Ubud to Lovina Beach
Singaraja Travel Blog› entry 14 of 23 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.