Bali 103 : Exploring Kuta

From Luwak Coffee to Batur Temple and Tanah Lot to Ubud Waterfall – Come Lets Discover Kuta together.

It is Day 3 in Bali and we are all set to embark upon new adventures. We wake up early, get ready and walk down to ‘Shankara Indian Restaurant’ for breakfast (Read Bali 102 for details). The sun is scorching even at  9 in the morning. (#traveltip – carry light-colored cotton clothes for Kuta). 

We come back to the hotel, pack stuff needed for the day (#traveltip – extra clothes, a lot of snacks, hats, sunblock, first aid kit, shades and water) and wait for our tour guide for the day. (#traveltip – We found him online via Kintamani Travels) As promised, he arrives sharp at 10. We settle in the car and the ride begins.

Andy Parwata

420222_619617784722991_345518577_n
Our Tour Guide who became an awesome friend later

I am feeling a little low today, my head hurts. We are driving through the city, I am looking quietly outside the window. Everyone is getting acquainted with Andy. He is telling us about Bali and its rich folklore.

Gunung Sari Baliagro Tourism – Here They Process Coffee Out Of Poop

32720251_10156358889326624_6852763600876994560_n (1)

“We are here,” announces Andy driving slowly towards the parking area. I get down the car and look around at the plush greenery. I feel better breathing in the fresh air. We are welcomed by members of the Gunung Sari Baliagro Tourism. Dressed in traditional Balinese attire, they greet us with smiles. 

Dharma, our attendant from Baliagrotourism takes us through the complete process of making coffee by extracting, drying, heating and grinding the feces of Luwaks. He takes us on a detailed tour of the farm while explaining everything. We get to participate in the workshop. It is amazing.

 

Now, it is time to relax and enjoy coffee. Dharma takes us to a shaded cafeteria, which is basically a hilltop. Traditional Balinese instrumental music is playing on small speakers all over the place. A river is passing through the valley below and there is green as far as eyes can see. It is picturesque. My spirits are high and headache is almost gone. This place is therapeutic. 

 

I see a swing on the edge of the hill and obviously, I have to try it.

It is a thrilling experience. Every time the swing goes forward and I look down, my heart comes in my mouth.  (#traveltip – try it, they buckle you in safety belts)

32756137_10156359584351624_273184233835462656_n

Dharma calls us to the table. We were expecting 4 cups of coffee and that’s it but instead, we are served some 20 variants, including Ginger Tea, Red Ginger Tea, Jasmine Tea, Rosewood Tea and Luwak Coffee among others.

32739764_10156358888661624_8785537727761219584_n

We take sips from each cup, separating the ones that we like. The tea-coffee session turns out to be quite refreshing and we all look pumped up for the day. We proceed to the gift shop and buy several variants as a takeaway. We bid good bye to Dharma and team.

 

Pura Ulun Danu Batur or The Batur Temple

There is a new found energy in the car. Andy informs us that we are headed to Pura Ulun Danu Batur or the Batur Temple. (#traveltip – Men and women should avoid wearing clothes shorter than the knee.) He tells us that this venerated shrine is dedicated to God Vishnu and Devi Danu.

Explaining Andy that Hindus in India too worship God Vishnu, I ask him about Devi Danu. He tells me that Devi Danu is the Goddess of Lake Batur – the largest lake in Bali. The rest of the journey is invested in knowing more about rich Balinese culture, mythology and folklore.

After almost an hour’s drive, we are here. We are asked to drape ourselves in traditional Balinese lungi. It is fun.

32835891_10156358895306624_5712216210582536192_n

As we enter the temple, we are all in sheer awe. Intricate carvings on walls, pillars bragging of ancient art and ceilings covered in every inch with breathtaking paintings – this place is a visual treat. It offers the added advantage of detailed depictions of rich mythology. Won’t say much, see for yourself.

 

Note- Click on the images to view in full screen

After touring the entire temple, we relish on some Pringles and fresh Nariyal Pani (#traveltipsnacks and refreshments are available outside Batur Temple). We leave for the next, yet another anticipated destination – Tegenungan Waterfall in Ubud. 

Tegenungan Waterfall, Ubud

32896950_10156359707921624_2822650977922842624_n

We are walking downhill. There is an array of shops on both sides of the street selling flip flops, beachwear, hats, souvenirs and gifts. We approach the end of the street and find a fleet of stairs. We get the first glimpse of the waterfall. It appears as if milk is pouring down from heaven. The view is magical.

Nature verdurous and thriving at its prime with lush green trees surrounding the pure white rapids. I am captivated at the perfection, with which Mother Nature paints the canvas called world. It is surreal.

We reach the footstep of the hill and I spot this sign. I have to share it with you!

32617027_10156359691711624_1004340607105105920_n

 

32836141_10156359764171624_3695671937750532096_n

After having a bash in the water, we change, take our stuff and start the climb up.  We come across several vantage points and photo ops as we move.

We climb up clicking pictures and soaking in the view. We are hungry. We find this amazing restaurant located on one corner of  the hilltop. We indulge.

 

Tanah Lot Temple

We arrive right on time at Tanah Lot Temple. Thanks to Andy for his time management skills. (#traveltip – do not miss the sunset at Tanah Lot, reach between 4:30-5 pm) We buy tickets and enter the temple premises. We walk across series of crafts and souvenir shops on both sides of the street while approaching the main gate. We arrive and are in awe of the view. The backdrop of the sea adds to the glory of this ancient architectural wonder.

32875618_10156359776996624_2555723175702822912_n

Walking across this setting is like walking on a fantasy set. It feels like all mythologies could come alive any minute here. It is difficult to comprehend that a place like this exists. Vast areas acting as a playground for the sea to pay aggressive visits when it likes and a Hindu shrine humbly perched on a hilltop – sometimes submerged under the sea and sometimes overlooking it. This is a perfect amalgamation of culture, folklore and nature.

 

As the sunset is approaching, waves are getting stronger. The beach area is completely damp, which tells us that in no time this entire land will be under the sea.

We decide to stand for as long as it is safe and watch the sunset together. It appears as if God is dimming the lights and adjusting brightness because he wants to go to sleep. This sight is divine, this moment – perfect.

32937936_10156359801311624_1675092848086614016_n

We watch the sun dipping in the blurred edges of the horizon like an orange falling off very slowly and diminishing out of sight. The backdrop that this scene provides to the temple’s view is dramatically beautiful. It is like a dream.

 

We bask in the splendid sight for as long as possible. The water is starting to get increasingly violent and we have to leave.

We are heading towards the main gate when we overhear an announcement. We are thrilled because we thought we had missed the chance. We get our tickets and head to the performance area. Guess, what it is?

We indulge in a beautiful musical and theatrical presentation of Balinese Ramayana, which is locally known as the Kecak Dance (Fire Dance.) It is quite similar to Indian Ramayana. We witness the mesmerizing portrayal of Sita’s abduction, Hanuman’s Visit to Lanka and the reunion of Rama and Sita – spectacularly performed by local artists.

 

The  show is over and it is almost dinner time. We head out to the car and leave for dinner at a nice place (as recommended by Andy, of course) before going back to the hotel.

*************************************************************************************From wild waves to serene beaches and quiet mangroves to adventurous snorkel points; coffee plantations to quaint temples and vantage points to rich folklore – Bali is full of surprises. Tomorrow is my last day here and I cannot wait to explore what it has in store…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s