Heading for the highlands (prequel)

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Bali Road Trip 2011
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This day is before the big bridge adventure. We drove into some very familiar hills, clove, cocoa, coffee and nutmeg country. It was only 60 plus kms and that made for a very slow drive. Before that, a very late start, meaning more cycling time, a dip in the sea, then pool and an almost 2 hour lunch in the quaint town of Seririt. Every small Indonesian town must surely have a small Chinese population. Meaning the possibility of getting Chinese food. Seririt is no exception. Small mom and pop shops, a goldsmith or two, and yes a restaurant down a small lane.

My co driver (who didn’t drive at all) was a bit apprehensive at the cleanliness or lack there of, for such an establishment. Never fear I said. I think I dined here in 1991, and have already spotted at least one renovation. There’s a new signboard by the entrance. ‘Such and such a resto, since 1955’ It was here or some other street side stall with cold food and flies for company. As it turned out simple noodles and rice and some veggies were quite good and one quarter the price of eating in touristy Ubud. And yes, the grainy, unfiltered Kopi Bali was spectacular, I had seconds.

An open concept kitchen, great for seeing hands being used for everything, including tasting !

Our newish old Dutch style house in the hills of Munduk. The room was cosy (@ 980 m asl) and the garden, very lush.

Packing cloves for export in Munduk. It's a prime ingredient in some Indo cigarettes

Sunset was a non event for the camera because of a heavy downpour

Sunrise was much better

This morning will be etched in my memory forever, as it was about this time or so 7 am on Saturday 30th April that Paul Lim passed away, and I was up and about looking the the skies trying to capture a crimson sunrise. It was about 18 deg C, the mountain air crisp and refreshing. Paul and I and some friends were mountain bike touring in this very same village way back in 1995, and had to cool of our rims and brakes by dunking the wheels in a rushing stream.

Open the room door and this awaits, the Balinese Pyrenees

Hidden hamlets of north Bali

An old timer's house and car in Munduk

Looking at the scenery and potential for long walks and climbs through the rice fields, one would need at least 3 days in these hills, enjoying the cool rarefied air, but we had done that on previous trips, so a single night with the sounds of a heavy down pour (definitely a first for us) was quite adequate to get reaquainted with Munduk. We had invitations to a village wedding that was going to last 5 days, but politely declined, as we were leaving on the 1st day when only the decorations were being put up. It would have been quite spectacular if we had arrived on the 4th or 5th day.

Coffee cherries

Tanah Barak (red rock) waterfalls after heavy rains. 5 minutes in this water and hypothermia is a given

Lake Tamblingan overflowing, it's temple and surrounding villages inundated. I was knee deep in the icy waters on the village road and made those ripples

Lake Buyan at 1200 m. According to some Balinese friends, it has been raining for the past year !


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