Our second day starts, and this time we leave Ubud and go north.
At around 4 kilometres away from Ubud you can find Tegalalang rice terraces. We park our bike and pay the entrance. These are one of the most pictoresque and wel taken care of terraces in Bali, so well that it looks like it is for show; but they are not the only ones in the island. Once the pictures are taken from the highest point, it is time to get in the mud; and if you don´t put your foot in the right place this become a literal sentence (and the mud can get as high as the ankle, checked).
But lets keep in our route, it its time for the temples: Gunung Kawi, Tirta Empul and Goa Gajah. We get to Gunung Kawi and after buying the entrance and putting a sarong (it is given by every temple for free) we enter this tranquil place. With a pond at the entrance and a beautiful statue, this is the temple with fewer people we’ve encountered; it is small, simple and hidden. If you want peace, this is the place.
Next stop is the famous Tirta Empul. This temple, from has what is believed to be spring water with magical powers, purifying, is one of the most important temples in Bali. To be purifyied you’ll need to rent a sarong to get wet, unless you have your own (the one at the entrance is for free but you shouldn’t used it in the pool). After a moment of prayer or meditation the ritual begins, we enter in the purifying pools. A sign of respect. Three sips of water, one for health, one for fertility and one for wealth. Get your head wet three times. Another sign of respect. Repeat.
We finish our day at Goa Gajah also known as Elephant Cave. Another small temple with pools although you can’t practice the ritual here. The most impressive is that huge carved rock that makes the entrance to the cave. Inside it is dark, although there are soe light points at Ganesha’s shrines. And the deluge starts, and we have to return.
New day, new route, and a new perspective of Bali.
The route takes us even further today. After an hour ride we finally arrive at Nungnung waterfalls and, after paying the entrance, we descend more than 400 steps to get to this wonderful place. It is impressive. We take our clothes off and we are ready to get in the water; but as we get closer, we notice the water temperature. It is cold and the cascade is over 60 meters tall and generates a strong wind which doesn’t help with the temperature. The strength of this wind is so much that it is difficult to get close to the fall, and impossible to go through. It is a unique moment.
And after taking our time in the waterfall, we head to Ulun Dano Beratan, a temple at Beratan lake, by the mountains. Could we say that it let us down a little? I don’t know if the we should use this term. It is difficult to find a better place for the temple to be in: a huge lake at the skirts of a beautiful massif. The temple is beautiful, taken care of, smaller than what you think when you see it on the brochures. But it might be all the shops and playgrounds around it what makes it lose its charm.
Today we are exhausted. The kilometers have cheated us. If they were 16 on a straight line, they have become 40 on the road. So we decided to finish our route here. However, it has been a great day. And you can’t only count as if you have visited only two places; the trip has been an important part of today’s route, going through other beautiful rice terraces and through so many traditional houses that we couldn’t have stopped at all of them to take pictures.
In Ubud we look for something to eat and we nailed it. Later, while we watch a movie at the hotel we feel it: the door, the bed and the walls are moving. An earthquake of 5.7 in the Richter scale with an epicenter south of Java island is felt in Bali (with lower intensity of course); our first earthquake (and we don’t want a stronger one).
Our days in Ubud are finished, we have missed so many things; but we don’t like to rush, we like to wander without looking at the watch. Tomorrow we head south, to the beach at last!
Tegalalang rice terraces 10,000 IDR (0’70 €) per person
Entrance to Gunung Kawi 15,000 IDR (1’05 €) per person
Entrance to Tirta Empul 15,000 IDR (1’05 €) per person
Sarong rental for the ritual 10,000 IDR (0’70 €) per person
Entrance to Goa Gajah 15,000 IDR (1’05 €) per person
Entrance to Nungnung waterfall 10,000 IDR (0’70 €) per person
Entrance to Ulun Dano Beratan 50,000 IDR (3’5 €) per person
Dinner for two at Samball Matah 307,000 IDR (21’40 €)
What did you like best in Ubud?
All our tour around the country in our section of Indonesia
*Note: after we returned from Indonesia an 6.4 earthquake hit Sumatra
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