In the second part of my trip, I decided to spend my time to visit some temples and waterfalls. Bali is known as the island of Gods, and trust me, you feel something special in the air.
After a long and quiet day between Nusa Dua and Seminyak, I chose to rent a motorbike to visit some places not far from Ubud.
Here, motorbikes are the most communal way to move around the island. You’ll find easily some shops to rent and it’s so cheap, 3,5 AUD (2,5 €) for all the day. Having no experience, I wasn’t comfortable at the beginning, but you will learn easily and quickly. However, be careful because the balinese roads are without rules!
Direction Pura Tirta Empul for the first stop.
Pura Tirta Empul is the temple of holy water. Its particularity is that people are praying in the purified water coming from the sacred sources, and each source ties in a different divinity. At the entrance – it’s the same in every temple – they give you something to cover your legs. If you wish, you can even try the experience diving in this sacred water. You’ll see that you’ll feel a sensation of lightness and peace of mind if you know to be listening yourself.
After this nice visit, I took back the road to go to my next destination: the Nungnung waterfall. I drove for around one hour and half passing through small villages and big paddy fields, a unique landscape.
To reach the waterfall, you have to walk for around 20 minuts and take around 500 steps, but believe me that the effort is worth it! You’ll be surrounded by the nature and the breeze coming from the waterfall that create a refreshing atmosphere.
The next day, with my driver Wayan, I stayed in the Ubud area to see the last typical places.
The first one was a temple called Goa Gajah, meaning “Elephant’s cave”. The peculiarity of this cavern is its access. Indeed, to reach it, it is necessary to pass in this door in the form of a demonic mouth representing the Hindu god Bhoma. You enter in a subterranean world, narrow and dark. A small hollow contains the status of Ganesh, the Hindu divinity in the form of an elephant.
Then, direction Tegenungan waterfall, before the storm comes. To reach this place, you have to cross a small village called Tegenungan. You can find local food and a market with Balinese products and clothing. Before descending the stairs to reach the waterfall, you can stop on a restaurant terrace and enjoy the amazing view of nature around you.
Unlike the Nungnung waterfall, here you can also take a dip in the – cold! – water while behind you an immense amount of water falls continuously. A small path will lead you to the top of the waterfall to enjoy the landscape from a different angle.
I enjoyed a dip in the refreshing water before heading back to Monkey Forest.
This place is fantastic. At the entrance, you can buy some bananas in a small hut. From this point, be careful because the inhabitants of this forest will not take much time to be seen. Indeed, after a few seconds a monkey jumped on my back ready to steal my bananas. They are not aggressive but don’t try to hold the fruit and do not fix them in the eyes – they may feel attacked. The whole forest is full of small paths and stone bridges that allow you to explore their entire home.
It was really nice to walk in the middle of a forest full of little monkeys running and jumping from one tree to another; an original and funny company.
The last day of my trip I visited two temples in the southeastern part of the island.
Tanah Lot was the first. It is a small rocky island situated in the middle of the water and for this reason, accessible only with low tide. I was lucky to arrive at the right time, but the access to the temple is not possible for visitors. After walking in the water, you arrive to the temple where, if you wish, two Hindus can purify you with sacred water.
The temple is dedicated to the sea divinities and poisonous snakes that inhabit the small caves on the island. They are known to serve to chase evil spirits. This is the most particular temple I have ever seen. If you would like to go to visit it, remember to check firtst the tide.
The second was Pura Luhur Uluwatu. On the southeast tip, above the sea, it was built to protect the island from demons. The name of the temple describes its particularity: Luhur means “divine origin”, ulu the “land’s end” and watu “rock” in the old language.
To the north as to the south, there is a long walk along the cliff from which you can see the temple from different angles and see the waves crashing on the rocks.
Here we are at the end of my trip. I hope I managed to make you discover and love the island of Gods through my adventure.
And as a Balinese would say: Selamat tinggal!