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Bali – Ubud to Munduk – 14th Feb

After three nights in Ubud we organised a driver to take us to the mountain village of Munduk in the north of Bali. Andre and Martha joined us on our journey to explore more of the island and share the fee of the driver. First stop along the way was the Bali Butterfly Park. We were unsure if we wanted to see this but for 50,000rp each we headed into the netting to see the butterflies. There was an assortment of butterflies and moths as well as stick insets and beetles which the staff are very eager to place upon your body. The conditions for the animals were not great, very poor for the spiders, and if you do not like butterfly taxidermy then this may not be the place for you.

Further driving north we approached one of Bali’s many volcanoes where another of its most sacred of temples; Pura Taman Ayun located at the very foot of the volcano. Everyone who enters will need to wear a sarong for most temples, which you can rent on arrival if you do not have one already. We explored the temple, walked around the lake complex and whilst chatting to a local man he suggested to visit the river. It looks like fresh water from the mountains but it wasn’t worth the walk down to see it with rubbish festooned on the sides with some very rough toilets.

Driving around Bali you get to see the real scope of the island. Pretty much everywhere is utilised for village and town life, food production and catering for tourists. The rice terraces at Jatiluwih were impressive with hundreds of thousands of green tones fluctuating between the shafts of sunlight. Our driver took us to a buffet lunch overlooking the terraces costing 70,000rp which we decided not to participate in as the food looked poor and expensive for some non authentic Indonesian food, instead we heading further down the road to somewhere more appealing. The second temple stop of the day was at the lake temple Pura Ulun Danu. Strangely no sarong was needed here, it looked more like a business opportunity rather than a holy site, nether the less we visited and enjoyed the water temple combo.

We eventually arrived in Munduk 7 hours after leaving Ubud and haggled for a room at the Karang Sari for 180,000rp per night. The room was nice enough, it just needed a thicker coat of paint on the ceiling and walls to stop it looking shabby. After waving goodbye to Andre and Martha for their return journey to Ubud we explored the street(s) of Munduk. The temperature here is much lower than the surrounding area due to the slight increase in altitude and we had a nice sunset whilst eating at Karang Sari overlooking the valleys below.

The owner of Karang Sari invited us to watch a group of local boys practicing gambelan, a traditional Indonesian style of music to be preformed at a temple ceremony. They were very good and we enjoyed a 15 minute show before our ears could no longer take the high decibel limit. Before bed we met our other room mate, a big black spider who rented the bathroom, although it gave Helen a good scare we didn’t mind and let he/she live in peace.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0, 18mm f4, 90mm Tele-Elmarit f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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