This day trip begins in Batubulan with an electrifying performance of the Barong dance show, combining elaborate costumes, deft choreography and the lively crescendo of a gamelan orchestra. The two principle characters are the Barong himself, a mythical beast and village guardian and Rangda, Queen of the witches, ruthless child-eater and harbinger of sickness and death. The two of them join in combat, trading punches with their magic powers. The Barong is unable to withstand the witch’s power, so his supporters rush to his assistance, attacking Rangda with their krises. Rangda delves into her store of black magic and puts the men into a trance, forcing them to stab themselves with their own daggers. The Barong quickly retaliates with a spell of his own, stopping the krises from harming the men.
Then drive through Balinese countryside to Mas, a village famous for its impressive woodcarvings. A stop is made at one of the many woodcarving factories where you can see artisans chipping intricate designs from blocks of wood.
Next visit is to the mysterious Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) which dates back to the 3rd century. Hewn out of the rocks, the cave entrance is fantastically carved and depicts entangled leaves, animals, ocean waves and demonic human shapes.
Your route takes you further inland through terraced ricefields and up into the mountain, where vegetation changes from small rice and vegetable plots to bamboo forests, clove and citrus fruit trees.
Our next destination is the enormous Batur caldera in Kintamani, some 14 kilometers across it is an awesome sight. A steep ascent takes us into swirling mists and on reaching the massive crater rim you will feel as you have been transported back to prehistoric times. Perched on the rim of this spectacular crater is the village of Penelokan which means ‘look out’ and from here you will encounter one of Bali’s most stunning views. . The crater of Mount Batur is holy and a sanctuary at the top is dedicated to the fertility goddess. Next to Mount Batur, Lake Batur shimmers like a sheet of blue glass – a wonderful photographic opportunity.
The route back to the south of Bali takes you to one of Bali’s holy springs. The waters are believed to have magic curative powers and people journey from all over Bali to purify themselves in the clear bathing pools.
In Ubud, the artistic heart of Bali, visit one of the many art galleries and perchance catch an artist at work.
The road to Ubud is a haven for arts lovers with small family run workshops lining roadside, you will sew local artist employing skills, traditions and tools dating back centuries. The town of Ubud is Bali’s flourishing center for the arts and a shopper’s paradise, with colorful stalls of wood carvings, textiles and souvenirs on every street.
Last stop is the village of Celuk, famous for its gold and silver works. You can watch skilled artisans creating exquisite pieces of jewellery and ornaments from gold and silver.
Duration: Approx. 08:30-17:30