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Day 4 : Jimbaran
As our day 3 ends quite late we woke up the next day pretty late. After having breakfast and lazing around the resort we went to take a dip in the pool. The swimming pool in Kuta Central Park is quite big with a poolside bar. The nicest thing about the pool was it was a temperature controlled one. Needless to mention we had a gala time in the swimming pool .
We started for Jimbaran in the afternoon.Our goal was to have the famous sea food feast in the Jimbaran beach for the lunch.Like Kuta and Seminyak Beach Jimbaran Beach also has a long coastline and one of the nicest beaches in the South Bali area.
When we reached Jimbaran beach it was completely empty. We could not spot anybody else other than us. We chose a decent shack and sat for lunch. The 5 course super delicious sea food meal came after a little wait. It had seafood soup,Salad,grilled prawns,crabs,some Balinese sauces,boiled vegetables,rice and a large grilled fish with alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages .The lunch was truly one of a kind,delicious and sumptuous. It did really live up to our expectation.
As the sun started to go west Jimbaran beach began to get crowded with tourists. We went to the sea for swimming for the 1st time in Bali that day.
Then comes the time of sunset. We missed the sunset view in Uluwatu . But Jimbaran did not disappoint us. That day we experienced the breathtakingly beautiful sunset in the Jimbaran Beach.
The beach becomes quite happening in the night time with fireplays ,live music and parties here and there.We stayed there till late evening and came back to the hotel in the night for dinner.
Day 5 :Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is known for it's beautiful and posh beach resorts. Nusa Dua ,a combination of two islands is the most developed area of Bali. We visited on the 5th day of our trip, the southern side of Nusa Dua - the Peninsula Island. Geger beach and Tenjung Banoa beach are the most popular beaches of this Peninsula part of Nusa Dua.
We reached Geger beach in the afternoon . As already Mount Krakatoa started to erupt ,the sky above us was cloudy ,making the weather quite comfortable for us.The Geger beach is scenically very beautiful and serene and the sea is so calm here you can swim all day.
This area is surrounded by decorated cafes and restaurants and international hotel-chains. We sat on the sand for a long time enjoying the beauty of the pristine beach ahead of us until it started to rain cats and dogs. We liked a pirate themed cafe close by and took shelter there for the rest of the evening.
Though I don't remember the name of the cafe but it was nicely decorated as per its theme "The Pirates of the Caribbeans" . We took some snacks and juices which were delicious and refreshing.
We started for out hotel in Kuta in the late evening from Nusa Dua though we didn't feel like leaving at all. Nusa Dua is connected to Kuta via a very long bridge. On our way back , as soon as we entered that bridge heavy rain started unexpectedly and we got drenched like a dog . The experience of biking on that long bridge over the ocean in that heavy rain was one of the most unforgettable memories we have in our heart till date.
Day 6 : Ubud,Tegunagun Waterfall,Tegalalang Rice Terrace,Kintamani Village,Mount Batur and a cute cat cafe.
6th day of our trip was a very special and long day for us as we went to visit Ubud and North Bali . We hired a car for the whole day trip at the cost of 40$ .I must say the driver was very kind,well behaved and fluent in English Language.
On the way to Ubud our first stop was a typical Balinese temple to see the traditional Barang/Kechuk dance. Needless to mention that the dance being an age old cultural heritage of Bali was a treat for the eyes.
Our next stop was Tegunanagun Waterfall.This massive waterfall is one of the few waterfalls in Bali that is not situated in highlands or mountainous territory. The waterfall is beautifully surrounded by vast greenery and is very close to the Artists village. The amount of water in this waterfall depends on the rainfall . In a good weather day one can swim in the fresh water lake down the waterfall .Sadly the weather was not good when we visited this mighty waterfall , so were not allowed to swim. But we saw a strange site there. A person with all his dedication was picking up the pebbles from the lake and throwing them aside so that the tourists don't get hurt while swimming. That man earned my respect .Amazing Bali and amazing are it's people.
After this lovely visit to Tegunagun waterfall we took a short juice break in a nearby juice shop(having the view of the waterfall) and headed towards Kintamani village.
Kintamani village is mainly famous for the active volcano Mount Batur. Indonesia being situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire has hundreds of volcanoes and some of them remain active over the years. Maount Batur erupted in 2000 for the last time and remains active after that. A cloud of smoke (coming out from inside) can still be spotted over that volcanic mountain. Site of this volcano was one of the most memorable moments of my life. As almost all the volcanoes ,a caldera lake called Lake Batur has also been created beside Mount Batur which is an important water source for the local agriculture. Due to the massive lava flow from the Mt. Batur all the lands and soil in the surrounding area turned black completely. Mt. Batur can be trekked in the morning when there is no eruption threat. Though we did not attempt trekking but I can easily say it would be a great experience.
Important to mention here Mount Agung, another active volcano was not very far from Mt. Batur. Mount Agung has erupted just two months before our trip and was still fiercely active that time,so it was not allowed to be visited by the tourists for safety reasons.
