Bali: Sunrise at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Yesterday we left Ubud for Lovina, in the North. One of the first things we did when we arrived, alongside with finding accommodation, was to rent a motorbike, so we could be independent and free from touts and guided tours. Lovina is a nice place to stay (nothing too exciting but nice), but if you want to move around on your own and explore more than the main road, you need your own transportation.

Once we secured a two-wheeler, it wasn’t too long until we decided to go to see the sunrise at lake Bratan. Because of its ancient and very photogenic temple complex which features two multi-layered ‘floating’ shrines, Lake Bratan is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bali, and one of the most photographed spots.

As the main source of irrigation for the surrounding region, Lake Bratan plays an important role in the life of the locals too. Actually, the temple itself is dedicated to the cult of the Lake Goddes to which devotees pay homage as a propitiatory ritual.

As I recently got myself a nice and light travel tripod – oh, that Low Yat Plaza shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur! πŸ™‚ – I was looking forward to putting my new piece of equipment to work.

We woke up at around 3am and left one hour later. The trip wasn’t too bad: 40kms total, most of which up-hill – after all the Lake stands at about 1200 metres above the sea level. The road, was a tad curvy as all mountain roads, but not too bumpy… at that time, although dark as you can imagine, it was almost deserted.

When we arrived (we drove very slow) the ‘blue hour‘ was already kicking in and I suppose we had already missed the best sky we could have got. But nevermind! The light was great anyway, at least I liked it – and the tripod proved to be one of the best purchase I’ve made in the last few months πŸ™‚

We stayed until about 8 so I had the chance to photograph the temple and the surroundings under different angles and types of light.

Ultimately the reward for interrupting our sleep and and doing a few kilometers up-hill was a stunning view, which we were able to enjoy in a sort of surreal, serene atmosphere, with nobody around, except a few local women doing their laundry in the lake and their children playing around.

Enough with words, here are a few shots – I hope they give you a sense of what it was like being there.

…I thought I’d also share a picture of lake Buyan (below), by which we stopped on our way back to Lovina, after a nasi goreng (fried rice) based breakfast on the shore of Lake Bratan…

  • MundoPataFundo

    Just loved your post! If we go to Bali we will definitly do the same :))) thanks for being our inspiration! We have just arrived Penang in the longuest trip we’ve ever had since Portugal… 7 hours to make 360 kms??? On a mini bus transfer?? ;)) but the driver was so nice that we couldn’t complain about the extremly carefullness! Like the malay say: “enjoy, yen?” kisses Claudia e Pedro

    • Emanuele

      Thank you guys – I’m glad you made it to Penang safely πŸ™‚ If you’re looking for suggestions on where to eat in Georgetown, then have a look at our second last post. I’m sure you’ll like it. Bali is a great place and despite being touristy it is very easy to get off the beaten path.

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