Asian Mountains, Bali
Gunung Bratan (Mount Bratan), 129m
To the main Bratan
page (route descriptions and maps)
After a week at Sanur Beach, including day trips to Gunung Agung (high point of Bali), Gunung Abang and Gunung Batur, we decided to limit the amount of travel and stay up north for a couple of days. We had heard that it was a brilliant place for snorkeling. And who knew - perhaps it was possible to hike a mountain or two as well?
Anne made reservations at Hotel Taman Sari and we took a hotel cab to Permuteran - a 3,5-4 hour drive from Sanur Beach. Our local driver from the trip to Batur lake showed up early morning to tell us that he was sick and that he had found a replacement driver.
The new driver did not take the English language into a new level, and the main messages from the driver seat were pretty much "look, rice fields! Nice!" And the rice fields were nice. And it was the first ones I've seen in my life. I think...
Taman Sari Hotel
When the driver drove the dirt road leading to the Taman Sari hotel, I thought he was lost. The contrasts between this backyard alley and the beautiful hotel property were worlds apart...
I immediately liked the hotel, the property, the surroundings, the staff and the room - at first glance. An alarm was buzzing in my head, and soon I realized it was the "hey! where is the bathroom?" alert setting off.
The bathroom (toilet + shower) was located in the backyard and Anne were almost going bananas of the romantic concept of sitting on the throne in sheer moonlight...
It didn't take me long before I hated the room. An Australian woman nearly drove us insane while chatting with her young son. The sound went straight through the walls and it was just like having them inside our room. If the woman had been remotely near what you can call pleasant, it could have been tolerable. Better go for lunch and then some snorkeling...
We went to lunch and so did the Australian woman. I decided that I would refrain myself from doing something that would ruin Anne's vacation (like a criminal act). Instead I took a walk along the beach and looked for a route up to the local mountain - Bratan. I didn't find any obvious route and returned to the hotel where I met up with Anne who also wanted to go to Bratan. Together we found a way through the local village.
Being a tourist at the hotel felt quite normal (of course). But walking through the local village as a tourist felt really awkward and I just wanted to get away. They seemed really poor, but they were all smiling like most people on Bali do.
Eventually, we found the paved walkway leading to the temple on top of Gunung Bratan. We accepted the fact that we were not worthy and decided not to enter. Besides, I think the gate was locked...
From the top, I also had my eyes on a mountain top that could be a candidate for the next day. I made a mental note about asking the receptionists about a guide to this top. Little did I know at the time how memorable the next day would be...
We returned to the hotel and enjoyed a very nice dinner. The Australian woman was there as well, and we just knew that we would have to deal with her somehow. But not tonight. Tonight, we'll just let good wine carry us into the night and far away from any negative thoughts...
And just to mention it; the bathroom visit in the middle of the night was one of the scariest experiences ever. Those sounds! And those cries! Jungle!
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 60D + Canon EF-S
18-200mm 3.5-5.6 IS +
GoPro Hero2 + Canon Powershot G12
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
Our route to Bratan
Driving from the southeast to the northwest
Taman Sari Hotel
To Gunung Bratan
Back at Taman Sari Hotel
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