Monday, June 9, 2014

Taman Ayun, Ulun Danu Beratan, Munduk Melanting, Jatiluwih and Tanah Lot

13 May 2014 (Tuesday)

I could not sleep last night. Andy said neither could he but he said I was sleeping like a log, snoring the night away.

After having failed to get a response from Ketut Indra last night, I resent the message to inform him that I would be waiting for him at Harris Hotel lobby at 8:00 a.m. His reply was immediate. I was relieved.

We were soon out on the street in Tuban by 6:30 a.m. to hunt for breakfast. Stalls after stalls were selling similar kuih-muih. At other stalls, rice and cooked noodle with side dishes were offered. These were too heavy for breakfast. I was looking for some noodle soup but we did not find any around the area. In the end, we settled for whatever was available in a shop, noodle to go with some side dishes.

We returned to the hotel at about 7:45 a.m. I finished my packing and went down to the lobby just before 8:00 a.m. Waiting there for me was Ketut Indra. After a quick exchange of pleasantries, he went to get his car. I then gave him my itinerary, which included Goa Gajah. He told me that Pura Goa Gajah was on another circuit and should be left out. I also told him that I needed to find a hostel for the night and I would like to get a room to put my baggage.

On the way to Kuta to look for a hostel, I told him the place I wanted ought to have local food nearby, a place to shop the next morning and a beach.

He told me Kuta is a touristy place with no local food stalls/ warung. If I wanted to have local food, I have to stay further away but it would be far away from the beach. In the end, we decided to visit the spots in my itinerary first before deciding on where to stay, since it was still early in the morning and guests were unlikely to have checked out from their hotels.

Taman Ayun

Our first spot was Taman Ayun ... Ayun is Ayu in Malay. I read it is the most beautiful temple in Bali but I found it average only. It was just a small place, walled up and visitors can only look inside from outside the temple perimeter.

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan

The second spot we visited was Ulun Danu Beratan, which I considered a 'must visit'. The pictures I saw of this place were really beautiful. It appears in the Indonesian currency too, the IDR50,000 note. Indeed, it was beautiful but it could have been more beautiful if the water has been calmed without ripples. Perfectly calm water with the reflection of the temple and blue sky would make it perfect for photography. Besides, at 1,255 meters high (elevation is indicated in my Garmin waypoint), the air was very cool and I really loved it.

We ended the morning at 11:30 a.m. and headed for lunch. I wanted to have Babi Guling and Ketut Indra obliged. The Babi Guling lunch for two pax with separately ordered one hot and one iced tea was only IDR39,000. Cheap!

Munduk Melanting Waterfall

Earlier, I told Ketut we may have too much time left after dropping Goa Gajah. I asked him to make a suggestion and he recommended Munduk Melanting Waterfall, which lied ahead of the same road we were heading to have Babi Guling. The elevation at the start of the trek is 959 m and at the waterfall downhill, the elevation is at 906 m. I was sweating and panting out of breath walking back to the parking lot in a 53 meters ascent. This only confirmed that I do not have the fitness to climb the 28 bends at Yunnan's Tiger Leaping Gorge, an ascent of 450 meters.

On the way to Munduk Melanting Waterfall, we passed by Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan. Danau Buyan sits in a beautiful valley. On the way back from the waterfall, I asked Ketut Indra to stop along the way to allow me to take the photograph of the valley.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

From the waterfall, we went to Jatiluwih rice terraces. We came at the right time of the year (13 May 2014) and the rice was just ripening. Beautiful indeed!

Tanah Lot

The fifth and last spot was Tanah Lot. There were two other temples at the Tanah Lot temple zone. We entered the Tanah Lot area close to Pura Batu Bolong. A short distant from Pura Batu Bolong is Pura Enjung Galuh and further away is the main temple Pura Tanah Lot.


We ended the visit at 4:30 p.m. and from there, we went to Sanur for look for the hostel. Ketut Indra's cousin told him over the phone that there were many budget hostels here. Sanur has local food and is close to the beach and has places to shop, meeting all my requirements for a place to stay for a night.

While driving into Sanur, he spotted Ida Homestay and he asked me to check it out while he waited for me with my baggage in his car. I had not paid him yet. The price was IDR120,000 for a fan room and IDR200,000 for an air-conditioned room. After confirming an air-conditioned room, I went to pay Ketut Indra and picked up my baggage.

After taking my bath, I went to look for dinner. There was a night food court nearby and they were offering similar menu. I decided to go to the one with more patrons since that would indicate the food turnover was fast, hence no leftover food from the previous night. Mie Goreng (fried noodle), with an egg, was only IDR10,000 at the stall/ warung.

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