for lunch in a warung, followed by a coffee! Those coffee beans might have been digested and defecated by an animal (some kind of cat…) before ending up in my cup, but whatever… I couldn’t help but feel lucky!
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