Our second morning of the trip began with a local Indonesian breakfast of black rice covered in desiccated coconut and caramelised brown sugar before we left Munduk and drove even higher into the mountains beyond. We were heading towards Danau Buyan, one of the twin lakes below the ridge and we soon spotted the water glistening below us. The road we were driving was perched on a ridge with nothing each side. It was lined with tall growing grassy plants and low growing banana palms. It was early so the wildlife was just coming out; yellow butterflies flitting across the path in front of us. To the left, as we wound that way down the hill, the lake glassy in the just risen sun and a host of farms and houses keeping it company. Dead ahead, rising above us, ever closer, were the hilly peaks we had spotted the night before. Large by proximity and still tinged with blue.
We wound slowly down until we were level with the lake, parked our bikes and stepped through a mossed stone archway into the undergrowth beyond. It was a short walk through the trees, passing roadside shrines and stopping to avoid being run over by other visitors on bikes. The lake emerged slowly through a gap in the trees in front of us. As the trees finished we reached a grassy field, the path continuing down the centre of it. To one side a group of men were working on what looked like a wooden gazebo. To the right, a temple, with a small cluster of men smoking on the steps. They waved and cried ‘good morning’ as we walked past. Small boys with homemade fishing rods ran past us to the waters edge, one with a live lizard squirming on the end of the line. There was already one boy fishing as we sat down at the waters edge, whilst a woman and her daughter filled up a huge water container just next to him. A pair of middle aged tourists arrived with their local guide, camcorder in hand. The man lifted the camera and stood close to the woman filling her water. The simple daily task captured on celluloid; alien to a life who does not think about water as a chore.
Back on our bikes we were off to find more waterfalls. Blemantung waterfall was 3km down a steep and bumpy track. We parked up and continued the journey downwards on foot. The falls were two huge streams falling 50ft into a large pool at the bottom perfect for swimming in. We then set off for the more action packed Aling Aling waterfalls and stopped at a roadside rest stop for some food. Lucky we did as no sooner had we sat down than the rain started. Slowly at first then hard as rocks banging on the metal roof. I think by the time we reached Aling Aling we had over saturated our capacity for waterfalls. We were still keen to visit but opted not to pay the extra for guides and canyoning, instead choosing to walk and look at the falls. Aling aling was more spread out with small streams pouring into pools which flowed into a river flowing along the jungle path. It was a nice walk and would have been a great place for canyoning but by this time we were eager to get back to the beach.
We stopped at a traffic light outskirts of Lovina and I saw my friend talking to a local man in an England shirt who had pulled up beside him. He turned around and called back to me ‘we’re going to follow him to his guesthouse’. When we got there, through a back alley off a side street we were confronted with the sea. Two rows of beautiful villa style rooms with terraces and chairs lined a small greenery filled path directly to the beach. Some of the guesthouse’s restaurant tables were perched on the sand next to the familiar long tailed fishing boats. It looked at out of price range but for rp 250,000 for a twin room with air con we decided to stay and settled at one of the beachfront tables for the now familiar bottle of Bintang.