Campuhan Ridge: Morning Trek, Scenic Balinese Cafe & A Wedding

Eat, Pray, Love & Play Bali – Part 10.

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Campuhan Ridge is just a few minutes’ ride from the center of Ubud and offers a lovely and easy morning trek. Entrance to the trekking path is via a small stone bridge that spans the gentle Campuhan River, just pass the walls of the quiet Pura Gunung Lebah temple.

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The walk, relatively easy with just short stretches of uphill climb and most of the time along a paved path, passes along the top of the ridge, with panoramic scenery on both sides:  glimpses of the flowing river on one side, and cottages on the hill slopes on the other.

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Along the way, we passed verdant padi fields. On such a gorgeous sunny morning with clear blue sky, the majestic mountains of the island loomed visibly on the horizon.

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One of the highlight of this trek was a small artist village midway through the route.  We stopped and browsed at the shop of Balinese artist Wayan Rana, who was totally engrossed painting on a wooden egg by the porch of the shop. Apparently Rana was born into a family of artists; his grandfather was a dancer and woodcarver, his father a stonecutter, while Rana pursued his talent as a traditional painter. His painting style covers themes such as workers in the rice fields, Balinese dancers and landscapes, using quills and very small brushes to create intricate and colourful graphic art works.

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Walking a kilometer further, near the tail end of the trek, we encountered the sanctuary of the Karsa Cafe & Spa, where we rested our weary feet and had a leisurely Balinese breakfast while feasting our eyes on the stunning views over the paid fields. The cafe also a few huts built over a pond, surrounded by water and lily pads, for those desiring more seclusion.

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The fresh coconut was refreshing and what we needed after the long walk. We fell on the BLT sandwich and the fried tempe with vegetables; ravenous after the hour-and-a half hike. The food was simply made but very delicious.

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At the back of the kitchen we could see a young girl assembling the Bantens, a traditional morning offerings to the gods.

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We checked out the blissful-looking spa before heading back the way we came. The spa a d surrounds looked so tranquil and inviting that we were tempted to get a massage but unfortunately we were pressed for time.

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Back at the main road waiting for our driver to pick us up, we spied a festive gathering across the road and went to check it out. The event turned out to be preparations on the eve of a traditional Balinese wedding, with all the family and friends from the community gathered to help out.

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What’s amazing is that some of these helpers had been busy roasting a pig since early morning, and thereafter slicing up the pork fat and assembling them into a flower arrangement; so creative and yet bizarre.

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The Balinese are such friendly people; sensing our curiousity, they invited us in to wander around the wedding grounds and watch them at work. We chatted briefly with the aunt of the bridegroom, who kindly explained some of the wedding rituals and customs to us. We were very fortunate to have enjoyed this unique expereince by sheer serendipity; a great end to a wonderful morning.

Campuhan Ridge Walk
Jalan Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud Kec. Gianyar
Bali 80571, Indonesia


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