Two weekends of hiking and exploring. Life is good.
Wanagiri is a small village located in the mountains between Lake Tamblingan and Lake Buyan. A friend has opened up an ecotourism homestay here so a bunch of us piled into two cars on Saturday morning and made the drive there. After marveling at the views, we started our hike. Luckily, some people know the area quite well so they were able to guide us to a few AMAZING spots that included waterfalls, canyons, and a natural whirlpool area. I don’t have too many pictures of this because I was too distracted by swimming and romping in the water.
After hiking we all came back and had dinner at the homestay. All around another great day in Bali.
Destination 2: Snorkeling and trekking in the north-west corner of Bali.
The trip started Saturday with a stop at Pura Ulun Danau Beratan, which is a beautiful temple that was quite busy with many processions and ceremonies going on this Saturday morning.
After stopping at the temple, we continued on to Pemuteran where we stayed for the night.
In the morning we ventured off to Menjangan Island. Menjangan Island is part of Bali Barat National Park. It is known as one of the best places for snorkeling and diving so I was more than excited for our trip here. After a quick car ride and a bit longer boat ride, we jumped into the amazingly blue water to start snorkeling. I was amazed not only at the number of fish and corals, but also by the size of the reef. It was also very cool to snorkel in the shallow water and venture over to the drop-off for a few deeper dives. We stopped at two separate places to snorkel and were able to witness the vast aquatic life that exists in what seems like a whole different world from the land of Bali. I think I could have stayed in the water looking at the corals and fish for 5 more hours, but we had to get back..
After snorkeling we had arranged a trek in the national park. To trek in the park you need to have a certified guide who works for the park and pay an entrance fee. I enjoyed the national park a lot because there were many different types of animals to see including grey monkeys, black monkeys, land crabs, and some sort of dragon (like a komodo). Our guide was very experienced and knew a lot about the animals and plant species of the park. It was nice to see that the park is well maintained and I noticed that there was much less trash than in other places I have been hiking on the island.
We stayed one more night in Pemuteran as we were all quite exhausted from the snorkeling and trekking. On Sunday morning we headed back towards Sanur, but made a few stops. The first was at the Jatiluwi rice fields which have been named a UNESCO Cultural Landscape. The view was amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.
I was also very interested to learn about the methods of irrigation for these rice fields as they are particularly lush and successful. I learned that the Jatiluwi fields are maintained by a traditional Subak irrigation system where farmers of a village work as a cooperative and all of their rice fields are fed by a single dam. Each subak or group of farmers is also linked to one of two water temples. Pura Batu Kau coordinates the subaks existing in West Bali, and Pura Ulun Danau coordinates the subaks in north, east and south Bali. These water temples are very important in that they hold festivals every 105 days, which corresponds with the length of the rice-growing season in Bali.
Our final stop on this cultural weekend adventure was to the Bali Butterfly Park. I don’t think I had prepared myself for the size of some of these butterflies or the potential to being so close to them. But I got used to it after awhile…kind of. Anneli was much more composed than I was.