Friday, May 01, 2009

Bali 3rd Day - Rice terraces, Mt Kintamani & La lucciola

We spent our third day in Bali with a hired driver. We were introduced to "Drivers with Distinction" by my dear friend, Steph and BOY! Their service is exceptional! :) We had the privilege of having to be our driver on the first day. He´s an independent driver who sources his customers mainly through word-of-mouth. One has to book his services months in advance, hence we were really happy that through a nice change of schedule, we managed to get him as our driver. He was very informative, funny and entertaining, not to mention his fluent English and very reasonable rates. We found out more about Bali, its culture, people, religion, stories etc. thru him.
- Getting some breakfast at "Cafe Moka", where they sold pastries, muffins etc...for the expatriate population in Bali.
- The green plant you see is the rice plant! Every grain of rice is painstakingly extracted individually! Now you know why you shouldn´t waste food.

The first place we visited was the renowned rice terraces. Its SO beautiful! One has got to be there to see the lush greenery, flanked by the beautiful hills and basking in the crisp morning sunlight to admire the beauty of early cultivation that transformed hilly grounds to arable land.
Although we´re not necessarily "temple people", we figured a trip to Bali would be incomplete if we didn´t visit one of their 3,000 Hindu temples. So we popped by one small temple around the corner where they were preparing for a festival to worship the God of the lake. It was pretty messy and haphazard. The Balinese people are very religious people, mainly in the sense of performing their ceremonies in the light of tradition. On other days, the temples are usually empty, visited mainly by tourists. We shared with Dean about Jesus, what we believed in and had a very fruitful conversation with him.
The gorgeous view of the semi-active volcano, Mt. Kintamani. and the beautiful crater lake. It was about 3,500metres tall (our skiing mountain in Italy was about 3,000m in comparison). Despite the height, the sun was still warm because Bali is located near the equator. However, the wind blowing from the valley was surprisingly pretty chilly!
The crater has always been my dream to visit a volcanic mountain!
Dean told us that there is a hot spring from the volcano where one can soak in the natural minerals. Having an idealistic and romantic impression that the spring would be located in the middle of the forest, with nothing else around, I quickly agreed to go there. It turned out to be a swimming pool with 2 hot springs! hah. We have the same thing in Germany! Nevertheless, it was pretty cool to just take a quick dip in both the swimming pool and the hot springs!
After our swim, we went to the market in Ubud. There´s so many things to see there though we only had one hour. The bargaining was crazy! People were grabbing you by the arms and asking you to buy their wares! You´d just have to be polite and walk away..... (Picture top left: Keychains that were carved to look like a male anatomy.)
We ended off our superb day at La lucciola - an Italian restaurant owned by an equally well-known chef, located just next to the beach in Seminyak.

The stretch of restaurants lining the beach in Seminyak.
It was fairly cloudy hence the sun disappeared very quickly without any magnificence. Still, I was glad to see a little bit of the gorgeous sunsets that Bali is so well-known for.


Cory said...


Thks for sharing all the beautiful pixs! I will definitely get this driver if I am in Bali again. It's amazing that someone else actually set up a website for him. Dean has really touched someone's heart in a very special way...


Pris said...

Dear Cory! Yes! That´s exactly what I thought too when Steph first introduced me to Dean. :) He´s superb! Actually he leads a team of 7 drivers and together they formed the "Drivers with Distinction" thing.


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