I couldn’t lie, my eyes still wished for another 2 hours of sleep. But there I was in the car, being driven on a 1.5 hours journey from Ubud to Bedugul Highlands.
My driver, Komang, asked me if I’d prefer sleeping along the way. I told him I had to resist, I don’t want to feel all the ache of suddenly waking up and having to walk to the viewpoint on my arrival. So, he turned on the tape and we just started singing rock songs together while the car cruise through darkness.
By 5:15AM, I arrived at Beratan Lake. One of the four major lakes in Bali, this particular lake is home to the floating temple of Ulun Danu Beratan. This temple is often referred to as the postcard picture of Bali and sees hundreds of tourists everyday. I wanted to visit the place before everyone else to avoid the crowd.
And there I was, standing by the lake side. The sky started to appear blue-ish, before the first ray of distant orange appeared.
Not long after, a family of four joined us as the sun rose and light the sky yellow. We talked briefly to introduce each other, and then they decided to take the canoe boat ride to get closer to the temple.
The golden hour lasted only 15 minutes, afterwhich the sky turned blue. I took a walk to the other side of the viewpoint while listening to the stories of this lake temple.
Ulun Danu Beratan is one of nine “Kahyangan Jagat Temple”, the most important Temple for the Balinese Hindu. The water from this lake serves the entire region in the outflow areas, forming subak irrigation system. This irrigation system, forming the many rice terraces we know of Bali, is one of seven registered UNESCO World Heritage in Indonesia.
Built in 1633, the temple is used for offerings and ceremonies dedicated to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu.
After a good hour at the temple complex, I hopped on a speedboat and cruised along the lake. The towering Mt. Catur behind the temples came closer as I started to see the forests and local gardens clearly. The boat stopped at the deck of Pondanu, a small family run cabin rent.
A table has been set for me where I enjoyed my lakefront breakfast.
This. Was. Epic.
After finishing my meals, I walked along the property’s beautiful wooden deck, returning to my car which had already been waiting for me here.
This time, I said yes when Komang asked me if I want to sleep on the way. Sleep was nicer anyway after the cool morning breeze and full stomach from this sunrise trip.