Day 7: Fredy Day Two: Temple Day

We awoke to a glorious Ubud Morning – – That is a short video I shot from the front door to our room.

After showering and getting ready we headed up for Breakfast, this is the first time we have seen other guests – the hotel is structured such that you very rarely see other guests.  You can eat Breakfast down at your room but we opted to have it up in the dinning area.  Everything is cooked to order, the kitchen is actually located under the pool area and they walk everything upstairs to you (those ladies must have some amazing leg muscles walking those stairs each day).  We started with the Fruit Salad and Juice, Mixed Breads, I went for Fried Eggs and lovely wife went for the Banana Pancake – and coffee and tea.  Plenty of food, well cooked.

Fredy was picking us up at 9:00am and our challenge today was to get to the driveway before he got there – to outwait him! To no avail, I am pretty sure he slept out there, because he was there to pick us up at about 8:30am.

Fredy Day Two – Tegallalang Rice Terraces

First order of business for the day was the Tegallalang Rice Terraces – now having been to the Jatiluwih Terraces the other day I thought “how different can they be?” – how wrong I was, they are amazing.  Packed much tighter and also on a much steeper gradient these are some impressive terraces.  Fredy encouraged me to walk down into them a little bit – this was when I realised that Fredy was reincarnated from a Mountain Goat, he was practically running Parkour style down the terraces!

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

The iconic image of the terraces – really how amazing are they? especially in the early morning light, they just popped!

Path Down the Terraces

This is the well made path Fredy made me take down into the Terraces – I figured he was trying to inflict the same injury on me that my wife suffered at the Waterfall earlier in the week! The man is a Mountain Goat.

Bali Putrina Food Plantation

After we left Tegallalang our next destination was to check out the Batur Volcano (from a distance), but Fredy asked if we wanted to take a detour to the food plantation to check out how different stuff is made.  They do produce Luwak Coffee here, sadly their cats are caged and not Free Range – they were telling us though that they feed them a really varied diet rather than just coffee beans so that they produce a nicer blend of coffee.  They also harvest a wide range of other products including Cocoa / Cinnamon / Normal Coffee / Honey – etc. etc. etc. – was a nice place, they walk you around and explain how everything works, you get to have a go at Grinding some coffee.

Bali Putrina Food Plantation

Our guide at the plantation explaining all the products they harvest there and how they prepare and treat the products. Quite a wide variety.

Now just a word on Luwak Coffee – it is quite expensive; and it has literally been through the digestive track of a small animal.  Up until recently you couldn’t bring it back into Australia – however we have now been informed that it is cleared provided it is in its original packaging and in a properly sealed container.

Mount Batur (Gunung Batur) – Batur Volcano – Lake Batur

Next up we headed through Kintamani to check out the Batur Volcano – as an interesting note, Kintamani is the place many of the cycling tours start from as it is in quite a high part of the land so you mostly cycle downhill from this point. We stopped at a little Warung – to walk up on their roof and take some photos of the Volcano – Fredy always with us so that we didn’t get hassled by any locals trying to flog us their wares. Interestingly if you check out the Mountain on Google Maps/Earth you will see that the Volcano is actually smack in the middle of a massive crater, so you can imagine then the size of the original eruption that must have occurred god knows when.

Mount Batur - Volcano

The Mount Batur Volcano – Quite impressive, the black colour you see at the foot of the volcano is actually the Lava Field – which is heavily mined for rock/stone which is used in building construction. If you are particularly keen you can get up at 2am and do a tour to the top of the volcano and watch Sunrise….let me know how that goes – I like sleep.

Pura Tirta Empul – Water Temple – Tampaksiring

So pictures of volcano taken we headed off to our next destination, which was the Tirta Empul Temple at Tampaksiring.  This was on our list of places we wanted to check out.  The temple is located at the site where there is a large water spring, the Hindu people believe it to be a Holy Spring Water and so come from all around to pray and receive purification in its waters.  There are 12 fountains that disperse the holy spring water and a Worshipper would first make an offering at the temple before getting into the main pool and bathing under each of the fountains.

Sacred Water Fountains

The Sacred Fountains – 12 in total the worshippers move from one to the other left to right. The water is said to heal many ills and bad dreams. Many people also collect the water to take home in a small bottle.

Worshippers bringing their offerings into the Temple. Be sure to take some time to walk around the Temple complex to go into the main part of the temple you will be required to wear a Sarong and a Sash (men and women), but they are provided for you.

