Today was going to be fun filled touring day. We had so many places to see on the agenda. Thankfully we had booked a private tour with Balik Tour in a comfy SUV for just the two of us and we would have no waiting around for bus loads of tourists. You know how those tourists can be! This was the busload leaving from our hotel.
We were picked up from the hotel at 9:00 am in a nice Toyota SUV and headed off to the first destination, a temple. We hadn’t been to a temple in over a week and were starting to feel temple withdrawal. Not really! Before we got to the temple, we had to battle the rush hour traffic. The scooters reminded us of Vietnam, where no one was safe from them, as they droved everywhere, including the sidewalks. Same here.
But not only did we have to battle scooters, cars and trucks, we had to deal with the wildlife on the road. Coming right at us.
We got to our first stop, a Hindu Temple, Pura Taman Auyn in Mangwi-Bandung. Had to drive under an arch.
Driver dropped us off and would wait for us. In we went to tour the place. It was a big area.
Out we went to find our driver. We are always happy when we are able to find our driver. Some are easier to find than others.
Next stop was a small family-style coffee plantation, Tegal Sari Kopi Luwak. They grew and made their own coffee, plus other herbs and spices. It really was just a drop and shop stop. What was amazing to us though, was how the place looked like nothing from the road side, but once you got behind the wall, the place was amazing.
You get a short tour and then you taste their products, but can’t get out of there without going through their shop.
Beautiful lush gardens. Our guide was pointing out all these different plants that they used to make the coffees, teas and spices. Of course, neither of us remember what was what now.
I do remember that they make a very expensive coffee out of this guys poop! This is a Civet Cat
Here are the poop beans. Poop coffee beans are collected from the poop, washed, roasted, brewed and transformed into aromatic cat poop coffee. That is a definite PASS from me!!!
After a little education, we had to sample the products. Can’t say I was overly fond of any of them. Then we were shuffled into the shop. Of course we ended up buying something that we will most likely never use. I always feel obligated to make some kind of purchase.
UPDATE: Three years later we still have the unopened product. I just happened to see it the other day. Guess it is time to throw it out. And to think that we carried this around the world, taking up precious space in our backpacks. LOL IDR Rp 60,000 = Cdn $5.31
We headed off to the next stop. The clouds were starting to roll in. Really hope we don’t get caught in rain today. Our one big day of sight seeing here on Bali.
Our next stop was Daya Tarik Wisata Ulun Danu Beratan, a Shaivite water temple (Hindu Buddhist) in Beratan which is up in the mountains. That probably explains why it looked like rain.
Tickets in hand we proceeded through the entrance way. This place had pretty big grounds to cover from the look of it, including a lot of water front property.
It always amazes me when I see ‘house’ plants that I have growing out in the wild here. This is a plant that I called a ‘shrimp plant’. I have no idea if that is the proper name or not, but I had one for a couple of years before it died on me.
I have 2 of these Brugmansias and even though mine are in pots they still grow big and I have to trim 2 -3 feet off them every fall to bring back in the house. I store them in our unused bathtub for the winter months.
Everyone was taking pictures of this and standing on it taking selfies, so I figured it must be something important and needed to take pictures of it also.
The clouds are quickly moving in. Hope they move right on by us.
There was this small group of men fishing. Sure looked relaxing. I wonder if it was some of the workers, during their lunch break. There were many workers around building and sprucing up everywhere.
Doug was getting tired of taking selfies. For every selfie that I post, I have probably taken 100 or more. You would think by now, that I would be better at it, but I am not. Either part of us cut off, background too blurry or we are too blurry. Don’t they say “Practice makes perfect?” Well I am still practicing and a long way from perfect!
We had been here an hour by now and we always feel like we shouldn’t leave our drivers too long. Mind you they probably enjoy the break and are many times found chatting with other drivers. I would imagine they all know each other in this business. I am sure that there were many other buildings that we could have explored but we decided to head out. Of course there was a shopping area on the way out. A pretty random sign for their EXIT. We didn’t get rained on!
We were now headed off to get some lunch. Our driver took us to a beautiful restaurant here in the mountains somewhere. We were seated at a great table near the side, with a spectacular view overlooking the valley and hills.
Unfortunately the skies opened up, the winds picked up and the rain poured down. We were in for a big thunderstorm. Everyone had to move from the open sides of the restaurant as there were no window coverings at all. We moved more into the center of the restaurant, but had to move again right up to the wall, as the winds were so strong and we were still getting wet in the center. The water was even seeping down the interior stone walls, but at least we were out of the wind now.
They offered an all you could eat buffet, but we ordered off the menu as we would never eat enough off the buffet. We of course bought our driver lunch also. Lunch was inexpensive here, but they did add on 20% tax and service fee. IDR Rp 201,000 = Cdn $17.50 Can’t go wrong with those prices to feed three people lunch.
Since it was still pouring down, the driver went out and backed the vehicle up to the entrance, so we wouldn’t get soaked.
We were headed of to the Monkey Forest, Pemerintah Kabupaten Tabanan. The rain had let up some, but we were still getting wet.
Quite the monkey to greet us. The guide took a few pictures of us. She obviously had a difficult time with focusing as most turned out blurry.
We didn’t stay here long, as the rain had not stopped completely and I am not even sure if there was much to do here, or if it was really a stop to bring business into the shops here. They had a whole area of bats and there were so many baby monkeys around. Just adorable. Monkeys were adorable, not so much the bats.
Of course we ended up in the shop owned by the guide. It gets tiring after a while. And yes, we did purchase something. This time it was can ‘cozies’ that we can at least use by our pool.
Next stop was the whole reason for us booking this tour. We wanted to go to Pura Tanah Lot for the sunset. Pura Tana Lot means temple in the sea. Tanah Lot was the Leg 6 stop in Season 29 of the Amazing Race. Air date was 4 April 2016. We are great fans of Amazing Race.
Once we got in, we could go left or right. We went right, of course the wrong way to get to the Tanah Lot, but we still saw plenty.
There was a small beach here and we saw a surfer or two.
There were A LOT of people here. I bet they were all tourists!
I will pass on the snake and that is what we did, passed right on by.
When the tide is low, which it was, you can go into the temple. However, the line was at least an hour long to get over there. We didn’t have the time, nor the energy to bother with that. We wanted to see the sun set and would have missed it. So we toured around the grounds.
This is the entrance to the Tanah Lot, photo taken from the back side, since we didn’t walk back up to the actual entrance side.
My failed attempt at trying to get a picture of Doug holding the sun. Oh yes, we tried numerous shots! Plus a few other ‘trick’ shots. Epic fail! LOL
The attempt of getting a selfie with the sun setting behind us.
However, I think I got a few great shots of the actual sunset.
Out on the hillock is the Batu Balong Temple. You can not go in this temple, only photographs, which I took when we went right instead of left. It sure makes for spectacular photos during sunset.
It was now 6:15 pm and time to head off back to our driver and back to our hotel. It had been a long day, as we had been on the road since 9:00 am. The traffic was absolutely insane and it took us 1 1/2 hours to get back to our hotel. Tanah Lot is approximately 20 km north-west of Kuta, where we are staying.