Around noon, Komang, the same driver who took us from the harbour to the Menjangan, picked us up at the hotel, stuck our luggage in the back of the car, and we moved on.
The drive from West Bali National Park to our next destination near the mountain village Munduk wasn’t long, so we asked Komang to suggest something we could see on the way. He thought about it for a while, and then asked if we wanted to see a Buddhist temple. We were open to whatever he suggested, so he took us off the main roads, and after a short drive pulled up at a temple, situated high above the villages in a beautiful spot.
The Buddhist Temple of Brahmavihara-Arama
We paid the entrance fee, and two Balinese girls measured us from top to toe, and dressed us in colourful sarongs to make us appropriate for the visit to the temple. The temple was beautiful with many separate buildings for prayers, and individual gates marking the entrance to each area.
We walked around there for a while, just enjoying the beautiful surroundings, the view, and the buildings.
Back in the car, Ronja wasn’t feeling too well, so we decided to just go ahead to the hotel. On the way there, Komang and Mads had to compare maps a few times – the road we were on was more like a path through the forest than a road, and we wondered if we were going the wrong way. However, after a while and a very steep downwards driveway, in front of us was the Lesong Hotel.
This hotel was a pure gem. They had four rooms in total, and the two lower rooms were ours for two nights. The rooms each had either a balcony or terrace, and they all overlooked the rice terraces. The reception and restaurant were in the main building, also overlooking the rice terraces. A bookshelf with books for trading with other travellers added to the relaxed atmosphere of a place where many before us had felt right at home. Their very kind receptionist, Iluh, welcomed us with coffee and tea. Her English was really good, and she was happy to help with whatever we wanted to do for our few days there.
The day we arrived, we didn’t do much. Ronja had been feeling worse and having stomach aches, and she just needed to relax. Mads and I went for a walk through the rice fields, and came back to the most beautiful sunset we have seen while in Indonesia.
The next day, we had asked for a guided tour around the rice fields – we wanted to learn more about the processes and the way of life out here, and Iluh was kind enough to arrange it for us. Our guide, Willy, was another great experience from Lesong. His English was good as well (you learn to appreciate when people are easy to understand), he was really kind and forthcoming, and he showed an enthusiasm for telling us about his country as well as learning about ours, that just made it that much more interesting.
We walked on the narrow paths of the rice fields while he told us about the work that was done there, and he told us about the different kinds of coffee- and spice productions that were going on in the area. Willy was just a pleasure to be with, and we spent a good 2 hours walking in the area. In the picture above, we are returning to the hotel – the building to the right is where our rooms are.
After lunch, we wanted to go see one of the many waterfalls in the area – the Melanting waterfall. With Ronja not being on top of her game, we thought we would get a ride one way and walk the other, so we made that arrangement with the staff. A short while later, we found ourselves on the bed of a pick-up truck, winding along the narrow mountain roads to the beginning of the foot path.
The path to the waterfall was green, rocky and dotted with opportunities to buy spices or souvenirs, and though we didn’t find the shortcut that the hotel staff tried to describe to us until we were going back, we had a very nice walk, and a wonderful experience being the only visitors to the waterfall. We walked back over the rice fields to the hotel just before sunset.
After two really great days, we packed our bags, had breakfast, and got ready for the drive to our next destination, Ubud.