elephant temple, volcano and botanical gardens

October 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm 3 comments

Collected at 0900 this morning by Nyoman, my trusty driver, hired for $40 to take me on a days sightseeing around Bali. First plan was to ensure we went nowhere near Kuta (tourist place) nor Seminyak as I will be going there on Thursday.

First stop, silversmiths in Sukawati. I got very excited when I saw a silver brooch exactly the same as Georgina’s brooch in The Secret Society of Dragon Protectors Book 2 (which I once owned and then lost)…but this one was around $225…and although they would give me 25% discount it was way out of my league.

On then to Mas, wood carving area…showrooms abound…and I learnt that Balinese wood is hibiscus or crocodile (light wood with rough bark). I found myself resisting the sandalwood dragons and the mahogony and teak things and settled for a large Balinese man and lady carved piece….and although I got 50% discount, can’t help feeling they were still laughing as they wrapped it in shredded paper. I know it won’t fit my suitcase.

I told Nyoman no more shopping and instead we went to Goa Gaja (elephant temple). Borrowed a sarong and read the sign forbidding women to enter the temple at their time of the month. Then began a massive descent, and a misleading sign…down for ‘nice view’ (understatement)…it was a set straight out of Indiana Jones complete with rickety bamboo bridge and cave of hanging tree roots to pass through and strange stone carvings and waterfalls…the jungle temple was half way back up and a little disappointing but the jungle itself worth the steep climb.

Sweating rivers we headed for Dewi coffee plantation. Family run and very interesting. 9 free tastes of coffee and tea with various flavours…I liked the ginger tea and the lemon grass tea, also bought Balinese coffee but declined the Lombok Coffee (thats the one where the beans are eaten by cat like mammals who obligingly chew and digest the bean and pooh it out thus making the finest coffee…no thanks!)

Northwards then to Kintamani…absolutely stunning high up views across to the volcano…but alas it was misty….time for lunch at very touristy Panca Yoga restaurant…$15 buffet lunch with the usual suspects…rice, tofu, noodles, spring rolls, satay and banana fritters. The tomato soup was rather tasty but typically overloaded with chilli! I think this was the most scenic dessert I had ever had and couldn’t resist a photo. The tourist police charge you for driving along this strip and you get pounced on by hawkers. This boulay has no money left!!

Next stop Tegellalang…the most spectacular terraced rice fields in the world. Stopped for photos and again avoided the hawkers.

Had to stop the car on the way back down to Ubud – amazing fruit stalls (everything grows here…orange groves are punctuated by cabbages) and I saw four enormous wooden dragons being spray painted. Photo of course!

Final stop, Ubud Botanical Gardens…well worth the $5 entrance fee….sprawling rain forest type gardens with pitcher plants and succulents…spent an hour strolling through and enjoying the lovely plants.

Back to Puri Bunga by way of Ubud ‘Monkey Forest Road’ as I wanted to suss out where the ‘3 monkeys’ cafe is situated and the Writers Festival office at Casa Luna as I need to go there tomorrow to confirm what I am doing in my workshop on Wednesday. A refreshing swim and back into The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo with a Bintang!

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Entry filed under: dragon protecting, travel. Tags: , , , , .

dragonflies, butterflies and rice fields Ubud on foot

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sally  |  October 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Those rice terraces are amazing. Never fancied that Lombok myself either!


  • 2. debievans  |  October 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I think I got the name wrong…but its something beginning with L haha!


  • 3. Shirley B  |  October 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Wow,what an adventure,looks spectacular!



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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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