The reason for choosing Gunung Paradis as our lodging was not that I expected such magic, but mostly I liked the location. I knew the mountain air would be a refreshing change from the coast, and it’s close to the town of Munduk, which is a starting point for several possible mountain adventures. We booked a tour that took us to some.
First, from the steep ridge to which the town of Munduk precariously clings, we meet a guide who leads us down what seems to be a well-developed trail toward Lake Tamblingan. A walk in the park? No, after a couple hundred meters of steep descent, we turn off onto an obscure side track, into thick rainforest. The trees are magnificent.
There is no one else on the trail. Love the solitude and purity of the forest!
Eventually we reach the shoreline, overlooking the lake.
There will be a boat to carry us across the lake. But first, we take a peek at a temple on the bank, where quite a few people have gathered for a ceremony. I’d like to go in, but we haven’t brought the mandatory sarong to dress in.
The boatman appears and helps us board his canoe.
I relax during the crossing with my new Balinese flute
When we reach the other side, we see a more famous, and clearly ancient temple. This destination doesn’t have just an obscure forest track leading to it; there is an actual road.
There is a large expanse of grass between the shoreline temple, and another at the edge of the forest. We learn that the lake level has fallen (seasonally, or from long drought, I’m not sure), and previously the lake has covered all that area, too.
Our driver has arrived at this terminus, and we are ready to go back to Munduk. Trying to get orented, I examine a relief map of the area and see that we are in a cluster of lakes filling a basin that must be an old volcanic caldera–with Munduk on the rim. That’s why the mountain side is so steep!
The driver takes us back up to the ridge road. We stop at a fine restaurant for lunch, and then find the trailhead for the local waterfall. It’s a well-developed trail through a lovely rainforest
As we near the bottom, we hear a strange, loudly resonant sound that fills the entire canyon. What is this?
Then we reach the waterfall. These photos illustrate exactly how Esso and I have opposite reactions to natural beauty. She adopts it as a backdrop for her endless portfolio of glamor portraits. I surrender to it, to take in the power of the natural elements.
But now let’s let the landscape speak for itself