This is the holy spring – Fredy assures me that the water is filtered before it reaches the fountains.

Gunung Kawi Temple – Tampaksiring

We spent a bit of time wandering through the Tirta Empul Temple and Fredy went to get the car – to exit the temple, in true Balinese style you have to walk through a gauntlet of market stalls – however we were quite lucky in that it was still quite early in the morning so many of them were not open and the ones that were really didn’t seem that keen to spruik for a sale.

Just up the road from Tirta Empul is another temple called Gunung Kawi.  It is located at the bottom of about 300 steps.  So this is definitely not one that I would recommend to anyone who has hip/leg problems.

This is a group of 4, across the river are some more with 5 carvings. They are really impressive especially when you look at the landscape and realise the sheer volume of stone that was carved out of the cliff to make these.

The most iconic image from the temple are the huge Candi (Shrines) which are carved into the cliff face.  They stand about 20 foot tall and are amazing! They are sheltered little statues/niches which are carved into the walls.

We were quite lucky in that there was a large number of locals preparing offerings and feasts for the temple – this was the day before their big celebration so they were all busy working away.  Fredy introduced us to some of them and they gave us a great display of how they make their offerings.  Amazing handiwork – I know for sure I would cut off a finger trying to achieve this.

At the temples the Men do the cooking and prepare the food offerings, and the ladies prepare the weaved offerings. Such amazing design work, these are some extremely talented ladies.

One of the Ladies working on an offering. The volume they were turning over was quite amazing.

After working so hard on it – the lovely lady gave this to my wife to take away. She was quite impressed – and so lovely of them to be so generous and welcoming.

These are huge, even with a wide-angle lens it was almost impossible to get them all in the frame at once. Incredible work carving this out of solid stone.

After walking around the temple a little more we headed back up the 300 stairs to the car – wow that walk took it out of me – seriously those stairs are a fantastic exercise program!  I did love that halfway up the stairs is a lovely man selling/cooking Chicken Satay – I was tempted but didn’t…..

Satay Vendor – On the path back to the car.

Lunch – Kampung Cafe  and Restaurant

So we made it back to the car and definitely worked up an appetite.  Fredy took us off to the Kampung Restaurant for some lunch.  This is a lovely restaurant – quite large – I believe they may also have some rooms here as well.  Food was good, and reasonably priced.

Today was only a short day with Fredy – I think we again didn’t take as long at some spots as he had planned so we were back to the hotel quite early.  But we didn’t mind this as it gave us a chance to take in another of the Alam Indah’s lovely features – Afternoon Tea.  Afternoon Tea at the Indah is complimentary and I highly recommend it.  Lovely way to relax into the evening.

After we had polished off our Cake and Tea we headed back into Ubud town for a massage and some dinner.  We chose Royal Massage on Monkey Forest Road – they are directly opposite the Football Field.  Massage was great – probably a little rougher than I had hoped for but relaxing nonetheless.

Dinner – Cafe Wayan

Cafe Wayan is owned by the same people who run the Alam Indah, and from the street you could be forgiven for thinking it is a small place – we made that mistake but once you walk in you will realise that it stretches way way way back.  All the tables are spread throughout some extremely lush gardens, such that you never really know how full the place is and it is very hard to gauge how many people are around.  We opted for one of the low tables (ie. sit on the floor – get a numb butt – but comment that it is part of the “experience”).

Food was amazing – we opted for a few entrees and then our standard mains of Nasi Goreng and Satay Chicken.  They also knock out a pretty meal cocktail list, so we did our best to work through them.  All told the dinner was about 400k including a desert that was amazing.  I am so glad I decided to put the diet on hold once I landed in Bali because sadly Chocolate Lava Cake is definitely not a Paleo Diet approved Food Product!!!!

The staff at the Cafe called the Alam Indah for us and arranged for the car to come pick us up and return us to the room.  Another great day with Fredy and also a great day that has now made us fall in love with Ubud as much as we did Legian.  Oh god – this is bad – how in the world am I ever going to get my wife to travel anywhere other than here again….2013 was supposed to be Cambodia and Vietnam – I know now that whereever we go Bali will be back on the agenda.

Ok that’s it – Tomorrow we head off for our Cooking School/Class – so check back to see whether I manage to give myself food poisoning!

Thanks for reading