Do you remember Arsana from Bali Net Tours? Well today his is picking us up at eight in the morning to take us to the north of the island, the whole day at a good price, 750K. It takes us around two hours to arrive at our first destination, a coffee plantation, very nice & interesting, even though I am more into chocolate.
A very kind lady shows us the coffee plants as well as some spices they use to add flavours. At the end of the short visit she offers us tasting teas & coffees, Virginia tries the coffees, I try the teas.
They tell us about Luwak coffee known to be the most expensive one in the world. Its grains are ingested by this animal & then defecated, in the process it digests the skin, the grain stays the same … suit yourself.
We arrive at one of the places I couldn’t wait to see, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
Marvelously stunning, more beautiful than my mind had imagined. There are paths that take us around them, from a forty five minute long to one four or five hour long.
Protected by UNESCO they are like frozen in time. The system of terraces avoids the erosion of the soil & well looked after they can still be cultivated for many years. These farmers are doing it with all the love of their hands.
We carry on till arriving to the Wanagiri Hidden Hill, from where we can see a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. There they have little attractions like a swing, a heart, a nest & some others for the visitors to take the best pictures, you can find them in many of the iconic places in the island. In this one in particular you pay 100K to sit on them & take your photo. Remember to stop, look & sink in the beauty, sometimes we get caught up with the picture that we forget, don’t you think?
Some meters from there there’s a road that leads to some waterfalls. After a steep downhill walk between trees & humidity, I can hear the water & I see a small altar.
We arrive to see the beautiful Banyumala Twin Waterfalls, full of negative ions, so healthies that I only wanted to breath them all in.
The waterfall is surrounded by a green vastness, nature & beauty all around us.
Going uphill will be interesting, with the heat & the humidity, but nothing that these intrepid nomads won’t be able to achieve.
From there & after buying some fruit we continue to one of the molts iconic images of this photogenic island, Handara Gate.
Big & small gates populate this island, they mark the entrance of a home, a temple & even a state, like this one. Beautiful all of them for its pointed shape stretching out to the sky.
We arrived to a magnificent & popular temple of Bali, the temple of the lake, they call it.
Temple of the Lake, Ulun Danu Temple.
It’s located in the lake, it belongs to all the people of this place, & even to its visitors. The only place where we can’t enter in any of these temples is in the area of prayer.
All the other areas are permitted, in fact this one is like a little park where we can all spend the day & go for a stroll.
One of the Hindu deities is Ganesha, the son of Shiva. It has the shape of an elephant & he is the god that removes obstacles & difficulties, lord of wisdom, success & good luck. I’ve had one in my purse for many years since a trip I did to India, when a gentleman blessed it & gave it to me.
Today Virginia & I have decided to chant an Om & make a petition.
After our quite moment we continue our journey back to Seminyak, there after a well deserved shower I relax with a great travel companion, Julia Navarro & her book “Dispara, yo ya estoy muerto”.
The author relates the story of a Jew-Russian family in the end of 19th Century when in the Russia of the tsars the pogroms started. The father & son managed to escape to France where they can stablish themselves & continue with the family business. The son wants to go to the Holy Land, he is so determined that heads that way. There he starts a new life in a land where Jews & Arabs live in peace, till quarrels & the war start, moment where they have to choose, fight against friends & neighbours.
Navarro intertwines the story of these two families, a Jew & an Arab one & its respective clans, described in details as it’s her common practice, & she shows us first hand from the voices of the characters, how this horrendous war started, & seems it’s far from ceasing.