Scooter ride to Munduk
Yesterday’s scooter trip to Mt Batur was so fun that we decided to hire the scooter for the rest of the trip. And we’ll save some money too, because the bus is a lot more expensive (35000 rupees for one day with the scooter VS. 130000 rupees per person for a bus trip to the city we want to visit!).
So here we are, heavy loaded on the little scooter, driving on the potholed roads and tracks. Two bags between Quentin’s legs at the front and Mariette, sat at the back, with the 75L backpack full of scuba diving stuff and clothes!
We drive through little paths, tracks and roads in the mountains in the direction of Munduk, a very little village, lost in the clouds at the top of a volcano just between 2 large lakes. Not really feeling safe at the beginning, we soon get used to the Balinese driving ways. Here, the signs are useless, the marks on the roads too. Everybody is overtaking as soon as it’s possible. Some drive in the wrong way. And the only rule is « Horn! ». Horn is used to say « Hi » to your friends, to sell some gadgets you’re carrying, to announce yourself (« MOVE! I’m here! »), or to prevent someone to overtake in a turn… For everything in fact.
After passing through Bedugul, we stop on the side of the road to try a little restaurant, sitting on the edge of the mountain ridge. The view is incredible: on one side the lakes, on the other the valley with the ocean at the end. The food is as good as the view, and the prices very low. What else should we want?
Munduk is the real rural Bali! Here, there are not so many tourists. We stop in a lovely guesthouse on the side of a mountain and are immediately seduced by the panorama! The cosy little bungalow is embellished by a pretty zen garden, and has a small terrace from where we have a gorgeous view all over the valley. Jungle surrounds us, the summit of the nearby mountain is lost in the clouds, and we can see the ocean sparkling in the background!
We can hear a waterfall from here, so we decide to try to find it through the jungle. In fact our guesthouse is just a few hundred meters up to Melanting Waterfalls! Later, after a heavy rain, Mother Nature offers us an amazing sunset over the landscape… Breathtaking!
The next day, we wake up with a full program! We want to ride again on the ridge road we took yesterday while it’s sunny, visit a Buddhist monastery, 2 temples and have a look on Gigit Waterfalls, the highest waterfalls in Bali.
Ha, yes… We forgot to tell you about the maps. There are no trustable maps in Bali. They do not have any real idea of what a Km is. Comparing our different maps, we soon understand that the monastery is too far away, so we give up this idea for today.
We drive back to Bedugul to get some fuel. That’s when we have a little surprise: no more petrol! Humm, no panic. That’s not a problem; we’ll go to the next petrol station, driving the scooter downhill to save what’s left in the tank. Ten kilometres later: no more petrol here either! No choice, we must continue down the mountain. Two hours later, as we are nearly back in Denpasar, we finally find a local guy selling fuel in Absolut vodka bottles on the side of the road. It does not look really clean, but what else can we do? And anyway all the locals stop here to fill up their scooter. He sells us the last 2 bottles! Haaa! Now we only have to drive back all the way to Bedugul!
Bedugul and Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
Back in Bedugul, we can now visit the first temple on our to-do-list: Pura Ulun Danu Beratan! The temple is set in the middle of a huge lake highlighted by a gorgeous mountain background. The beauty of the landscape has made the worldwide reputation of this temple, but also changes this peaceful religious place in a tourist attraction. But it’s still charming, locals still come here to pray and have ceremonies or play traditional music. Even with all those tourists, we enjoyed this visit. We arrived just in the middle of a kind of religious festival, so we’ve been able to admire the ceremony, traditional costumes, and music.
The next temple on our list was supposed to be wonderful. In fact the carvings are indeed amazing, but the temple is dirty, the ground is littered with garbage, and the walls are not maintained at all… It made us a bit sad.
It’s time to drive to Gitgit, famous for its waterfalls. We park the scooter just under the big sign « Gitgit Waterfall », and have to pay 120000 rupees to get down there! It seems very expensive… Well let’s go! In fact we soon discover that we’ve been tricked, and that the waterfalls we’ve been guided to are not the real 42m high Gitgit Waterfall! But fortunately those 3 little ones are wonderful too. It was just too expensive for what it was… We continue our ride on the road to try to find the bigger waterfall. At least we find it, and have to pay again to enter. But this time it’s really cheap: 5000 rupees! The waterfall is beautiful, and we take a long time to enjoy it.
On our way back to the scooter, we meet some merchants on the side of the track selling sarongs 10 times cheaper than in Ubud, and that’s before we start negotiating any! Haa well, that’s life… After this unpredictable day, we drive back to the bungalow to enjoy a relaxing evening.
Tintin & Riette
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan :
- Open from 07:00 to 17:00
- Price : 30 000Rp/adult, 15 000Rp/child
- Carpark : 5000Rp
In Munduk: Visit the Melanting Waterfal
- Price : 5000Rp/adult, 2000Rp/child
Gitgit Waterfalls :
- 60 000Rp/adult for the 3 littles waterfalls. Guided visit only
- Big waterfall : 5000Rp/adulte