Day 5 (October 23, 2018) Bali East


   This would be the second day planned to explore Bali by car with driver. For this last day we’ve planned a rout through the East of the island.

Map of Bali

   The spots marked at map are:

 0- Hotel The Umari en Ubud
 1- Tegenungan Waterfalls
 2- Goa Lawah
 3- Pura Lempuyang Luhur
 4- Tirta Gangga
 5- Besakih
 6- Pura Ulun Danu Batur
 7- Pura Tirta Empul


   As yesterday, we get our breakfast at 8 AM and driver picks up at 9 AM. We already discussed yesterday the route for today: spot 6 is totally out of range for this route; spot 3, on despite of looking near, it takes too long to reach because of the narrow and slow road and wouldn’t allow to go to spot 5, which is our highlight. We’ve removed the waterfall 1 as we already know how time and energy consuming is the way up back for the waterfalls here. With this, our first visit, after a long ride by car, is in Goa Lawah, the bat cave, which is by the sea.
Goa Lawah or bat caveGoa Lawah or bat cave
   We pay 20,000 rupees each and get a sarong for me, as the cave itself is part of a temple. It seems bats are taken as a representation of the ancestors. The temple is small and getting in to the cave is not allowed but you can see – and hear – hundreds of bats hanging upside down from the entrance of the cave.
Goa Lawah or bat caveGoa Lawah or bat cave
   After this, we follow the coast and going through towns decorated for Diwali to Tirta Gangga. The volcano is covered and cannot be seen, but we’ll be close to a bigger one this afternoon.

East Bali coast landscapeTowns decorated for Diwali in BaliTowns decorated for Diwali in Bali
   We pay 40,000 rupees each as admission fee to Tirta Gangga, or Water Palace. The visit is mainly in the gardens of the palace, with beautiful fountains. One of them is really funny and is where is concentrated most of the people as you can walk through the lake around it using pile stones.
Tirta Gangga or Water PalaceTirta Gangga or Water Palace
   Then, we explore the rest of the gardens, full of beautiful corners, in a simple itinerary by going by one path and coming back by the other.

Tirta Gangga or Water PalaceTirta Gangga or Water PalaceTirta Gangga or Water PalaceTirta Gangga or Water Palace
   Our next and last visit is to Besakih Mother Temple, which is located in the Volcano Gurga’s base and it takes a while to get there, so we stop for lunch in our way. This is the volcano that erupted three months ago.

   Our driver takes us to a restaurant with amazing views of the jungle and rice terraces which could be even better if the volcano wasn’t covered in the background. This restaurant is a buffet too.
View from our table in restaurantsmall temple in restaurant
   We retake our way to Besakih after lunching. Once there, we pay 60000 rupees each, I get the usual sarong, a guide is assigned to us and we get a place in a couple of motorbikes too for a ride up to the entrance of the temple. Everything is included in the ticket rate.

Entrance to Besakih TempleEntrance to Besakih Temple
   This temple is spectacular and, again, if we could see the volcano where we are now, the pictures would be even better. Our guide head us through the route for tourists, as almost all places behind a door are for prayers. He tells us, once every year, in April, Hindu people from all Indonesia is concentrated here.

Besakih Mother TempleBesakih Mother TempleBesakih Mother TempleBesakih Mother Temple
   The way back down must be done by walking by this road full of shops. Now it’s time for our long way back to Ubud but, as we’re interested in Luwak coffee, the most expensive coffee in the world, he takes us to a special place. This coffee is made after the grains are eaten and crapped by civets.
Besakih exitBesakih exit
   The place is a plantation belonging to some friends of him, as he lives nearby. We can see coffee in the plant, but also mangostan, lemongrass, citronella… They take a cocoa fruit from the tree and open it, so we can test how sweet it is. The seed cannot be eaten but, once roasted, they’re turned into chocolate. We can see the civets they use for Luwak coffee, which is commonly named “Animal coffee” here.
Cocoa fruitCoffee fruit
   This is a very friendly visit. We pay 50,000 rupees by a cup of Luwak coffee, which we take while enjoying the views and a row of 12 cups for a tasting of everything they produce. I love mangostan and rosella teas.

civet used for Luwak coffeeCivet pooRoasting coffeeCoffee and teas tasting
   It’s almost 7 PM when we’re back to the hotel. It’s dark, but we’re still on time to go to the next-door spa and get our massages by 250,000 rupees each. We sleep like babies this night.