Day 1st. March 26th, 2008.
We left Kuta around 9 am, driving out Kuta area heading to west Bali through the main street that leads to Tanah Lot Temple. We took the village roads that come out at Meliling on the main street that goes to Gilimanuk along the west coastal region of Bali
By the T-Junction at the village of Antosari, we make a right turn up to Belimbing village. We made a stop by a little Warung on the right side of the street that has such a gorgeous view over mountains, rice terraces, and the southern peninsula of Bali. There are various kind of tropical vegetations grow around the wrong’s garden such as cocoa, clove, durian tree, coffee and vanilla bean. Right behind the Warung there were 3 huge bats or flying foxes hanging on a little bougainvilleas tree. They are like pat for the family who own the Warung. The Warung itself sells cold drink, coffee and some local snacks, so it is really a great spot for a coffee break while enjoying the scenic view over rice terraces or wandering around their tropical garden.
Across the street there was a lady selling Durian fruits so it was great as my friend Jan was willing to get one to taste, so we walked across the street and bought a Durian for 15,000 Rupiah which was a good deal as it was quit big one. I put the Durian on the back seat and the strong smell of it filled up the car and having the air conditioned on was not a good idea as it made the smell really stronger. The fruit is smell like hell but tastes like heaven…
We left Belimbing village and driving north towards Pupuan Village. We kept enjoying the scenic view over the green rice terraces all the way up. We made a stop by Pura Mekori where there were number of monkeys on the entrance, by the side of the road. The temple is built in the middle of the tropical rain forest which is the home of the macaque monkeys that hang around by the entrance where there is a small shrines by the road side where the local passers by make a short stop for a little prayer and there is an old man priest there who patiently bless everyone with the holy water. The people who stopped there placed a little offering on the shrines and do a little prayer before being sprinkled by holy water by the priest. As there is a little cake by the offering, the monkeys were hanging around by the little shrines to steal the cakes from the offerings.
We continued driving north through windy roads by local villages and still enjoying the great view over rice terraces, coffee and cocoa plantations.
When we got to the market town of Pupuan, we made a left turn, driving again through local villages with its spectacular view over lush river valley, mountains and view over west coast line. We arrived by a village named Bunut Bolong. There is a huge tree which the local called Bunut that grow in the middle of the road. They carved through the bottom part of the tree which arches the street and the cars have to drive through the tree. There is a little temple under the trees where some local passers by make their offerings. Nearby the tree there is a little Warung that sells food and drink.
We left Bunut Bolong and kept driving down the windy roads, passing by many villages until we arrived at the T-Junction by the main road towards Gilimanuk. We took a right turn heading to Medewi Beach where it is well known for the surf breaks. There were numbers of surfers by the time we got there as the wave was really great. There were few tourists and mostly local young surfers. We checked in by Medewi Beach Cottages where it is right by the beach. After lunch, we drove out again to visit Pura Rambut Siwi which is north of Medewi Beach Cottages. It is approximately 3 km up the road by the black volcanic sand beach. The temple is built by the beach and you can have a great view over the Indian Ocean, green rice paddies on the other side of the temple. We could see the eastern part of Java by the temple area. The temple was built around the 16th century by a Hindu priest who was coming from Java, named Dang Hyang Nirartha. The temple was just being renovated in some part and the new gardens have just been created. It is an elaborate temple one with beautiful Balinese carvings painted in gold leaf. We walked into the inner courtyard of the temple to get a close look to a number of shrines. We walked out from the main courtyard by the west side gate, to a little path that goes down to the beach where there is another smaller complex of temple just right by the beach with a black and yellow tiger’s sculpture, but seemed to be more like Panthers for us. There are a couple caves on the right side wall of the cliff under the main temple, with its small shrines by the mouth of the cave. We walked along the beach and suddenly we got accompany of hundreds of local elementary students who were doing a day excursion with their teachers. We took pictures of those kids and everyone was really excited to be in the picture. We walked back to the parking area by walking along the beach along with those school kids. Hundreds of the school kids were packed in a truck that transport them around for the entire day visiting different places on the west Bali region. We think that they should hire a bus for a better safety.
Day is getting late and the sun was about to sink behind the Horizon, we headed back to the hotel for our night stay. I stayed by a little home stay named Gede, next to Medewi Beach cottages, cost 50,000 Rupiah/night. It is a very simple room with cold shower. It has a little restaurant with good food and it is right by the beach with its great view over the beach.