Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TEJAKULA: tour day

Just before we welcomed Emily and Ginna to Tejakula, we spent a whole day on a driving tour of northern Bali. Our driver took us to a temple near town, Gitgit Waterfall (sacred waterfalls), Pura Ulun Danu Beratan (water temple), and grocery shopping in Singaraja.  

The weather was typical of Bali in wet season: tumultuous. The start of our day was awash in bright, hot sun, and it progressively got more and more humid, with a torrential downpour here and a thunderstorm there. It continued to swap back and forth. Running from sudden downpours, looking out the car windows to see giant splashes against the glass and not much else, seeing brave locals on their scooters being pelted with wind and rain - all of this made the day trip more fun and exciting. 

Our temple tour guide taking us up the steps
Tejakula temple street style: tribal maxi skirt and a chic turban - could he be more on point?
We'll pretend for Taylor's sake that he is wearing a GW shirt, not a Georgetown one
I thoroughly enjoyed the parable behind this mural, told to us by our guide
The fuzziest looking tree!
Best friends, lovers: these two trees have grown into one over time.. how beautiful!
Boat monument
The trio
Feline, the definition of.

We were then taken to the sacred waterfalls for a wet and slippery walking tour. Our guide informed us of the names and uses of some of the surrounding botanical treasures; he pointed out the ginger plant, which Jaimie and I marveled at - we had never thought about what the plant of the famed root could possibly look like, that it could be of such considerable size and produce such beautiful flowers. Along the entire hike we were prodded by adorably sad looking Balinese children selling jewelry and other knick knacks (these kids had perfected the pout), begging us to buy something. I ended up with three bracelets I didn't need. 

Does this not look like a flock of headless flamingos? Which (of the headed variety) we had only just learned is called a flamboyance!
In Bali, most public restrooms cost 1000 - 2000 Rp to use (about 10 - 20 cents)
So so lush
Is this what you'd call a watering hole?
One waterfall comes from the mountain and is cold, and the other comes from a hot spring and is warm!
Jaimes and Taylor dove in for a high-pressure shower

En route to our third stop, we found these feisty little guys loitering on the side of the road. We stopped for some pictures. I have very brief footage of one of them inappropriately handling his goods (haha).

Looking onwards and upwards to bigger and better things?

Our next and last stop (due to the heavy rain) was the water temple, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. Unfortunately, the place was a bit of an overcrowded tourist trap - the opposite of tranquil. I tried as best I could to frame people out of my shots. Quite a few Korean ajumma spottings also, which was a bit of a surprise, seeing (and hearing) a piece of "home" in Bali. We snapped some photos and left rather in haste; I think the number of foreigners there was a shock to our system after the recluse of Jomaro.

Asked them to hold hands walking down lover's lane, and this is what I get. How rude! 
The funniest, skinniest trees! They looked like giant quills.
The three-tier palm
The feather evergreen
The "overpriced" restaurant we didn't eat at
More hand panted signage. And this "gent".

We stopped at a large supermarket in Singaraja, where we picked up some snacks, fruit, drinks, and some cheap take-away mementos (Balinese coffee, tea in cute packages, toothpaste).

What these are I'm not entirely sure, but I am intrigued. 

The rain set in quite rapidly. At one point we were at relatively high elevation and stopped for some photos of this incredible view of the rolling fog.

This ominous, overhanging cloud was other-worldly
Like an overgrown beard from the heavens!

By this time we were famished. We braved the monsoon-like conditions and ran up the stairs to a pretty restaurant just off the road. It was completely deserted with the exception of the one staff member serving us. We took our time eating and chatting, as the rain came and went. We almost gave up waiting it out, but then it slowed to a drizzle and we packed up to go home.

The view from the restaurant, mountains obscured by clouds
Tay was all smiles, sporting the Balinese glow
My multi-flavored Mie Goreng (fried noodles) - one half tasted nutty and sweet, and the other tasted like Chinese take-out... hm.

There were more planned stops on the tour, but we asked our driver to take us back to Jomaro after our meal. We were soggy and beat, and a nice drink on the porch was calling our names...

Our relaxing day at the beach house with the arrival of the girls is up next.

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