There are numerous good restaurants near Mt. Batur to enjoy a good buffet lunch with a volcano view. One such restaurant was chosen by our driver where we took our lunch break.The lunch was served in buffet spread and the food was nice and tasty.
After that sumptuous lunch by the volcano we started for the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace, a World Heritage Site. The rice terrace are basically rice paddies cultivated in a terrace structure for the ease of irrigation in the mountain area. This vast Rice Terrace is famous for the spread of beautiful greeneries around and the amazing scenic outlook that goes down the steps to the valley far below. We stopped there for along time and took a walk the steps untill we found a narrow stream flowing through the fields. It was raining in Ubud for some days that time. So we had to be very cautious while going down the terrace.
As soon as we came up the rice terrace heavy rain started. We took shelter in a nearby coffee shop to have some freshly brewed Balinese coffee while enjoying the beautiful site of raining over the vast rice terrace. Truly we felt so blessed and lucky to come so close to nature .
The rain took a while to stop. Meanwhile our driver reached the coffee shop to take us to our next destination, a coffee plantation to explore how Luwak Coffee or Kopi Luwak (as locally called) is made.
The coffee estate is huge where the estate guide showed us the coffee plants, coffee cherries and coffee beans and finally the creature Luwak. Luwak is the Balinese name of a catlike creature called Civet Cat. This animal eats the coffee cherries and poops them back. The coffee cherries turn to coffee beans inside the little guy's stomach . From their poops ,after a series of disinfection and other processes finally luwak coffee the most expensive coffee in the world made. The estate offers you to taste coffees of all the flavors namely rose coffee,chocolate coffee etc for free except Luwak Cofee. A small cup of Luwak Coffee is pretty expensive there but we didn't miss the chance to taste it .It was a black coffee but full of aroma and taste. We bought a small packet of Luwak Coffee from there for our home in India.
Finally our last stop was cat cafe, which I found from the internet. Being a cat lover and cat parent whenever I came to know about this cafe from the internet I decided to pay a visit there when I would be in Ubud and I did so. The cafe is basic, nicely decorated with some vegetarian snacks and coffeee options .But the main attraction of it are the 15/20 resident cats. All of them are so cute, so fluffy and so friendly . One or two started to climb up me and sat on my lap and started to lick my hands and even took a quick nap in my arms . There are cat treats and toys so that you can play with them. We had a nice time in that cafe playing with our fluffy friends.
From the cat cafe we started our journey back to the hotel in Kuta and called it a day.
Day 7 : Tanah Lot temple
Who comes to Bali and doesn't visit Tanah Lot temple ? well ,nobody.On our next and final day in Bali we kept the plan quite simple and started our trip to Tanah Lot just after breakfast.The bike ride from Kuta to Tanah Lot through the rice fields in Cangu was scenically very beautiful. We took a quick stop in Cangu to take a stroll though the rice fields and it was nice. Make sure you have enough cash when you are going to Tanah Lot. As the exchange rate in Cangu or near the Tanah Lot is pretty low compared to Kuta and the entry fee for Tanah Lot temple is quite high.
Pura Tanaha Lot is a beautiful and huge Hindu God temple just like Pura Uluwatu.Unlike Uluwatu here you don't need to wear a wrap around if your clothes are short and of course monkeys are lesser in number.The Tanah Lot temple,one of the main and most famous temples was built by the sea.The God worshiped in the temple is Dewa Baruna (Varun), the God of the water and sea in the Hindu Mythology. This temple has two parts,one is on the shore and the other is inside the sea connected by a narrow stone road . During the high tides the connecting roads go under the sea water isolating the other half of the temple from it's counter part. But during low tide you can easily walk on the stone pathway to reach the part of the temple which is in the ocean. Tanah Lot temple is beautifully structured in a very traditional Balinese way over the sea, hence is a photographer's heaven. The blue ocean , seen from the Tanah Lot temple is also amazing and breathtaking. We couldn't stop taking photos of the surrounding nature and ourselves in the Tanah Lot Temple. Though they didn't do a justice to how actually beautiful the place was.
Unlike any Hindu temple in India beef was found in abundance in every restaurant in the Tanah Lot Temple premises. We realized beef eating is not a taboo in Balinese Hindus. We had a tasty lunch in one of the small restaurants in the temple premises by the sea while enjoying the view of the waves crashing against the temple rocks ( I called it water explosion).
In the evening we visited Seminyak Beach for the last time and had our dinner in our favorite beach shack. Came back to our Hotel in Kuta after dinner with a heavy heart as the next day we had to leave Bali.
Day 8 : Denpasar Airport
We started from our hotel after clearing all the bills for Denpasar Airport to catch our flight back to India. The memories we had in Bali will remain in our hearts forever . There are no place in the world where you can find such good people like Bali. We will definitely come back to Bali for a second visit.
Some of the places we could not explore but wanted to due to time shortage or bad weather condition - Nusa Penida and Gili T are a few of them.