Ubud to Lovina Beach

Singaraja Travel Blog

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Lake Bratan

This morning we are off for a 38 mile bike ride that will take us to Lovina Beach on the north side of the island of Bali.  We met for breakfast at 7:30 to a breakfast of poached eggs with chili sauce, bacon, toast and fruit.  We were shuttled to a beautiful area on Lake Bratan in the central part of the island where there is a beautiful temple on a small island in the lake.  The lake is in the crater of an old volcano and is a really beautiful setting.  Volcanos and forests surround the lake.

Before entering the temple area, we had to put on our sarongs, secured by our sashes.

Me, at the Meru
  It is very important that the lower part of your body is covered while inside the temple.  It makes for an interesting look when you put a sarong over your bike shorts!  Wayan Narta took us through the temple grounds.  It is the Pura Ulun Dana Bratan temple, built in the 17th century.  It is dedicated to the goddess of the lake, Dewi Danu.  It had a 11-tiered Meru on the site, which is to symbolize the Hindu holy site, Mount Meru.  It also has Buddhist elements to the site, in that there is a part where four statutes of Buddah mark the four points of the compass.  We also noted that there was a Moslem Mosque on the other side of the road.  It was very interesting to see all of these religious sites co-exiting in close proximity.
Group Shot of our Bike Group
  It speaks to the traditional tolerance of the Balinese people.

As I was walking around taking pictures, I was approached by a couple of entreprenurial locals who offered to let me pose with their two pythons and their mongoose -- for a fee, of course.  I had to have my picture with the snakes -- I thought it would make a great photo for this year's Christmas card.  It was right in front of the Meru, and had one of the local guys looking at me like I was crazy standing there with my bike jersey, a sarong and two snakes!  Maybe I am!!  Jundre joined me in the photo ops with the mongoose (mongeese?).  They were cuddly creatures, and certainly felt welcome to crawl all over me.  It actually tickled a lot to have them crawling around on me.

At the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple, with pythons

After the temple tour, we started the bike ride.  The first part was a steep climb up a hill that lasted about one mile -- a 10-12% vertical climb.  I was the only guest who did the hill, as the rest opted to shuttle to the top and start there.  It was a tough winding road with lots of traffic.  I made it just fine though, and got to the top right about the time the rest was ready to take off on their bikes on the flatter terrain up top.  The ride from there was really gorgeous.  We rode through sweet smelling frangipani groves with beautiful white flowers (very important in Bali, as the flower from this tree must be in every offering left at a Hindu temple, and there are 8 required offerings per day at each temple!).  We also rode through clove tree forests and the smells there were heavenly.

The mongoose (mongeese?) are tickling me!
  There were many grape vineyards along this route as well.  We stopped for lunch at a nice small restaurant called Cafe Garam.  It was an open air restaurant, and they served us a Balinese 'thanksgiving' type of lunch.  It consisted of a cone-shaped scoop of yellow rice (cooked with tumeric) surrounded by chicken satay, fish and vegetables.  It was all served on a banan leaf.  It was quite nice! 

After a some down time following lunch, it was back on the bikes and off to Lovina Beach, which was just east of the town Singaraja.  Singaraja was an administrative capital of Bali during Dutch Colonial times.  The name comes from Singa, meaning 'Lion' and Raja, meaning 'King'.  That was evident as you ride through the city gates -- which had huge winged lions on the gates.

'Thanksgiving' Lunch at Cafe Garam
   I rode most of the way along here with Jundre and Francoise, and we had a lot of fun together. 

I got into the hotel a little before 4 and checked in to the Puri Baggus Lovina (literally, House Good Lovina).  It was a nice hotel with the rooms scattered around a garden like area right on the beach like little bungalows.  I signed up for a massage when I got in, and ran to my room, showered and headed to the 'bales' for my relaxation time!  A bale is about the size of a twin bed, and is like a platform in the trees.  It is very relaxing to lay on outdoors -- especiallly when you are getting a massage.  Mine cost about $10 USD, and lasted an hour.  My masseuse was a Balinese woman named Putu.  I am told taht the naming convention is different here in the north part of the island.

The gates to Singaraja
  Putu is the name for the first born of the north!  Putu did a great massage and I melted!

After my massage, I went back to the room and showered again.  The showers here are outside adjacent to your bungalow.  They are surrounded by shrubbery and fencing to privacy is assured.  It felt great to just stand outside under the hot water after the long ride!

I dressed for dinner, and then went down to the bar for a cocktail and to catch up on my journal.  I ordered a gin and tonic, but they had run out of tonic, and substituted bitter lemon.  It was quite nice, particularly with the stick of lemongrass added as the swizzle stick!  I may have found a new drink for my trip!

Dinner was a buffet line at the hotel restaurant.

Walkway along Lovina Beach
  It had various salds, chicken laksa soup, satays of chicken, pork and seafood, fried noodles and vegetables.  It was good.  Nothing fancy, just good food.  Wayan Narta sat at my table and was telling us more about Balinese life and culture.  We had noticed that the women of Bali appear to be very hard workers -- cooking, cleaning, sweeping streets, harvesting rice, and doing difficult work.  The men were not always as busy -- as it was common to see them sitting around talking, drinking tea, taking life much easier than the women.  I learned that many Balinese men love to gamble, especially on races, sports and cock fights.  In fact, we had seen a lot of men with their colorful roosters throughout our travels.  One of the Canadian women asked Wayan why the women appeared to be working so hard.
Sunset at the Beach
  He responded that they do because women are in charge here -- they are in charge of the house, the restaurant, and making the offerings a the Hindu temples.  When asked when the men were doing while the women were working, Wayan said "oh you know, they are sitting around massaging their cocks."  Everyone gasped and I burst out laughing.  Wayan did not know why he elicited such a response, as he was just talking about the fighting roosters.  Yeah, right!

I skipped dessert tonight, and went back to my room to sort my laundry to leave the next morning with the hotel service.  I was running low on clean clothes!  I slept wonderfully after the long ride today.

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Lake Bratan
Lake Bratan
Me, at the Meru
Me, at the Meru
Group Shot of our Bike Group
Group Shot of our Bike Group
At the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan templ…
At the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temp…
The mongoose (mongeese?) are tickl…
The mongoose (mongeese?) are tick…
Thanksgiving Lunch at Cafe Garam
'Thanksgiving' Lunch at Cafe Garam
The gates to Singaraja
The gates to Singaraja
Walkway along Lovina Beach
Walkway along Lovina Beach
Sunset at the Beach
Sunset at the Beach
Gates to the Temple (notice Mosque…
Gates to the Temple (notice Mosqu…
The Eleven Tiered Meru at the Temp…
The Eleven Tiered Meru at the Tem…
Our group checks out the daily off…
Our group checks out the daily of…
A close up look at the offerings
A close up look at the offerings
At the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
At the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
Another Snake Picture
Another Snake Picture
Jundre joins me with the mongoose
Jundre joins me with the mongoose
Joining the rest of the bikers at …
Joining the rest of the bikers at…
Bouganvilla in bloom
Bouganvilla in bloom
Lunch at the Cafe Garam (notice th…
Lunch at the Cafe Garam (notice t…
My bungalow at Puri Bagus Lovina
My bungalow at Puri Bagus Lovina
Inside my room
Inside my room
My outdoor shower
My outdoor shower
Bale for Massage at Puri Bagus Lov…
Bale for Massage at Puri Bagus Lo…
Francoise, Irika and Jundre ready …
Francoise, Irika and Jundre ready…
Singaraja
photo by: yuness