The Kintamani region is on every tour guide’s agenda. And one of the most breathtaking places to relish in the scenery is at crystal clear Lake Batur . Gunung Batur (gunung means mountain) is an active volcano and has wreaked havoc here more than once; the worst incident took place in 1926 when more than 1000 villagers died. There are tours that will take you to the top if you are ambitious, and it is recommended that you be accompanied by someone.
Do you ever think of a place that you’ve been to, and immediately associate something unpleasant to it, no matter how wonderful the rest of the visit might have been? Well, I did. The area around the lake and the temple is so great that I knew we’d be spending quite a while here. There were no restrooms to be found, and guess what? I needed one. Luckily, I thought, the Batur Garden Restaurant was right there, surrounded by glorious flower beds with promise of more to come. Chuck and I walked into the restaurant which was completely empty. I asked to use the restroom, and was categorically refused. As we were not scheduled to eat here, we offered to pay something for the use of the facilities; again, stubborn refusal. Eventually, they relented as we purchased a couple of drinks.
The waters of the lake are essential for irrigation to the rice fields which abound around the area. The lake as well as the mount are considered sacred to the Goddess of the Lake, Dewi Danu . From afar, one of the temple buildings looks as if is floating on the lake. It’s a totally amazing sight. Aside from the incredible riot of colors provided by the flowers, we had the pleasure of meeting some interesting creatures, not the least of which was a mongoose. I completely fell in love with him or her, and imagined having one as a pet. The mongoose had been brought to the garden area by his keeper or trainer, and he was rolling himself around the outside of his cage like a liquid pancake. There were 2 or 3 completely obnoxious birds who provided raucous sounds that were not particularly inviting. Another man came with his monkey, and by this time, monkeys might as well have been lovable puppies. This one had an earring on and was advancing rapidly through a slice of papaya. I kept a safe distance from the snake and his charmer. This is a great place to return and spend more time exploring. We did not stop at Penelokan which is considered the best spot overlooking the lake and the volcano as it lies close to the road which leads down to the caldera.