The area of Bedugul as always, was beautiful and it was a pleasure to visit after the heat and hectic nature of our time in Singaraja. Singaraja was hot and humid the entire time with very little relief. In fact, Pak Agus told us that when the heat and humidity is unbearable in Singaraja, it means it was raining in Bedugul!
We headed off early from Singaraja, keen to do the driving in the morning so we could reach Bedugul and have the afternoon to relax. We were also keen to leave our hotel in Singaraja as the bathroom was not one of the cleanest I have seen. Generally I can cope with Indonesian bathrooms however this one was not one of my favourites as just inside the bathroom door was a constant stream of water from the western toilet which widened each time after it had been flushed!
The road from Singaraja to Bedugul was in good condition however at times very windy. It was mainly downhill so as always, I try to sit behind another vehicle so that any oncoming traffic attempting to overtake on a corner goes head to head with a seasoned bali driver giving me time to react safely!
The hotel I had booked to stay at (through booking.com) was just out of Bedugul in a small village called Baturiti. Pacung Indah Hotel even though was on the main road, it was tucked away and we drove straight passed it! About a kilometer down the road, we stopped at a warung to get directions and while there enjoyed a cuppa (Bali Coffee) and some rujak. The lovely lady there pointed us back in the direction and after we had finished our yummy snack, we set off again and found the hotel easily. It is set right on the side of a very busy road but the 6 rooms of accommodation is tucked down the side of the hill and consequently it was very quiet. By comparison to the hotel room we had just left, this room was luxurious. The best feature was the hot shower! Bedugul weather was significantly cooler as it is so high up in the mountains and both afternoons it rained heavily, so the hot shower was greatly appreciated! We also had a private courtyard and in front of the courtyard was a table and 2 chairs overlooking the most amazing view.
There is also a restaurant which seems to cater mostly for the day tourists offering daily buffet style lunches. The ‘al la carte’ menu was reasonable too and we ate here on our first evening while enjoying an even more spectacular view.We also ate breakfast here each morning watching the farmers working in the fields. The breakfast menu here was the best I have ever seen. Guests could choose between an Indonesian, an American, an Australian or a Continental breakfast! The Indonesian breakfast was a choice between nasi goreng or mei goreng and both were delicious! It also included tea/coffee, fruit juice
and a plate of fruit.
Our first afternoon in Baturiti was spent exploring. We had noticed on our morning drive a sign to a nearby ‘air panas’ (hot spring) and as the climate there was so cool, a warm swim was very appealing. The drive out to the springs was along quiet narrow roads through villages and while well signposted, we did make one wrong turn. Had a temporary lapse of memory and forgot that street signs in Indonesia differ from Western road signs. Whereas out street signs are parallel with the streets they are labeling, in Indonesia they run perpendicular! We ended up following a concrete road out to a village where someone very kindly explained how to get back to the main road! Some of the road out to the hot springs were in terrible condition but apparently that is going to be fixed very soon. After parking the car, we followed a path through spectacular rice field scenery down to the hot springs. The hot springs here in Angser have obviously only recently been upgraded as the whole complex was in very good condition. Visitors have a choice between private cubicles with very hot water or a large warm pool.overlooking a small waterfallIf you are passing through this area and see the turn off to these springs, I highly recommend a visit. The local banjar there has obviously spent a lot of money on the upgrade and the whole area is very impressive, When we first arrived, we had the entire place to ourselves and it was so peaceful swimming in the pool looking out onto the waterfall and also up at the fernery and bamboo growing up the banks. To avoid traveling back to Baturiti in the dark, we regretfully got out of the pool and headed back to the car. As I was taking a photo of Marg standing next to the entrance sign, 2 young fellows passed us by and called out hello. I answered in Indonesian much to their surprise, so they stopped to chat and introduced themselves. Made mentioned that he works for R.O.L.E. in Nusa Dua and of course I couldn’t believe my ears! Sure enough he is a good friend of Maddy Hill (do you remember she came to PEPS to talk to us about orangutans?)! So there in the middle of Bali, I ran into a friend of a friend! It really put a smile on my face!
The next day we headed back to Candi Kuning. Before heading into the Botanical Gardens, we dropped into the pasar (market) which has changed significantly since I first remember it in 1979 when I visited with my father. My memories of it then are just a couple of shops selling plants that I never expected to see growing in Bali; daffodils, hydrangeas, fuchsias and roses. Now Pasar Candi Kuning mainly sells an amazing variety of fruit
and right at the back are a few shops selling plants
Also in the back shops we found someone selling cinnamon!
After buying a selection of fruits and krupuks, we headed off for our day at the Botanical Gardens. A few quick facts about the Gardens:
Founded July 15, 1959
Area: 157.5 ha
Altitude: 1,250 – 1,450 meters above sea level
Temperature: 18-20 degrees Celsius
Humidity: 70 – 90%
It is much easier to see around the park by car as it is so vast. We took a drive around the left hand side of the park just to get a feel for it. The drive was mostly through very tall trees which although all the same, were not at all familiar. They weren’t planted in rows yet all the same didn’t look like they were self sown. Gave the impression of being in a cool forest. We stopped at a newly created Balinese Ceremonial Garden which will be terrific once it is finished. It is largely dominated by a huge circular pool which although was moving, was so green that it was hard to see the fish.
We next visited the Bali Treetop Adventure Park which is a very clever inclusion to the Botanical Gardens. It is set up in and amongst some of the huge trees and is very professionally run. It is a series of graded circuits of varying difficulty through the ‘treetops’ via flying foxes and various other means. I enjoyed walking around beneath the circuits taking photos and am really keen to give this a go next time I visit Bali. Look at Trip Advisor if you have any doubts about how much fun it is.
Here is the demonstration course you must do before they let you loose on the real course to ensure you are familiar with all the safety aspects.
And then off you go…Doesn’t it look so much fun!
The circuits are clearly marked like this:
The whole set up was so well done that I am keen to give it a try. Anyone interested in coming along too? The girl I followed around was a 12 year old from Perth and she thought it was brilliant!
After taking lots of photos here, we headed off and looked through the Cactus House, a beautiful water garden
, an orchid Garden and then the Balinese Herbal Garden. The Latter could have been so interesting but unfortunately many of the plants weren’t labeled and where there was a sign it was so faded it was pointless as we couldn’t read it! We then drove to the top of the gardens and relaxed on the lawned area admiring the view out to Danau Bratan while enjoying our feast of krupuks and fruit. Without a doubt the yummiest fruit was the mango however we couldn’t agree on the yummiest krupuk. Marg really enjoyed the sweet & spicy melinjo krupuks but I loved the spicy cassava krupuks the best.