Nov 28

No, not the old Police Song! But why not? Our recent day trip around Bali took us to Lake Batur (Danau Batur) and Mount Agung (Gunung Agung), the highest peak (3014m) on Bali soil in the north-eastern part of the island.

Bamboo and Palm Leave DecorationsAmazing scenery! It really looks like your are on a different planet. But wait – first you have to get there.

This was actually easier than expected, as tomorrow the Hindi on Bali celebrate the start of the Hari Raya Galungan & Kuningan fest. That’s something about celebrating and entertaining the ancestors spirits. So, today everyone seemed to be busy decorating for that reason. Very few traffic on the roads. All entrances to houses and temples were in the process of being decorated with palm leaves and little palm bags tied to bamboo poles, bent as arcs. Checkout the picture to the right to know what I mean.

Anyway, as everyone seemed to be doing something else than increasing traffic density, it was a smooth ride – via Denpasar, Ubud, Tegalalang and Sekaan. This is really a nice scenic route with plenty of temples left and right – most of them not even named in our rudimentary map of Bali.

Lake BaturDid I say smooth ride? Well, almost. Shortly before Penelokan, in the middle of nowhere, a ‘Patroli‘ car was parked under a shady tree, with 2 policemen waving out everyone passing. Sayang ku was substituting me as the Scooters driver at that time, of course without driving license at hand. Arglglglgl! 10 minutes of discussion and 30.000 Rupiah later, we were back on the road, leaving the 2 policemen with smiles of happiness, so shortly before their lunch break. Never mind!

Mount BaturWe were approaching Lake Batur, which suddenly opened up with a deep valley and a stunning 180 degrees view. Following the narrow winding road down the west coast of the lake, we came to the above mentioned moon scenery, which consisted of plenty of cold lava rocks and very few plants. A few kilometres further there is a small village close to the volcano lake’s shore, from where you can go trekking up Mount Batur (which is actually a cold volcano – cold meaning here, that there is only some smoke from time to time, but no active outbreaks anymore).

The trip up should only take about 2 hours and the guy in a restaurant mentioned, it’s best to do the hike at around 4am, so you are up there for sunrise and avoid the heat of the day. Must be impressing, but too late today and generally too early for me. It just reminded me of a climb to the summit of Anak Krakatau in 2005 at around 1pm in about 40 degrees centigrade, right Tobias? ;-)

Lake Batur with Mt, Agung behind looking through the cloudsAnyway – after a ‘makan break’ of Curry Ayam & Gado Gado @ Lake Batur, we were up for the Hot Springs closeby, which was unfortunately only a small rinse of water, coming out of the stones close to lake shore. Nothing spectacular – but hey! The lake has smooth, warm water with lots of alge at the shores. Plenty of fishermen angle here for the ‘dish (or shall I say fish?) of the day’.

'Bean Trees' in front of Mt. AgungAs Mount Batur was smiling into a cloudless, bright blue sky (see picture above right) – further to the east, Mount Agung was a bit grumpy today (picture left). Almost completely covered in clouds. We were practically driving around its slopes all the way to the famous Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih), which can boast some awesome pictures, if the weather is right (meaning: no clouds). Mt. Agung erupted last time in 1963.

As you couldn’t see anything of Mt. Agung above a few hundred metres, we decided to save the entrance fee of 10.000 Rupiah to Pura Besakih for another blue sky day. You can climb the summit of Mt Agung as well from Besakih, it’s said that it will take around 6 hours up and 4 hours down – pretty demanding. It is recommended to start at midnight to reach there around sunrise, thus avoiding the full heat of the day for the decent back.

Jackfruit TreeThe vegetation here around Besakih is completely different than the rest of the route. Gone are the palm trees and rice terraces. Here you see more trees, like those white bean trees (see photo above right; what’s the real name?), lots of wild bamboo (even the rare yellow kind!) and wild Jackfruit trees (picture left) over and over.

From Besakih we then drove via Rendang, Klungklung and Gianyar more or less straight back in less than 2 hours, as the sun was about to go down. It’s practically all downhill and only nice road.

All in all, the whole trip was about 180km in 7.5 hours (including 45 minutes makan break and lots of running around). A bit more kilometres and a little longer than Lake Bratan last week, but still manageable in 1 day. We didn’t even finish the tank of the scooter, which we filled the very same morning for 25.000 Rupiah. Still, it was great to be back at home, enough trip for one day.

Ahhhh, a shower can be so nice and refreshing! Selamat malam. :-)

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written by Chris

2 Responses to “Walking on the moon…”

  1. Pierres Service » Blog Archive » Walking on the moon… UNITED STATES Says:

    […] Following the narrow winding road down the west coast of the lake, we came to the above mentioned moon scenery, which consisted of plenty of cold lava rocks and very few plants. A few kilometres further there is a small village close to …Read more: here […]

  2. Living the Good Life in Bali - a Wrap up after 2 Years | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] black beaches, grey beaches, stony beaches, sandy beaches, pebble beaches. Deep lakes, mountains, volcanoes, water falls, hot springs, jungles, national parks, rice fields or terraces are here for you. You […]

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