Bali is a rich island – and rich in natural wonders that is! You have volcanoes, resulting in black sandy beaches at the coasts, large green fields and valleys, jungle hills with deep rivers, cool water falls, hot springs and mysterious lakes in mountains of mist.
To visit those lakes, you have to travel north from the main tourist areas. A good way to do that (in case you don’t have any detailed map; there are not many around anyway) is to follow the road signs to Singaraya (the biggest town at the north coast).
Further we went on through little villages in the middle of Balinese life. Ceremonies take place here practically every day, with traffic then only a minor priority. If you happen to cross the path of one of those celebrational processions, you just have to be patient and wait, until the road is clear again. No chance to sneak through, as that would surely show your disrespect for the ongoing proceedings.
Anyway, after about 2-3 hours of driving you begin to feel the cooler climate of the higher altitudes. The vegetation is changing somewhat, less rice fields but more strawberry plantages. Strawberries in Asia? Yes, right! It seems, that the cooler weather around the northern balinese mountains is perfect to cultivate these delicious little red fruits.
You can buy them on the roadside practically everywhere and at what cheap prices! A small basket costs only around 3.000-5.000 Rupiah, just about 0.5 USD! What a feast! The restaurants around here specialize in enhancing that delight even further, with offerings of strawberry cake, strawberry ice cream, strawberry juice, strawberry alcohol and other things which makes your mouth watering.
Passing through and falling for or avoiding these temptations you reach Lake Bratan, which is the site of one of Bali most famous temples (directly at the water -> Pura Ulun Danu Bratan), with Lake Buyan and LakeTamblingan in close proximity.
The main city here is Bedugul, which has a near-italian charme, with large laid-back villas leaning on the hill sides, overlooking terraces and smaller houses surrounding the lakes. It’s almost a mystical surrounding with you venturing close to the cloud line and sometimes completely hidden within, with a visibility of less than 50 metres. From here it’s only about 70km left to the northern coast and the town of Singaraya. The best, if you decide to travel further north -> after you’ve passed the northern part of the lakes and reached the top of the winding road (passing several small temples with lot’s of monkeys around) it’s only downhill from here. Short rain showers are not uncommon and in general it’s way cooler here in the mountains than at the shores.
So, after we cooled down and the sun slowly but persistently continued to slide more and more downwards, it was time to go back. Besides we didn’t want to spend the night on the road with almost no traffic lights, having to drive down a narrow mountain track with steep walls just a few metres off the track. Taking now the main road, it was less than 2 hours to reach Denpasar, from where everything else is only a few minutes to reach. What a nice day, a lot of things to see and a lot of things missed out. So, when are we going again? Watch this space!
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