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Bedugul · Gitgit · Singaraja · Candi Kuning · Part 1

 

Day 4 of my trip to Bali, I explored the tranquil rural countryside of paradise, its mountains and a spiritual experience at a waterfall. 

 

In Bedugul, an attractive mountain resort located 850 meters above sea level, serene Lake Beratan fills the ancient crater of Mount Batukaru where the locals honor the goddess of the lake at a temple built on small strip of land.

 

I also walked through the nearby tropical rainforest to see Gitgit Waterfall before going on to the old town of Singaraja, Bali's former capital, on the north coast of Bali. We then travelled along the coast towards Lovina and its fabulous black sand beach for lunch before continuing back through magnificent sceneries en route back to my villa.

 

In the mountains, vegetation like cabbages, maize and potatoes changes depending on atmospheric levels. Higher still, the countryside is alpine with mosses, creepers and ferns. Along the way, I took a pit stop at the Candi Kuning fruit and flower market with its exotic wild orchids, roses and even strawberries. 

 

Photos taken using Sony NEX-F3. No edits except cropping. Click on the images below to expand. Disclaimer: The photos herein and all other albums associated with Bali Sojourn are by no means a documentary. They're all touristy snapshots.

 

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Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

My journey today was a wet one, with torrential heavy rain all night that flooded parts of my villa in the morning. On the way to today's itinerary, spotted the Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia factory! © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Crates ready for shipping throughout the region. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

We stopped by at an abandoned resort overlooking the three mountains of Bali formed from volcanic activities centuries ago which now is the source of natural irrigation for most of the plantations along its terrains. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

A panoramic view from the abandoned resort. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

One of the local minimarts along the way. Yeps, even their "7-Eleven" kept the traditional Balinese/Javanese architecture. Oh, if you see any money changers around, please do NOT change your currencies there. Only change your money at your home country. Can't trust these people here. I'll tell you more on my Day 7 series. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Our official first stop of the day was at the famous Bedugul Lake, a mountain lake resort located in the centre-north region of the island near Lake Bratan on the road between Denpasar where I stayed and Singaraja. Umbrellas for sell at 200,000rp (US$20) anyone? Guess not. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

As there wasn't many tourists there, the locals tend to their own entertainment doing what little they could to keep them occupied. 3G was useless here, so TV is the only way to get the day by. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Behold, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (Lake Bratan Temple). An area of great natural beauty, the focal point centers on the three crater lakes of Bratan (Beratan), Buyan and Tamblingan, and the nearby botanical gardens. The whole area is at an altitude of 700 metres or more, with the tallest mountain peaks above 2,000 metres, and it can be distinctly chilly here. It was still drizzling and even with my windbreaker on, it was pretty cold. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

After Tanah Lot, this is perhaps the most photographed temple on the island and is certainly one of the iconic images of Bali. The tall tower in the background is a rare sight: a minaret of a mosque. Remember, Bali is predominantly Hindu. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

The temple sits on the western shore of Lake Bratan and it can give the illusion of actually floating on the water. Built in 1663, this temple is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, due to the importance of Lake Bratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali. The 11 stories of pelinggih meru (that pagoda-like structure) was dedicated for Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Now the site serves as a 'theme park' for the locals to come and either meditate or have some fun with the family while tourists throng the city side like Kuta or Nusa Dua. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Rawrrr © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Lake Bratan is known as the Lake of Holy Mountain due to the fertility of this area. Located 1200m above sea level, it has a cold tropical climate. You'll also see a Buddhist temple (foreground) just smacked next to the main Hindu temple in the background itself. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Oh I kept forgetting to take photos of the rural side's toilets. In the city villas or restaurants and hotels, you'll get the familiar bowl and flushing system. Outside the city, be ready to be claustrophobically attacked with a cubicle smaller than your car's trunk, squat to do your business, and pray your poops ain't a floater coz you'll need to use the pail or scoop of water from the tong on the left to 'flush'. At least here it's tiled. Other places were handmade. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Taking a ride further up the mountain, we found ourselves at the Gitgit Waterfall. Vendors of all sorts again set up shop all along the path towards the waterfall. Not surprised anymore. Just don't make eye contact if you don't wanna start haggling for things you'd regret later. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Even the kids. 'Child-labor' is pretty much everywhere around anywhere touristy. Just try to get used to it if you're the type who's all "human rights" or something. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

If your eyes are itching from making eye contacts with the locals, find a shop that's not opened so they don't have anything to shove into your face to sell. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Unless they begin to take off the sarong they're wearing to try sell it to you too. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

And if you see one that's opening, run. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

What do YOU have to offer? © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Arriving at the stream nearby the main waterfall, we took a small trek down to touch the water - I was feeling squirmish coz the water was somewhat still and I know from past experience that still water can have quite a heluva current underneath, hence my phobia with water. But boyohboyohboy it was COLD! © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

A temple for the waterfall if you wanna offer your blessings of sort. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

So cold, in fact, it's one reason why it's called Gitgit. In Malay/Indonesian, it means biting. Like... nail-biting cold. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

Nice place to just sit and meditate or have a picnic. The sound of the waterfall could just drown out all your thoughts if you just sit at the bottom of it. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

I tried taking off my jacket and top. It took me less than a second to put them back on. BBRRRRR!!! My guide paid his respects and prayers to the waterfall before we left. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

An inside view of one of the small temples at the entrance of the waterfall. Or was it shrine. I can't differentiate which is which after awhile. They all kinda looked the same. Pretty sure it's a temple. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

By now most of the shops we passed earlier have opened. She reminded me of the witch in Snow White for some reason with her cloudy green eyes. Or was it just cataract? © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 4
Bali Sojourn - Day 4

BACON, PORK CHOP AND HAM!!! YUMMM!!!!! Piggy in pink is as big as my office cubicle! Bali's perhaps one of the few places in Asia where anything to do with pigs are cheap coz cows are sacred so you'd hardly see anything beefy here. Click below to be redirected to Part 2. © Evan Hwong Photographs

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